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6.16: Drought Conditions (with Debora Cahn and Richard Schiff)


Episode description

This week, we’re joined by Debora Cahn, to talk about her script for "Drought Conditions," and by Richard Schiff, to talk about his heartbreaking performance in it.

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7.08: Undecideds

September 11th, 2019


In "Undecideds," Santos gives a speech meant to uplift and inspire, but Josh and Hrishi are "Unconvinceds." Plus, we look at Toby’s apartment, Godwin’s Law, and Will’s butt.

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7.07: The Debate (Part II, with Ronald Klain and Beth Myers)

September 4th, 2019


How did Santos and Vinick do in the debate? To help us judge the candidates on both substance and style, we’ve enlisted the people in charge of debate prep on either side of the 2012 Presidential election. Ronald Klain

7.07: The Debate (Part I, with Lawrence O'Donnell)

August 28th, 2019


In our first of two episodes on "The Debate," we talk to Lawrence O’Donnell, who took on the challenge of writing a live episode — one that takes place entirely in the context of a Presidential debate.

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7.06: The Al Smith Dinner

August 21st, 2019


At long last, everyone is ready to unleash their negative ad campaigns. Here's one Hrishi came up with. JOSH MALINA—he's not nearly as mean as he makes himself out to be! He says he "ruined The West Wing," but even …

7.05: Here Today (with Richard Schiff)

August 14th, 2019


Richard Schiff joins us to discuss this gorgeous, eerie, heartbreaking episode and to tell us his true feelings about Toby’s storyline.

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7.04: Mr. Frost

August 7th, 2019


Joshua Malina and Hrishikesh Hirway (collectively, “The Hosts”) have been served a subpoena to appear on this episode of the podcast, to testify in …

0.15: Alex Graves

July 31st, 2019


At long last, West Wing director and executive producer Alex Graves joins us to talk about his time on the show. From "In Excelsis Deo" to "17 People" to our current episodes in Season 7, we discuss some of the big …

7.03: Message of the Week

July 24th, 2019


This week, the message is The Message of The Week. Just to brief you: we're keeping it brief. As they say in athletics.

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7.02: The Mommy Problem

July 17th, 2019


In this mother of an episode, Alex Graves cranks the style up to 11. We’re introduced to the character of Louise Thornton (played by Janeane Garofalo). We get real-time text answers to our quests from the unstoppable

7.01: The Ticket

July 10th, 2019


It’s the Season 7 premiere! Which begins, naturally, with a scene from the Season 10 premiere! Suspense hovers over this episode, like a space station in need of maintenance—or a baker about to be sent home from the …

0.14: Veep (with Gary Cole and David Mandel)

June 26th, 2019


We wanted to honor the end of Vice President Bob Russell's storyline in The West Wing with Gary Cole, who played Bingo Bob. Gary also plays Kent …

6.22: 2162 Votes (Live with Mary McCormack and Lawrence O'Donnell)

June 19th, 2019


We wrap up Season 6 with a live taping from Washington, DC, joined by special guests Mary McCormack (@marycmccormack) and Lawrence O’Donnell (@lawrence). Cue the balloons! Go balloons! Uhhh, where are the balloons?!

6.21: Things Fall Apart (with Jennifer Palmieri)

June 12th, 2019


Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the DNC,
The delegate tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of democracy …

6.20: In God We Trust (with Alan Alda and Rev. Katey Zeh)

June 5th, 2019


The legendary Alan Alda joins us this week to discuss Arnie Vinick, the Constitution, and eating ice cream. Plus, we speak to Reverend Katey Zeh, the executive director of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

6.19: Ninety Miles Away

May 29th, 2019


"Ninety Miles Away" really takes us somewhere, and we're not talking about Cuba. Josh and Hrishi try to navigate their way through wigs, termites, and Hemingway.

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0.13: Graphic Design for President! (with Michael Bierut and Leslie Wah)

May 22nd, 2019


When you’re running for President, how you present yourself to the public is crucial. The West Wing often underscored that it’s not just what one says, it’s how one says it. So in this special episode, we look at what …

6.18: La Palabra (with Eli Attie and Angelica Salas of CHIRLA)

May 15th, 2019


Eli Attie joins us again to talk about his third episode in the trilogy of Santos campaign episodes that he wrote for Season 6. We also hear from Angelica Salas of CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights) on the …

6.17: A Good Day (with Richard Schiff)

May 8th, 2019


Richard Schiff returns as our guest this week to tell us about his experience directing "A Good Day."

