TV & Film

The West Wing Weekly

Joshua Malina & Hrishikesh Hirway

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An episode-by-episode discussion of The West Wing, 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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7.02: The Mommy Problem

54:11 | Jul 17th

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 Eli Attie. So get ready cuz, as S...Show More
7.01: The Ticket

56:00 | Jul 10th

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 tent—as Josh and Hrishi sort throu...Show More
0.14: Veep (with Gary Cole and David Mandel)

46:53 | Jun 26th

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 Davison in the brilliant, vicious, hilarious Veep, so we decided to celebrate two great(?) Vice President...Show More
6.22: 2162 Votes (Live with Mary McCormack and Lawrence O'Donnell)

1:11:03 | Jun 19th

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?! For more, visit thewestwingweekly...Show More
6.21: Things Fall Apart (with Jennifer Palmieri)

1:06:14 | Jun 12th

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 is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.  With sp...Show More
6.20: In God We Trust (with Alan Alda and Rev. Katey Zeh)

1:20:46 | Jun 5th

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. For more, visit thewestwingw...Show More
6.19: Ninety Miles Away

43:17 | May 29th

"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. For more, visit
0.13: Graphic Design for President! (with Michael Bierut and Leslie Wah)

1:00:07 | May 22nd

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 goes into designing a Presidenti...Show More
6.18: La Palabra (with Eli Attie and Angelica Salas of CHIRLA)

1:02:16 | May 15th

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 real story behind California’s f...Show More
6.17: A Good Day (with Richard Schiff)

59:01 | May 8th

Richard Schiff returns as our guest this week to tell us about his experience directing "A Good Day." For more, visit
6.16: Drought Conditions (with Debora Cahn and Richard Schiff)

1:14:20 | May 1st

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. For more, visit
0.12: How Barack Obama Shaped Matthew Santos (with David Axelrod and Eli Attie)

34:51 | Apr 24th

"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 to find out what Eli learned an...Show More
6.15: Freedonia (with Eli Attie)

1:12:23 | Apr 17th

Eli Attie joins us to discuss the Santos campaign, the return of Amy Gardner, and the Marx Brothers. For more, visit
6.14: The Wake Up Call (with Lawrence Lessig)

57:35 | Apr 10th

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

1:20:20 | Apr 3rd

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 cream sandwich. We talk Ned & Ronna with Evan Arnold & Karis Campbell, we talk Turkey with West Wing ...Show More
0.11: Big Block of Cheese Special

38:13 | Mar 26th

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 own. We're always fondue these e...Show More
6.12: 365 Days (with Fmr. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken)

56:12 | Mar 20th

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 Kate Harper, to talk about how h...Show More
6.11: Opposition Research (with Mayor Pete Buttigieg)

1:05:02 | Mar 13th

We’re joined by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 2020 Presidential hopeful, for our discussion of “Opposition Research,” in which Matt Santos travels to New Hampshire to introduce himself to the electorate. For more, visit
6.10: Faith Based Initiative (with Bradley Whitford)

55:06 | Mar 6th

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 pick it apart. For more, visit ...Show More
0.10: In the Writers' Room (with Paul Redford)

45:22 | Feb 27th

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 Wing storylines, and we’re long overdue for a chat with him, so we’re making up for lost time with thi...Show More
6.09: Impact Winter (with Ben Murray)

48:42 | Feb 19th

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. For more, visit thewestwingwe...Show More
6.08: In the Room (with Penn & Teller)

50:31 | Feb 13th

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 & Teller, who light a flag on fire ...Show More
6.07: A Change Is Gonna Come (Live with Mary McCormack and Roman Mars)

1:06:54 | Feb 6th

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 noted flag expert, drops some vexillological knowledge. Special thanks to Professor Rebecca Nedostup...Show More
0.09: Casting Special (with Tony Sepulveda)

17:00 | Jan 30th

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 Seasons 3 and 4. For more, visit
6.06: The Dover Test

55:34 | Jan 23rd

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 need a bipartisan summit with Red Vines families and Twizzler families so we can discuss all of this an...Show More
6.05: The Hubbert Peak

56:27 | Jan 16th

In this episode, a little chess, to test cognitive ability. First move: SUV to Prius. What's the opposite of checkmate? For more, visit
6.04: Liftoff (with Allison Janney)

1:01:15 | Jan 9th

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. For more, visit
6.03: Third-Day Story

43:25 | Dec 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 holiday. Grab a muskmelon and a plate of brownies, and hit play! For more, visit More
6.02: The Birnam Wood (with Fmr. Ambassador Jacob Walles)

