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The West Wing Weekly

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.
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Apr 19, 2017

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.

Apr 11, 2017

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

Apr 5, 2017

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

Mar 22, 2017

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

Mar 15, 2017

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

Mar 8, 2017

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

Mar 1, 2017

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

 

Feb 22, 2017

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

Feb 15, 2017

We've got 7 people for "17 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

Feb 8, 2017

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.

Feb 1, 2017

Sitting here in the darkness
I’ve gotta post the show
Somebody’s joining us this episode
Somebody named Rob Lowe
We found somebody to explain free trade
Cuz there is so muuuch we don’t knowwww
And we asked Aaron about the song…

It’s the West Wing Weekly (ooh-oo-oooh)
Aaron wrote us baaack!
It’s the West Wing Weekly (ooh-oo-oooh)
How f*$%ing cool is that?
It’s the West Wing Weekly (ooh-oo-oooh)
All the maps are wack
It’s the West Wing Weekly

We're joined by Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) to discuss this episode, which earned him an Emmy nomination. And we welcome back Ben Casselman (@bencasselman), chief economics writer for FiveThirtyEight, to give us some modern context for Toby's line, "Free trade stops wars." 

Ooh-oo-oooh!

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/216

Jan 25, 2017

In this episode, we look at the uncomfortable contiguity of Bartlet the President and Bartlet the Dad. Along the way, we discuss zeugma, gloriosky!, Smoot-Hawley, and other ridiculous sounding words. We also talk to Nina Siemaszko (@MsSiemaszko) about her role as Ellie Bartlet.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/215

Jan 18, 2017

Stockard Channing was nominated for an Emmy based on her performance in this episode. Though her performance in the first part of this two-part arc was also excellent, we discuss why this second episode may have had the edge. Plus, a discussion around the language used to identify different groups of Americans. 

Donate to Mazon in honor of Josh's birthday today.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/214

Jan 16, 2017

The West Wing Weekly presents an ode to The West Wing. Hrishi made a beat, an extended remix of our podcast’s intro theme, for the biggest West Wing fan we know— Lin-Manuel Miranda — who wrote lyrics and recorded vocals for the track! What's next?

 

To watch the video for this song, go to:
thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/whats-next

Jan 16, 2017

The West Wing Weekly presents an ode to The West Wing. Hrishi made a beat, an extended remix of our podcast’s intro theme, for the biggest West Wing fan we know— Lin-Manuel Miranda — who wrote lyrics and recorded vocals for the track! What's next?

To watch the video for this song, go to:
thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/whats-next

Jan 11, 2017

In this episode, we're joined by Don Baer, who was the chief speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, to tell us what it's really like to write a State of the Union Address. And when you're done listening and you're ready to go home, we only have one question for you: How's Grampy?

 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/213

Dec 21, 2016

For the last episode of the year, we answer listener questions in our 2nd edition of The West Wing Weekly Big Block of Cheese Day. Thanks so much for listening to the show this year and giving us a great 2016 — apart from, well, everything else that happened.

If you are looking for good causes to support this holiday season, we suggest:
Mazon
The Pablove Foundation
Southern Poverty Law Center
Bet Tzedek 
Justice for Vets

footnotes —
Hrishi's West Wing cast list

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/003

 

Dec 14, 2016

Forget the popcorn, we got Ginger! Kim Webster joins us to talk about the fortuitous path that led her to the role. So affix your signature and seal, baby — <sexy music> — we're about to declare you extraordinary and plenipotentiary. 

Plus, we're doing our FIRST EVER live taping. It's in San Francisco, on January 15, 2017, at the Sketchfest Comedy Festival. We'll be joined by friend (?) of the show, Bradley Whitford. GET TICKETS.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/212

Dec 6, 2016

When we spoke to Emily Procter (episode 2.04), she told us a story about a lunch meeting she had with Tommy Schlamme that had an unexpected twist. We've been holding on to her story until this episode. You'll hear why. Plus, a lot of #TrumpAiYiYi.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/211

Nov 30, 2016

(sung to the melody of "Carol of the Bells")

Hark! oh my gosh
Hrishi and Josh
Discuss Noël
Puns and intel

Ellen Totleben
Tells us laymen
All that you see
Was her duty

She was the West Wing Set Decorator
And we’ll talk to Bradley Whitford later

When it’s just us
Things we discuss:
PTSD
Tommy Schlamme

I got a job?
You got a job
Bush versus Gore
Flentls and more

Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!
Bradley Whitford won an Emmy with this

Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!
Epic flentl; you don't want to miss this.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/210

Nov 16, 2016

At this extremely historic moment, we present a very unique episode. (Wow, that really is some terrible writing.) In this episode, we bone up on our Mars with help from NASA Systems Engineer Mallory Lefland, who is working on the Mars 2020 mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

footnotes —
Freddie Mercury said it right.

 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/209

Nov 8, 2016

The pressure is on as we discuss one of Hrishi's all-time favorite episodes. Will his feelings be spared by Josh, or will they be placed on the chopping block and pulled apart like a turkey's giblets and flentls?!

Introducing the TWWW University Sweatshirt! You can get one for yourself or for your favorite West Wing Weekly listener at thewestwingweekly.com/sweatshirt

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/208

Nov 2, 2016

For "The Portland Trip," we try to slip the surly bonds of Earth. We are, in turns, lifted and dragged down by our feelings. In honor of Josh Lyman's conversation with Congressman Matt Skinner, we ask real-life former Wisconsin congressman Steve Gunderson what it was like to be the first openly gay Republican in Congress. And we're joined later by Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle), as well as the Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning (@SecArmy) — the first openly gay person to head any service in the U.S. Military.

 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/207

Oct 26, 2016

How ya doin, Dalai Lama? In this episode, we're joined by steadicam operator Dave Chameides to talk about the complex choreography of the shooting a walk and talk. Plus, we get a visit from Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) to talk about his Sorkinisms supercut videos.

footnotes —
Sorkinisms: Part I, II, and III 

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/206

Oct 19, 2016

Loosen your tie. Loosen whatever you'd like. But don't get it twisted: leaf peeping is totally a thing.

thewestwingweekly.com/episodes/205

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