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0.12: How Barack Obama Shaped Matthew Santos (with David Axelrod and Eli Attie)

April 24th, 2019


"Tell me about Barack Obama." That's what Eli Attie said to David Axelrod in 2004, while searching for inspiration to help flesh out the character of Congressman Matthew Santos. In this episode, we talk to both of them …

6.15: Freedonia (with Eli Attie)

April 17th, 2019


Eli Attie joins us to discuss the Santos campaign, the return of Amy Gardner, and the Marx Brothers.

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6.14: The Wake Up Call (with Lawrence Lessig)

April 10th, 2019


We’re joined by the real-life Professor Lawrence Lessig, who appears as a character in this episode, played by the real-life Christopher Lloyd.

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6.13: King Corn (with Karis Campbell, Evan Arnold, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, and Michael Grunwald)

April 3rd, 2019


We have so many great guests for our discussion of “King Corn” that you’re going to look at this podcast episode the way Will Bailey looks at an ice …

0.11: Big Block of Cheese Special

March 26th, 2019


You sent in your queries; you know we've got answers—it's a feta compli. In the queso one or two questions, we got a little help from Allison Janney and Bradley Whitford, who sent us some really gouda answers of their …

6.12: 365 Days (with Fmr. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken)

March 20th, 2019


There’s only a year left in the Bartlet Presidency—and only 9 months left in the TWWW Podcastency!—and it feels like the last chance to make history. We’re joined by Tony Blinken who once held the same NSA position as …

6.11: Opposition Research (with Mayor Pete Buttigieg)

March 13th, 2019


We’re joined by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 2020 Presidential hopeful, for our discussion of “Opposition Research,” in which Matt Santos travels to New …

6.10: Faith Based Initiative (with Bradley Whitford)

March 6th, 2019


Bradley Whitford joins us this week to discuss "Faith Based Initiative," which he wrote! Incredibly, his first time writing for television was this episode of The West Wing. He tells us how it all came together, as we …

0.10: In the Writers' Room (with Paul Redford)

February 27th, 2019


We’re joined by Paul Redford, who wrote for West Wing Seasons 1–5, as well as Sports Night and The Newsroom. He’s responsible for some classic West …

6.09: Impact Winter (with Ben Murray)

February 19th, 2019


We’re joined this week by Season 6 newcomer Ben Murray, who played Curtis Carruthers, the President’s new body man. He tells us the hilarious story of auditioning to be the guy who had to pick up and carry Martin Sheen.

6.08: In the Room (with Penn & Teller)

February 13th, 2019


Join us in the room to discuss "In the Room," in which the President’s need to be 'in the room' in China is the central topic of discussion in the room—President Room—the Oval Office. We’re joined by magicians Penn …

6.07: A Change Is Gonna Come (Live with Mary McCormack and Roman Mars)

February 6th, 2019


Mary McCormack joins Josh and Hrishi to discuss "A Change Is Gonna Come," recorded live in San Francisco. Plus, Roman Mars, host of 99% Invisible and …

0.09: Casting Special (with Tony Sepulveda)

January 30th, 2019


In this special bonus episode, we learn about what it’s like casting The West Wing. Our guest is Tony Sepulveda, who was the casting director for …

6.06: The Dover Test

January 23rd, 2019


Wait a second: Is Annabeth Mandy 2.0? Plus Donna pushes Josh away, CJ pushes Toby away, and Santos pulls Josh in with his wily political moves. We …

6.05: The Hubbert Peak

January 16th, 2019


In this episode, a little chess, to test cognitive ability. First move: SUV to Prius. What's the opposite of checkmate?

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6.04: Liftoff (with Allison Janney)

January 9th, 2019


Everything about “Liftoff" feels like a new era is beginning, so we’re welcoming the new year by welcoming Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney) to talk about CJ’s new job as the new chief of staff.