56:20 | Dec 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 ambassador Jacob Walles tells us about the years he dedicated to brokering Mideast peace, including h...Show More
6.01: NSF Thurmont

51:24 | Dec 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 up a chair and join us for the discussion at Camp Josiah. For more, visit
0.08: Meet the Twwweam (Bonus Mini-Episode)

08:01 | Nov 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 right now! For more, visit
0.07: Parks and Recreation (with Rob Lowe, Adam Scott and Michael Schur)

1:46:09 | Nov 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 parallels between the Bartlet Wh...Show More
5.22: Memorial Day (with Josh Singer)

1:15:58 | Nov 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? For more, visit
5.21: Gaza (with Jason Isaacs and Janel Moloney)

1:13:48 | Nov 7th, 2018

We're joined by special guests Jason Isaacs and Janel Moloney to discuss the big, ambitious, penultimate episode of Season 5. For more, visit
5.20: No Exit (with Fmr. Senator Tom Daschle, Wilson Cruz, and Eli Attie)

1:07:25 | Oct 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 episodes on The West Wing; and Eli Att...Show More
5.19: Talking Points (with Richard Schiff)

1:21:25 | Oct 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, visit
5.18: Access

46:38 | Oct 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. For more, visit
5.17: The Supremes (with Debora Cahn)

1:08:19 | Oct 3rd, 2018

We hereby appoint the Honorable Debora T. Cahn, West Wing writer, for the position of Chief Guestice of The Supremes episode. For more, visit
5.16: Eppur Si Muove (with Dr Muller Fabbri and Jason Zengerle)

1:22:47 | Sep 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 grants and the federal judiciary with help from cancer researcher Dr Muller Fabbri and political journalis...Show More
5.15: Full Disclosure (with Lawrence O'Donnell)

1:21:28 | Sep 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 to discuss how he wrote this episode, how Richard Schiff changed its meaning without changing a word...Show More
5.14: An Khe

50:47 | Sep 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. For more, visit
5.13: The Warfare of Genghis Khan (with Fmr. Congressman John Tierney and Jacob Keaton)

1:07:23 | Sep 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 former congressman and nonproliferation advocate John Tierney, who catches us up on nuclear politics the...Show More
5.12: Slow News Day (with Eli Attie and Nancy Altman)

1:19:01 | Aug 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 shares his memories about real...Show More
5.11: The Benign Prerogative (with Janel Moloney)

1:11:31 | Aug 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 talk about Donna's moving storyline in this episode. Plus, Lin-Manuel Miranda makes a little cameo (#Ha...Show More
5.10: The Stormy Present (with Bellamy Young)

1:00:54 | Aug 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, visit
5.08: Shutdown (with Gene Sperling)

1:01:59 | Jul 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 Clinton's shutdown game plan to ...Show More
5.07: Separation of Powers (with Michael Hyatt)

1:07:14 | Jul 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 headlines—we’re talking about “...Show More
5.06: Disaster Relief (with Alexa Junge and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich)

49:23 | Jul 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 propulgate the backstory of this episode onto the frontstory. Like President Bartlet in Oklahoma, you'll never...Show More
5.05: Constituency of One (with Jennifer Palmieri)

1:04:48 | Jun 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 Lady. Plus, we speak with Communi...Show More
5.04: Han (with Paula Yoo)

1:05:42 | Jun 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 come, Josh and Hrishi interview ...Show More
5.03: Jefferson Lives

47:30 | Jun 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. For more, visit
5.02: The Dogs of War

48:48 | Jun 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, visit
5.01: 7A WF 83429 (Live with Bradley Whitford and Ronald Klain)

1:08:27 | 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 discuss the suspense of the Season 5 premiere — a fateful moment for the characters, and the show itself. ...Show More
4.24: Season 4 Retrospective (Live with Aaron Sorkin and Emily Procter)

1:24:27 | 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 goodbye. He surprised us with ...Show More
4.23: Twenty Five (Live with Thomas Schlamme)

1:21:11 | 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. For more, visit
4.22: Commencement (Live with Bradley Whitford, Ronald Klain, and Melissa Fitzgerald)

1:07:32 | 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 anomalies—with special guests Bradley Whitford, Ronald Klain, and Melissa Fitzgerald. Plus: a surprise guest who’s...Show More
4.21: Life on Mars (Live with Richard Schiff, Eli Attie, and The Swingles)

