The West Wing Weekly

The West Wing Weekly

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An episode-by-episode discussion of one of television’s most beloved shows, co-hosted by one of its stars, Joshua Malina, along with Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder.

Episodes

3.12: The Two Bartlets (with Blanche Sindelar)  

President Bartlet and his father; CJ and her father; Bob Engler and his father…this episode is the Dada of Dada issues. And Josh and Hrishi talk to Blanche Sindelar, the property master for all seven seasons of The West Wing — the keeper of Gail’s fishbowl.

For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/312.

3.11: 100,000 Airplanes (with Dr. Leo Mascarenhas)  

This week, we’re joined by Dr Leo Mascarenhas, the Deputy Director of the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and the Section Head of Oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, to discuss the cancer crusade that President Bartlet wanted for the State of the Union. Hey, Toby, how many words are in this description? (56.)

For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/311.

3.10: H. Con-172  

This episode marks the halfway point in The West Wing’s run! We’re sad just thinking about it. Meet us in the Georgetown Law Library so we can discuss. For more, go to thewestwingweekly.com/310.

3.09: Bartlet for America (with John Spencer)  

To accompany our discussion of "Bartlet for America," we're thrilled to present an interview with John Spencer, who won an Emmy for his performance. We talk to David Daniel (@CNNLADavid), who is a senior producer at CNN Newsource. He interviewed John Spencer in 2002, just before the Emmy awards, about The West Wing pilot, "Bartlet for America," addiction, and more. We're so lucky to have gotten David's original raw tape from that day, which we used to put this segment together. For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/309.

3.08: The Women of Qumar (with Allison Janney, Fmr UN Ambassador Sarah Mendelson, and Tim Ballard)  

This week's episode gets a bit dark, as does our discussion of it. We're honored to have three amazing guests. We learn more about the realities of trafficking with former UN Ambassador Sarah Mendelson (@SarahMendelson) as well as with Tim Ballard (@TimBBallard), the founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad (@OURRescue). And the brilliant but elusive Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney) finally — finally! — makes her West Wing Weekly debut. For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/308.

3:07: The Indians in the Lobby (with W.G. Snuffy Walden)  

Thanksgiving! Native Americans! Turkey! Foodborne illness! Hrishi's dad! All this, plus we present the recording of our live interview with Emmy-winning West Wing composer Snuffy Walden (@snuffywalden). For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/307.

3.06: Gone Quiet  

Our discussion of this episode takes many a twist and turn: from the NEA to JFK, from Star Trek to Eddie Murphy. Plus, Toby's confession that he is no fan of musicals leads us to the next chapter of "Hrishi Hruins a Musical." For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/306.

3.05: War Crimes (with Fmr. UN Ambassador David Pressman)  

David Pressman is the former US Ambassador to the United Nations and was the first-ever Director for War Crimes and Atrocities on the National Security Council at the White House, and we're thrilled to have him on the podcast to discuss the "War Crimes" episode with us. Plus, Josh and Hrishi get into it over Toby's "we're a team" speech. For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/305.

3.04: On The Day Before (With Janel Maloney)  

For this episode, we're joined once again by Janel Moloney (@NellyMoloney), who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Emmy in part for her performance in this episode. Alas, she did not help us learn to tie a proper bow tie. (At the end of the podcast episode, you want to be able to pull it open, like Tony Bennett.)

http://thewestwingweekly.com/304

3.03: Ways and Means (with Eli Attie)  

We’re joined again by our friend Eli Attie, the former speechwriter to Al Gore who went on to join The West Wing in Season 3. Eli has a ‘story by’ credit on “Ways and Means”, and we dig into what that really means. Plus, we talk about the importance and danger that stage directions can provide actors and politicians.