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6.03: Third-Day Story

December 19th, 2018


Big changes are getting announced: CJ is the new Chief of Staff. More importantly, Josh and Hrishi announce "Melon Day" as an official West Wing …

6.02: The Birnam Wood (with Fmr. Ambassador Jacob Walles)

December 12th, 2018


Hello Mother, I'm elated

Here I am at old Camp David

I'm respectful, all due deference

But I don't really get the Macbeth reference

Plus, former …

6.01: NSF Thurmont

December 4th, 2018


It took a lot of diplomacy behind the scenes, but Josh and Hrishi have agreed to come together to negotiate our feelings on Season 6, Episode 1. Pull …

0.08: Meet the Twwweam (Bonus Mini-Episode)

November 28th, 2018


Introducing the folks behind the scenes of our podcast.

You can help us make our show, too, by supporting Radiotopia's annual fundraiser, going on …

0.07: Parks and Recreation (with Rob Lowe, Adam Scott and Michael Schur)

November 21st, 2018


We literally cannot wait for you to hear how much The West Wing influenced Parks and Recreation. We spoke to the co-creator of the show, Michael Schur, and two of the stars, Rob Lowe and Adam Scott, to learn about the …

5.22: Memorial Day (with Josh Singer)

November 14th, 2018


We're wrapping up Season 5 with screenwriter Josh Singer, whose first writing credit was "Memorial Day." We also look back at the past 22 episodes to ask: what kind of season has it been?

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5.21: Gaza (with Jason Isaacs and Janel Moloney)

November 7th, 2018


We're joined by special guests Jason Isaacs and Janel Moloney to discuss the big, ambitious, penultimate episode of Season 5.

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5.20: No Exit (with Fmr. Senator Tom Daschle, Wilson Cruz, and Eli Attie)

October 31st, 2018


We’re joined by three guests for our discussion of "No Exit." Former Senator Tom Daschle tells us about what it was like getting sent anthrax in the mail; Wilson Cruz tells us about playing Jack Sosa for his two …

5.19: Talking Points (with Richard Schiff)

October 24th, 2018


We're joined by Richard Schiff to discuss this episode, his television directing debut! Hear what it was like for him to step behind the camera for this story about power and labor and international trade.

For more, …

5.18: Access

October 10th, 2018


In "Access," we're given a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to work inside the West Wing. …wait a second, what have all these other episodes been about? Let's discuss.

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5.17: The Supremes (with Debora Cahn)

October 3rd, 2018


We hereby appoint the Honorable Debora T. Cahn, West Wing writer, for the position of Chief Guestice of The Supremes episode.

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5.16: Eppur Si Muove (with Dr Muller Fabbri and Jason Zengerle)

September 26th, 2018


They tried to get us to renounce The West Wing, but Eppur Si Puodcaste! Josh and Hrishi investigate some of the real world mechanics behind NIH …

5.15: Full Disclosure (with Lawrence O'Donnell)

September 19th, 2018


Full disclosure: you’re going to hear the words 'full disclosure' a lot in this episode, as we discuss "Full Disclosure." Lawrence O’Donnell joins us …

5.14: An Khe

September 12th, 2018


In this episode, the past is laid bare like a nude portrait, or at the very least, like a photo of your ex in a bikini. Grab your copy of Latin Phrases for Awkward Situations, and parachute in with us.

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5.13: The Warfare of Genghis Khan (with Fmr. Congressman John Tierney and Jacob Keaton)

September 5th, 2018


A potential nuclear threat looms on the horizon, so let’s head down to the Situation Room to discuss The Warfare of Genghis Khan. We’re joined by …

5.12: Slow News Day (with Eli Attie and Nancy Altman)

August 22nd, 2018


Sleep in! We'll wake up the President for you to tell him about our great idea to record a podcast about the Slow News Day episode of the West Wing. Joining us in this historic endeavor is returning guest Eli Attie, who …

5.11: The Benign Prerogative (with Janel Moloney)

August 15th, 2018


This week, we discuss "The Benign Prerogative," and the not so benign aspects of Presidential pardons. We're joined once again by Janel Moloney to …

5.10: The Stormy Present (with Bellamy Young)

August 8th, 2018


It's the 100th episode of The West Wing! Our guest this week is Bellamy Young, who made her first appearance in a TV White House here, some years before joining Josh on Scandal as PRESIDENT Mellie Grant.