1:25:49 | Apr 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 capella group, The Swingles (@...Show More
4.20: Evidence of Things Not Seen (Live with Richard Schiff and Marlee Matlin)

1:10:44 | Apr 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. Cilantro! For more, visit thewestwin...Show More
0.06: Hamilton Special (with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail)

1:10:44 | Apr 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 Broadway talents? The two gall...Show More
4.19: Angel Maintenance (with Fmr. Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning)

1:02:20 | Mar 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 details about Air Force One, includi...Show More
4.18: Privateers (with Allison Janney, Jeff Perry, Helen Slayton-Hughes, and the DAR)

1:21:16 | Mar 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 also joined by Josh’s Scandal cos...Show More
4.17: Red Haven’s on Fire (with Senator Tammy Duckworth and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich)

1:16:03 | Mar 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 to expect when you're a senator ...Show More
4.16: The California 47th

53:35 | Feb 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 from them. And, Mrs Hottentot, Hrishi introduces a handy online tool for President Bartlet: the Debbie ...Show More
0.05: Big Block of Cheese Live (with Dulé Hill, The Memory Palace, The Allusionist, and more)

1:09:30 | Feb 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 semi-surprise guest. Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace (@thememorypalace) podcast tells the history of th...Show More
4.15: Inauguration: Over There (with Gene Sperling)

1:03:37 | Feb 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. Plus, we’re joined by West Wing writer and former Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sper...Show More
4.14: Inauguration: Part 1 (with Danica McKellar)

1:09:55 | Feb 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 Josh's mean sass about Jack Reese. T...Show More
4.13: The Long Goodbye (with Jon Robin Baitz and The Alzheimer’s Association)

47:50 | Jan 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 he didn't realize at the time,...Show More
4.12: Guns Not Butter (with MAZON and The ONE Campaign)

1:08:52 | Jan 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) makes the case for foreign ai...Show More
4.11: Holy Night (with The Whiffenpoofs and Robert Malina)

1:13:07 | Jan 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 Joshish insights. Plus, we’re j...Show More
4.10: Arctic Radar (with Richard Schiff, John David Coles, and Fmr. Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu)

1:30:37 | Dec 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 resignations; director John David Col...Show More
4.09: Swiss Diplomacy (with Kevin Falls and Eli Attie)

1:14:25 | Dec 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 guys have stories! And they’ll tel...Show More
4.08: Process Stories (with Joanna Gleason)

57:54 | Dec 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 say, Josh is on board. It’s a prob...Show More
4.07: Election Night (with Clark Gregg)

1:06:48 | Nov 21st, 2017

As the characters anxiously await election results and Donna tries to swap votes with Christian Slater, Josh and Hrishi interview Clark Gregg (@ClarkGregg) about how everybody wants to call him Agent Something. And, Josh looks back fondly on the migh...Show More
4.06: Game On (with Rob Lowe, Bradley Whitford, and Joshua Malina)

1:25:30 | Nov 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. For more, visit
4.05: Debate Camp (with Ronald Klain)

59:01 | Nov 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. For more, visit
4.04: The Red Mass

54:00 | Nov 1st, 2017

Pretty much one long “ai yi yi.” For more, visit
4.03: College Kids (with Aimee Mann and Fmr. Secretary of Education John King, Jr.)

1:14:24 | Oct 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 more, visit
4.02: 20 Hours in America, Part Two (with Christopher Misiano)

1:23:58 | Oct 18th, 2017

Josh and Hrishi discuss second part of Season 4 premiere with episode director, Christopher Misiano. West Wing Weekly love episode! For more, visit
4.01: 20 Hours in America, Part One (with John Gallagher, Jr.)

1:00:17 | Oct 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 star in The Newsroom. Here we go, cuties! For more, visit
4.00: President Bartlet Special (with Martin Sheen)

1:05:25 | Oct 4th, 2017

Martin Sheen joined Josh and Hrishi for a conversation about The West Wing, The American President, Aaron Sorkin, and more. For more, visit
0.04: Big Block of Cheese III (with 99% Invisible)

58:52 | Sep 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 along with our new Bartlet's Army ...Show More
3.22: Posse Comitatus (Live with Aaron Sorkin, Allison Janney, and Melissa Fitzgerald)

1:04:13 | Sep 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 special guest: Aaron Sorkin. But what we didn't tell anyone was that we'd also be joined by a couple ...Show More
3.21: We Killed Yamamoto

47:32 | Sep 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 deadlines vs directing schedules. For more, visit
3.20: The Black Vera Wang (with Mark Harmon)