Take a listen, you won’t be . . . DISAPPOINTED!!!!

thewestwingweekly.com/303

3.02: Manchester, Part II (with Connie Britton)  

Josh and Hrishi are joined by Connie Britton (@conniebritton) to discuss the second half of the Season 3 premiere and the role of Connie Tate. In an attempt to reference Josh Lyman's RU-486 and Tobacco mix-ups, I made a joke last week about Freudian slips in the show notes for Part I (“Josh and Hrishi try to sort their way through it all without making any Freudian slips while talking to each mother”), but it really should have gone here, in Part II. Sorry about that. My dad. I mean, my bad.

3.01: Manchester, Part I  

The Season Three premiere has a dense script, and an enormous production to match. Josh and Hrishi try to sort their way through it all without making any Freudian slips while talking to each mother. 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/301

3.00: Isaac and Ishmael (with Ajay Naidu and Fmr Press Secretary Mike McCurry)  

This is a controversial episode of The West Wing, and one that falls outside the regular storyline of the show. We hash out our conflicting opinions on it to find some common ground. We're also joined by Ajay Naidu to discuss his role as Rakim Ali. And we talk to former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry, who is now a Professor of Theology; in the spirit of this episode, it's a Jew, an atheist, and a Methodist having a conversation about religion, politics, and pluralism.

 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/300

2.22: Two Cathedrals (Part II, with Aaron Sorkin and Kirsten Nelson)  

Aaron Sorkin joins Josh and Hrishi for our final episode of Season Two, to talk about his experience writing "Two Cathedrals." Plus, Kirsten Nelson (@NelsonKirsten) tells us about playing the role of the young Mrs Landingham.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/222-part2

2.22: Two Cathedrals (Part I, with Lawrence O'Donnell and Mary Graham)  

We present the first of two episodes of our podcast discussing the Season Two finale. In this episode, we're joined by West Wing writer / producer Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence), aka Jed's father, Headmaster Bartlet. Plus, Mary Graham, author of Presidents' Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power tells us all about how presidents have hidden the truth about their health from the American people.

And, introducing the BARTLET SECRETARY NAME GENERATOR.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/222-part1

2.21: 18th and Potomac (with Oliver Platt)  

It's the penultimate episode of Season 2. Oliver Platt (@OliverPlatt) joins Josh and Hrishi to discuss his role as Oliver Babish.

 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/221

2.20: The Fall's Gonna Kill You (with Marlee Matlin)  

Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) joins Josh and Hrishi to discuss her role as Joey Lucas. Along with her interpreter, Jack Jason (@655Jack), she pranked us pretty badly just before we recorded her interview. Listen for the brutal details of that, plus our discussion of satellites, Sam’s "fair share" of taxes, and our favorite cute will-they-or-won’t-they couple, Ed & Larry.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/220

 

2.19: Bad Moon Rising  

Before we get into Oliver Babish and the Big Hammer, and Donna Moss and the Secret Pumpkin, we start with a much needed follow-up to our discussion of autism in 2.17: The Stackhouse Filibuster. Special thanks to Amy and Jill, who were two of the many listeners who sent us messages with concerns about how autism was addressed. 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/219

2.18: Seventeen People (with Richard Schiff, Emily Procter, Rebecca Walker)  

We've got seven people for "Seventeen People." Richard Schiff (@Richard_Schiff) talks to us about Toby's journey, and the origins of the Spalding ball. Emily Procter (@emilyprocter) talks to us about Ainsley "spilling coffee" with Sam. Rebecca Walker (@rebeccawalker), one of the actual ERA panelists set to debate Ainsley at Smith, responds to her arguments, along with the President of the ERA Coalition, Jessica Neuwirth. And we get a little insight into a fantastic website dedicated to this episode, seventeenpeople.com, from its creator, Jon White (@jonwhitebriefly). 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/218

2.17: The Stackhouse Filibuster (Live with Bradley Whitford)  

Josh and Hrishi are joined by Bradley Whitford (@WhitfordBradley) for the first-ever live taping of a West Wing Weekly episode, recorded at the Marines' Memorial Theatre in San Francisco at the SF Sketchfest Comedy Festival. We also hear from Dee Perkins and Marc Bernardin, parents of autistic children, about the impact "The Stackhouse Filibuster" had on them.

Check out photos from the taping at thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/217.

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