For more, …

5.08: Shutdown (with Gene Sperling)

July 25th, 2018


Shut! It! Down! Josh and Hrishi are walking right up to the hallway outside your office to talk about “Shutdown.” Gene Sperling, former White House Director of the National Economic Council, joins them to compare Bill …

5.07: Separation of Powers (with Michael Hyatt)

July 18th, 2018


The Supreme Court is looking at a case that relates to Korematsu v. United States, while the White House starts to make their moves towards appointing a new justice. But ai yai yai, we aren’t talking about last month’s …

5.06: Disaster Relief (with Alexa Junge and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich)

July 11th, 2018


We're joined this week by Alexa Junge and returning guest Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. They co-wrote "Disaster Relief," and together, we try to …

5.05: Constituency of One (with Jennifer Palmieri)

June 27th, 2018


What is a “Constituency of One”? You know, it’s all about that boss, ‘bout that boss, those troubles. It’s all about that boss, ‘bout that boss, those troubles. Toby and POTUS. Will and Bob Russell. Amy and the First …

5.04: Han (with Paula Yoo)

June 20th, 2018


Listener beware - like the episode we're discussing, Han, this installment of The West Wing Weekly has more sad piano music than all previous episodes combined. When they're not lost in a sadness so deep no tears will …

5.03: Jefferson Lives

June 13th, 2018


Jefferson lives, but the President's dreams for a strong VP die—killed by committee. But Josh and Hrishi, pilgrim detectives, are on the scene to investigate. PS: Jefferson is also dead.

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5.02: The Dogs of War

June 6th, 2018


Friends, Romans, people in other places, lend us your ears. We come to dissect this episode, and to praise it, or at least the parts we liked. So cry "havoc!" and let slip this podcast into your downloads.

For more, …

5.01: 7A WF 83429 (Live with Bradley Whitford and Ronald Klain)

May 30th, 2018


Josh and Hrishi take a deep breath and dive headfirst into the post-Sorkin years. They're joined by guests Bradley Whitford and Ronald Klain to …

4.24: Season 4 Retrospective (Live with Aaron Sorkin and Emily Procter)

May 16th, 2018


We’ve reached the end of the fourth season, and the end of Aaron Sorkin’s tenure on The West Wing. For this special farewell, Aaron himself joined us on stage at the historic Town Hall in New York to teach us how to say …

4.23: Twenty Five (Live with Thomas Schlamme)

May 9th, 2018


Recorded live in Boston, Tommy Schlamme joins Josh and Hrishi to talk about the last days of the Sorkin-Schlamme era as they recap the episode Twenty Five.

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4.22: Commencement (Live with Bradley Whitford, Ronald Klain, and Melissa Fitzgerald)

May 3rd, 2018


Live from the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, Josh and Hrishi discuss the penultimate episode of Season 4—and all its trip-hop-laced …

4.21: Life on Mars (Live with Richard Schiff, Eli Attie, and The Swingles)

April 25th, 2018


We’re live in London! Josh and Hrishi discuss Life on Mars with guests Richard Schiff (@Richard_Schiff) and Eli Attie (@EliAttie). Plus some special West Wing-themed musical performances from Debbie Fiderer’s favorite a …

4.20: Evidence of Things Not Seen (Live with Richard Schiff and Marlee Matlin)

April 19th, 2018


We’re live in Dublin to discuss Evidence of Things Not Seen with special guests Richard Schiff, Marlee Matlin, her interpreter Jack Jason, and a pint of Guinness that is like an angel crying on Richard’s tongue.

0.06: Hamilton Special (with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail)

April 4th, 2018


AARON BURR: How does a podcast, web thing, 
Recap and chat on The West Wing, 
Dropped on the internet by nostalgic pals
On a fake President—it makes no sense!
How do Josh and Hrish, on balance,
Manage to land two major …

4.19: Angel Maintenance (with Fmr. Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning)

March 28th, 2018


Please set your cell phones to airplane mode, it’s Angel Maintenance time. In this episode we’re joined by former Acting Secretary of the Air Force (and former Secretary of the Army) Eric Fanning for lots of juicy …

4.18: Privateers (with Allison Janney, Jeff Perry, Helen Slayton-Hughes, and the DAR)

March 21st, 2018


Privateers has a special place in our hearts because we love the scene where Allison Janney can’t stop laughing - and she’s here with us to talk about the fugue state necessary to create such memorable giggles. We’re …

4.17: Red Haven’s on Fire (with Senator Tammy Duckworth and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich)

March 7th, 2018


The Laurens make good! West Wing writer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich joins us to recap Red Haven's on Fire and share stories of the real world Lauren confusion behind this episode. And Senator Tammy Duckworth tells us what …