1:02:31 | Sep 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 of this episode. For more, vis...Show More
3.19: Enemies Foreign and Domestic

1:00:00 | Aug 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 having nothing to do. Plus, to ...Show More
3.18: Documentary Special (with William Couturié)

34:46 | Aug 16th, 2017

This week, Josh and Hrishi speak with the director of The West Wing Documentary Special episode. For more, visit
3.17: Stirred (with Eli Attie and Fmr Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu)

1:05:35 | Aug 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 some real-world insight into Pres...Show More
3.16: The U.S. Poet Laureate (with Television Without Pity and David Wade)

1:07:14 | Aug 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 on TWoP. We’re also joined by D...Show More
3.15: Dead Irish Writers (with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau)

1:02:29 | Jul 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 discusses political idealism – both o...Show More
3.14: Hartsfield's Landing

59:47 | Jul 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 more, visit More
3.13: Night Five

1:14:05 | Jul 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 states, representing both plainti...Show More
3.12: The Two Bartlets (with Blanche Sindelar)

1:05:40 | Jun 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 Wing — the keeper of Gail’s fi...Show More
3.11: 100,000 Airplanes (with Dr. Leo Mascarenhas)

1:01:34 | Jun 21st, 2017

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...Show More
3.10: H. Con-172

49:38 | Jun 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)

1:24:47 | Jun 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 Newsource. He interviewed John...Show More
3.08: The Women of Qumar (with Allison Janney, Fmr UN Ambassador Sarah Mendelson, and Tim Ballard)

1:29:05 | 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) as well as with Tim Ballard (@...Show More
3.07: The Indians in the Lobby (with W.G. Snuffy Walden)

1:12:03 | 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

52:08 | 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 Musical." For more, visit thewestw...Show More
3.05: War Crimes (with Fmr. UN Ambassador David Pressman)

1:23:49 | 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 podcast to discuss the "War Crim...Show More
3.04: On The Day Before (with Janel Moloney)

1:05:49 | 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 performance in this episode. Alas, she did not help us learn to tie a proper bow tie. (At the end of the ...Show More
3.03: Ways and Means (with Eli Attie)

54:54 | Apr 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. Plus, we talk about the importance ...Show More
3.02: Manchester, Part II (with Connie Britton)

1:06:49 | Apr 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 through it all without making a...Show More
3.01: Manchester, Part I

45:20 | Apr 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)

1:25:09 | Apr 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 on it to find some common ground. We're also joined by Ajay Naidu to discuss his role as Rakim Ali. A...Show More
2.22: Two Cathedrals (Part II, with Aaron Sorkin and Kirsten Nelson)

1:12:40 | Mar 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 (@NelsonKirsten) tells us about playing the role of the young Mrs Landingham. More
2.22: Two Cathedrals (Part I, with Lawrence O'Donnell and Mary Graham)

46:43 | Mar 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. Plus, Mary Graham, author of Pres...Show More
2.21: 18th and Potomac (with Oliver Platt)

57:58 | Mar 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)

1:18:52 | Mar 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 us pretty badly just before we recorded her interview. Listen for the brutal details of that, plus o...Show More
2.19: Bad Moon Rising

50:44 | Feb 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 of autism in 2.17: The Stackhouse Filibuster. Special thanks to Amy and Jill, who were two of the many...Show More
2.18: 17 People (with Richard Schiff, Emily Procter, Rebecca Walker)

1:09:06 | Feb 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 Sam. Rebecca Walker (@rebeccaw...Show More
2.17: The Stackhouse Filibuster (Live with Bradley Whitford)

59:08 | Feb 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 Festival. We also hear from Dee Per...Show More
2.16: Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail (with Rob Lowe)

1:24:15 | Feb 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 about the song… It’s the West W...Show More
2.15: Ellie (with Nina Siemaszko)

51:35 | Jan 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!, Smoot-Hawley, and other ridiculous sounding words. We also talk to Nina Siemaszko (@MsSiemaszko) abou...Show More
2.14: The War At Home

44:19 | Jan 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 edge. Plus, a discussion aroun...Show More
What's Next? featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda [clean]

03:51 | Jan 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 for the track! What's next?  ...Show More
What's Next? featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda [explicit]

03:51 | Jan 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 for the track! What's next? T...Show More
2.13: Bartlet's Third State of the Union (with Don Baer, Fmr. White House Communications Director)