4.16: The California 47th

February 28th, 2018


Ah, Miss Hamantaschen! It's the California 47th. Josh and Hrishi discuss the linguistic nuance of Rice Krispies and what one calls the treats made …

0.05: Big Block of Cheese Live (with Dulé Hill, The Memory Palace, The Allusionist, and more)

February 21st, 2018


A live Big Block of Cheese Day from San Francisco Sketch Fest! Hrishi and Josh are joined by Dulé Hill to answer questions from fans - including a …

4.15: Inauguration: Over There (with Gene Sperling)

February 14th, 2018


For our discussion of Inauguration: Over There, Josh regales Hrishi with tales of shooting in his underwear and throwing snowballs at Janel Moloney. …

4.14: Inauguration: Part 1 (with Danica McKellar)

February 7th, 2018


Inauguration: Part I is the first part of our two-part series about a two-part series of West Wing episodes. Josh and Hrishi dig up fun facts about presidential bibles, and cast a critical eye on CJ's flirting and …

4.13: The Long Goodbye (with Jon Robin Baitz and The Alzheimer’s Association)

January 31st, 2018


As the West Wing takes a trip to Dayton, OH, for The Long Goodbye, Josh and Hrishi talk to playwright Jon Robin Baitz, who playwrought the episode. He talks about how his own father's illness informed the script in ways …

4.12: Guns Not Butter (with MAZON and The ONE Campaign)

January 24th, 2018


For our discussion of Guns Not Butter, Josh and Hrishi go on a hunt for Hrishi’s Hebrew name that is almost as intense as Donna’s quest to get Josh’s phone into the hands of Senator Hardin. Tom Hart of ONE (@OneCampaign

4.11: Holy Night (with The Whiffenpoofs and Robert Malina)

January 17th, 2018


On the West Wing, it’s Toby’s birthday (December 23), and his father visits. On the West Wing Weekly, it’s Josh’s birthday (January 17), and HIS father visits. We turn to Mr Robert Malina for some Yiddish info and some …

4.10: Arctic Radar (with Richard Schiff, John David Coles, and Fmr. Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu)

December 20th, 2017


One of us! One of us! Will Bailey finally arrives in the West Wing and we've got a trio of guests to welcome him. Former Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) talks about the (nonexistent) precedent for cabinet …

4.09: Swiss Diplomacy (with Kevin Falls and Eli Attie)

December 13th, 2017


Eli Attie (@EliAttie) and Kevin Falls (@KevinFalls) are our guests to talk about the “break glass in case of emergency” writing that went into “Swiss Diplomacy”, a rare episode without a Sorkin writing credit. These …

4.08: Process Stories (with Joanna Gleason)

December 5th, 2017


Stock up on Cheetos, because Joanna Gleason (@TheRealJGleason) is our guest and she’s got a drinking game - sorry, an eating game - for anyone who loves to pick apart Bradley Whitford’s acting technique. Needless to …

4.07: Election Night (with Clark Gregg)

November 21st, 2017


As the characters anxiously await election results and Donna tries to swap votes with Christian Slater, Josh and Hrishi interview Clark Gregg (

4.06: Game On (with Rob Lowe, Bradley Whitford, and Joshua Malina)

November 15th, 2017


Hrishi and Josh welcome special guest Joshua Malina to talk about Joshua Malina’s first episode as Will Bailey. [fanfare] With special appearances by Bradley Whitford, Rob Lowe, and Joshua Malina.

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4.05: Debate Camp (with Ronald Klain)

November 7th, 2017


To discuss the Bartlet Administration's debate camp, we're joined once again by Ronald Klain, who has been in charge of debate prep for every Democratic presidential candidate since 2004.

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4.04: The Red Mass

November 1st, 2017


Pretty much one long “ai yi yi.”

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4.03: College Kids (with Aimee Mann and Fmr. Secretary of Education John King, Jr.)

October 25th, 2017


This week, we’re joined by former Secretary of Education John King, Jr. (@JohnBKing) and Aimee Mann (@aimeemann) to discuss “College Kids”.

For …

4.02: 20 Hours in America, Part Two (with Christopher Misiano)

October 18th, 2017


Josh and Hrishi discuss second part of Season 4 premiere with episode director, Christopher Misiano. West Wing Weekly love episode!

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4.01: 20 Hours in America, Part One (with John Gallagher, Jr.)

October 11th, 2017


Our discussion of Season 4 begins! We’re joined by John Gallagher, Jr., who made his Sorkin debut in the premiere, years before he would go on to …

4.00: President Bartlet Special (with Martin Sheen)

October 4th, 2017


Martin Sheen joined Josh and Hrishi for a conversation about The West Wing, The American President, Aaron Sorkin, and more.

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0.04: Big Block of Cheese III (with 99% Invisible)

September 27th, 2017


Before we dive into Season 4, we're answering some pressing listener questions like: why hasn't Martin Sheen been on the podcast yet? Plus questions about music, musicals, and underwear. (Don't be scared.) And to go …

3.22: Posse Comitatus (Live with Aaron Sorkin, Allison Janney, and Melissa Fitzgerald)

September 20th, 2017


To discuss the Season 3 finale, we traveled to San Francisco to record a live episode at the Castro Theatre. We'd announced the show would be with a …

3.21: We Killed Yamamoto

September 13th, 2017


Josh and Hrishi discuss a few conflicts central to this episode and its making: Amy vs Josh, President Bartlet vs moral absolutes, and script …

3.20: The Black Vera Wang (with Mark Harmon)

September 6th, 2017


We’re joined by Mark Harmon to discuss all things Simon Donovan. Our interview with him spans the rest of Season 3, so if you're watching The West Wing for the first time, be warned that spoilers abound during that part …

3.19: Enemies Foreign and Domestic

August 23rd, 2017


A correction: Eli Attie's teacher, Mrs Morello, is alive. A reminder: Paxton Whitehead, who played Bernard, is also alive. Josh and Hrishi discuss Russians being played by non-Russians, Tom Lehrer, and the Sorkinism of …

3.18: Documentary Special (with William Couturié)

August 16th, 2017


This week, Josh and Hrishi speak with the director of The West Wing Documentary Special episode.

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3.17: Stirred (with Eli Attie and Fmr Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu)

August 9th, 2017


This week we're joined by Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44), who served as the White House Cabinet Secretary during the first term of the Obama administration and the Deputy Secretary of Labor during the second term. He gives us …

3.16: The U.S. Poet Laureate (with Television Without Pity and David Wade)

August 2nd, 2017


We’re joined by two of the co-founders of the website Television Without Pity, Tara Ariano (@TaraAriano) and Sarah D. Bunting (@TomatoNation), to discuss the plotline—inspired by Aaron Sorkin’s own posts …

3.15: Dead Irish Writers (with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau)

July 26th, 2017


In light of Donna's brief time as a Canadian in “Dead Irish Writers,” we’re honored to be joined this week by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau). (We know. We can't believe it either.) The PM …

3.14: Hartsfield's Landing

July 19th, 2017


This week, our discussion ranges from chess and poker games, to code switching, to West Wing Weekly themed fart machines. All this, plus Josh, the master prankster, ranks the pranks in CJ and Charlie’s prank war. For …

3.13: Night Five

July 12th, 2017


To get some real-world insight into the Sam/Ainsley/Celia scene in Night Five, we invited three West Wing Weekly listeners – Amy Carlson, Jamie Lynn Crofts, and Debora Verdier, employment attorneys in three different …

3.12: The Two Bartlets (with Blanche Sindelar)

June 28th, 2017


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 …

3.10: H. Con-172

June 14th, 2017


Is Cliff Calley actually a good guy? Hrishi thinks it’s obvious. Josh thinks he’s not so great. Meet us in the Georgetown Law Library so we can discuss. For more, go to

3.09: Bartlet for America (with John Spencer)

June 7th, 2017


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 …

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

May 31st, 2017


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) …

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

May 24th, 2017


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

3.06: Gone Quiet

May 17th, 2017


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 …

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

May 9th, 2017


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 …

3.04: On The Day Before (with Janel Moloney)

May 3rd, 2017


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 …

3.03: Ways and Means (with Eli Attie)

April 26th, 2017


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. …

3.02: Manchester, Part II (with Connie Britton)

April 19th, 2017


Josh and Hrishi are joined by Connie Britton (@conniebritton) to discuss the second half of the Season 3 premiere. I made a joke about Freudian slips in the show notes for Part I (“Josh and Hrishi try to sort their way …

3.01: Manchester, Part I

April 11th, 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. 