1:08:35 | Jan 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 ready to go home, we only have one...Show More
0.03: Big Block of Cheese II

48:52 | Dec 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 from, well, everything else that ...Show More
2.12: The Drop In (with Kim Webster)

53:08 | Dec 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, baby — Plus, we're doing our FIRST EVER live taping. It's in San Francisco, on January 15, 2017, at...Show More
2.11: The Leadership Breakfast

45:21 | Dec 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. We've been holding on to her story until this episode. You'll hear why. Plus, a lot of #TrumpAiYiYi. t...Show More
2.10: Noël (with Bradley Whitford and Ellen Totleben)

1:12:35 | Nov 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 that you see Was her duty She was the West Wing Set Decorator And we’ll talk to Bradley Whitford la...Show More
2.09: Galileo

57:32 | Nov 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 working on the Mars 2020 mission at...Show More
2.08: Shibboleth

52:42 | Nov 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 chopping block and pulled apart like a turkey's giblets and flentls?! Introducing the TWWW University Swe...Show More
2.07: The Portland Trip (with Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, Congressman Brendan Boyle, and Fmr. Congressman Steve Gunderson)

1:07:06 | Nov 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 Wisconsin congressman Steve Gund...Show More
2.06: The Lame Duck Congress (with Dave Chameides)

51:54 | Oct 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) to talk about his Sorkinisms...Show More
2.05: And It's Surely to Their Credit

50:19 | Oct 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)

1:15:30 | Oct 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 Sub-Saharan Africa, we speak to...Show More
2.03: The Midterms

43:20 | Oct 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)

1:17:32 | Sep 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, and starting the season by getting shot. But first, we speak with Michael O'Neill , who played Special...Show More
2.01: In The Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part I (with Thomas Schlamme)

1:12:35 | Sep 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 director and executive producer Thomas...Show More
2.00: Special Interim Session (with Aaron Sorkin)

50:19 | Sep 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. We look back on the previous sea...Show More
1.22: What Kind of Day Has It Been (with Tim Matheson)

53:01 | Sep 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)

1:04:50 | Aug 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 question: do you approve or disapprove of the lack of Oxford comma in the title? More
1.20: Mandatory Minimums (with Kathleen York and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson)

1:09:02 | Aug 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 mayor of Gary, Indiana, talks to u...Show More
1.19: Let Bartlet Be Bartlet (with Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy)

56:57 | Aug 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 Secretary of the Army. While he...Show More
1.18: Six Meetings Before Lunch

42:19 | Aug 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

51:23 | Aug 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 West Wing from former DNC CEO Amy...Show More
1.16: 20 Hours in L.A.

42:21 | Jul 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)

1:16:49 | Jul 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

1:07:57 | Jul 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 the show. This episode was recorded live at the Crest Theatre in Los Angeles. We talk about scenes fro...Show More
1.14: Take This Sabbath Day

1:02:32 | Jul 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 Jonathan Spira-Savett. Plus, we email Aaron Sorkin to ask how Marlee Matlin came to be cast as Joey Luc...Show More
1.13: Take Out the Trash Day (with Senator Bob Casey and Liza Weil)

1:15:58 | Jun 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 legislation. We also talk to Liza Weil (...Show More
1.12: He Shall, from Time to Time…

45:50 | Jun 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 listeners.
0.01: West Wing Reunion (Live from ATX)

1:42:40 | Jun 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 Schiff, Bradley Whitford, Dulé Hill, Melissa Fitzgerald, and Joshua Malina, moderated by Lawrence O'Do...Show More
1.11: Lord John Marbury (With William Duffy and Peter James Smith)

1:02:47 | Jun 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)

22:54 | 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)

1:07:27 | 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)

50:40 | 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 to the appointment of Justice ...Show More
1.08: Enemies

48:51 | 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)

50:14 | 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 on the series and on this episode in particular, which earned her an Emmy nomination.
1.06: Mr. Willis of Ohio (with Janel Moloney)

1:00:39 | Apr 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 the census.
1.05: The Crackpots and These Women (with Eli Attie)

49:04 | Apr 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 joining The West Wing as a writer and producer. Plus, the truth about David Rosen.
1.04: Five Votes Down

31:21 | Apr 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)

51:40 | Apr 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 in 1-on-1.
1.02: "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc"

33:12 | Mar 30th, 2016

Latin, the Vice President, Morris Tolliver, and more.
1.01: Pilot

48:50 | Mar 23rd, 2016

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

03:53 | Mar 15th, 2016

Introducing The West Wing Weekly.