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

April 5th, 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 …

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

March 22nd, 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 (@

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

March 15th, 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. …

2.21: 18th and Potomac (with Oliver Platt)

March 8th, 2017


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


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

March 1st, 2017


Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) joins Josh and Hrishi to discuss her role as Joey Lucas. Along with her interpreter, Jack Jason (@655Jack), she pranked …

2.19: Bad Moon Rising

February 22nd, 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 …

2.18: 17 People (with Richard Schiff, Emily Procter, Rebecca Walker)

February 15th, 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 …

2.17: The Stackhouse Filibuster (Live with Bradley Whitford)

February 8th, 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 …

2.16: Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail (with Rob Lowe)

February 1st, 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 …

2.15: Ellie (with Nina Siemaszko)

January 25th, 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!, …

2.14: The War At Home

January 18th, 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 …

What's Next? featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda [clean]

January 16th, 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 …

What's Next? featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda [explicit]

January 16th, 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 …

2.13: Bartlet's Third State of the Union (with Don Baer, Fmr. White House Communications Director)

January 11th, 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 …

0.03: Big Block of Cheese II

December 21st, 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 …

2.12: The Drop In (with Kim Webster)

December 14th, 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, …

2.11: The Leadership Breakfast

December 6th, 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. …

2.10: Noël (with Bradley Whitford and Ellen Totleben)

November 30th, 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 …

2.09: Galileo

November 16th, 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 …

2.08: Shibboleth

November 8th, 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 …

2.07: The Portland Trip (with Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, Congressman Brendan Boyle, and Fmr. Congressman Steve Gunderson)

November 2nd, 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 …

2.06: The Lame Duck Congress (with Dave Chameides)

October 26th, 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

2.05: And It's Surely to Their Credit

October 19th, 2016


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

2.04: In This White House (with Emily Procter and Ambassador Deborah Birx)

October 12th, 2016


Ginger, get the popcorn, because we're joined by Emily Procter (@emilyprocter) to talk about her first appearance on the West Wing as Ainsley Hayes. Plus, for some context and perspective on the storyline about AIDS in …

2.03: The Midterms

October 5th, 2016


While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, it's in fact the weekly meeting of the West Wing TV Book Club. (The Ignorant Tight-Ass Club meets down the hall, on the right.)

2.02: In The Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part II (with Bradley Whitford and Michael O'Neill)

September 28th, 2016


In Part II of our double header, Bradley Whitford (@WhitfordBradley) makes his West Wing Weekly debut to talk about getting the role of Josh Lyman, …

2.01: In The Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part I (with Thomas Schlamme)

September 28th, 2016


"In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" was the Season 2 premiere of the West Wing. The two-part episode aired as a special 2-hour broadcast. In honor of that, here's our own two-part episode. 

In Part I, we're joined by …

2.00: Special Interim Session (with Aaron Sorkin)

September 20th, 2016


West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin joins Josh and Hrishi for a special episode. Aaron reflects on the experience of making the first season of the West Wing while making the second season of Sports Night at the same time. …

1.22: What Kind of Day Has It Been (with Tim Matheson)

September 7th, 2016


For the finale of season one: you get Hoynes. Tim Matheson (@Tim_Matheson) joins us as we reflect on what kind of season it has been. Plus, a little preview of what's next.

1.21: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics (with Bill O'Brien)

August 31st, 2016


Josh and Hrishi are joined by Bill O'Brien to talk about his role as Kenny Thurman. This West Wing episode focuses on polling, so here's a poll …

1.20: Mandatory Minimums (with Kathleen York and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson)

August 24th, 2016


Kathleen "Bird" York (@birdyork) talks to us about playing Congresswoman Andrea Wyatt, and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson (@karenaboutgary), former CEO of The National Association of Drug Court Professionals and current …

1.19: Let Bartlet Be Bartlet (with Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy)

August 17th, 2016


This episode of the West Wing represents the lowest point so far for the Bartlet team, but perhaps the highest point so far for the series. Josh and Hrishi are joined by The Honorable Patrick Murphy (@USAMurphy), Under …

1.18: Six Meetings Before Lunch

August 10th, 2016


The Good: a conversation about reparations; the Bad: Mandy and pandas; and the Ugly: Josh and Sam dancing (?) to “The Jackal.” Plus, a few words from West Wing music supervisor Anne Kline (@theannkline). 

1.17: The White House Pro-Am

August 3rd, 2016


If you don't like this episode, just be wrong. Just stand there in your wrongness and be wrong and get used to it. Plus, Hrishi brings back a field report from the Democratic National Convention, with thoughts on The …

1.16: 20 Hours in L.A.

July 27th, 2016


We live in Los Angeles, but no one has offered *us* a development deal. We're going to the wrong parties.

1.15: Celestial Navigation (with Jay Carney)

July 20th, 2016


Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (@JayCarney) joins Josh and Hrishi to discuss Josh Lyman's secret plan to fight inflation, and other ways press briefings can go horribly, horribly wrong.

0.02: Live with FiveThirtyEight

July 13th, 2016


Josh and Hrishi team up with the FiveThirtyEight Elections Podcast to discuss how polling is used in The West Wing, by looking at a few scenes from …

1.14: Take This Sabbath Day

July 6th, 2016


Like Toby in this episode, Josh and Hrishi go to shul to try and learn more about the death penalty and faith. They have a conversation with Rabbi …

1.13: Take Out the Trash Day (with Senator Bob Casey and Liza Weil)

June 29th, 2016


This episode of the West Wing deals with hate crimes, and our discussion comes close on the heels of the massacre in Orlando. So, we asked Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) about the current state of hate crime …

1.12: He Shall, from Time to Time…

June 22nd, 2016


Is it right to defend someone, even when they've asked you not to? Josh and Hrishi debate. Plus, a supercut of The West Wing opening theme music with accompanying lyrics, from submissions sent to us by West Wing Weekly …

0.01: West Wing Reunion (Live from ATX)

June 15th, 2016


Live from the ATX Television Festival, a panel discussion looking back at the West Wing. With Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme, Janel Moloney, Richard …

1.11: Lord John Marbury (With William Duffy and Peter James Smith)

June 7th, 2016


According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, Josh and Hrishi are joined by William Duffy (@WilliamDuffy_) and Peter James Smith (@PJSActor), who played Ed and Larry.

1.10, continued: Memorial Day Special (with Melissa Fitzgerald)

May 30th, 2016


On this Memorial Day, we bring you a special episode with Melissa Fitzgerald (@maffyfitz) talking about her work with Justice for Vets.

1.10: In Excelsis Deo (with Richard Schiff)

May 25th, 2016


Richard Schiff (@Richard_Schiff) joins Josh and Hrishi to talk about "In Excelsis Deo." His performance as Toby in this episode earned him his first Emmy win.

1.09: The Short List (with Ronald Klain)

May 18th, 2016


The path to a Supreme Court nomination takes us through a discussion of the right to privacy. Plus, Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) tells us about the real-life short list that he put together for President Clinton that led …

1.08: Enemies

May 11th, 2016


Retribution, romance, and The Antiquities Act. Plus, Josh and Hrishi attempt their own Big Block of Cheese Day.

1.07: The State Dinner (with Lyn Paolo)

May 4th, 2016


Josh and Hrishi largely disagree with each other about this episode. Plus, award-winning costume designer Lyn Paolo (@lynpaolo) discusses her work …

1.06: Mr. Willis of Ohio (with Janel Moloney)

April 27th, 2016


Janel Moloney (@nellymoloney) joins Josh and Hrishi to talk about playing Donna, and Ben Casselman (@bencasselman) gives an update on the state of …

1.05: The Crackpots and These Women (with Eli Attie)

April 20th, 2016


For Big Block of Cheese Day, Josh and Hrishi are joined by Eli Attie, who was Vice President Al Gore's chief speechwriter before leaving politics and …

1.04: Five Votes Down

April 13th, 2016


The limits of practical idealism. Plus, Hrishi sets Leo's dialogue to music, and Josh unwittingly reveals a secret.

1.03: A Proportional Response (with Dulé Hill)

April 6th, 2016


Dulé Hill joins Josh and Hrishi to talk about shooting his first episode of The West Wing, visiting the real White House, and losing to Martin Sheen …

1.02: "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc"

March 30th, 2016


Latin, the Vice President, Morris Tolliver, and more.

1.01: Pilot

March 23rd, 2016


Josh and Hrishi discuss the West Wing’s pilot episode, in the pilot episode of this podcast.

0.00: Cold Open

March 15th, 2016


Introducing The West Wing Weekly.

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