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Original Airdate 12-20-00 Rerun 12-19-01

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It's the Christmas season at the White House but Josh (Bradley Whitford) is anything but merry. For one thing, the holiday music that Toby insists fill the halls sounds to Josh as though it belongs in a shopping mall. Beyond that, he's being rude to everyone, even raising his voice to the President, something that just isn't done. So Leo (John Spencer) orders therapy. Meanwhile, C.J. (Allison Janney) takes interest when an elderly woman on a tour of the White House loses her composure at the sight of a painting. And the President (Martin Sheen) decides that he wants to sign all his Christmas cards---well, maybe just 100,000 of them---personally.
From NBC:
Christmas draws near as an unstable Josh (Bradley Whitford) is ordered by Leo (John Spencer) to consult with a doctor who specializes in analyzing trauma victims. What's particularly telling is Josh's identification with a dead fighter pilot who recently took his own life by deliberately crashing his jet -- a man who coincidentally shared his birthday and experienced emotional trauma after being shot down over Bosnia. Elsewhere: the President wants to personally sign all of his Christmas cards -- which total hundreds of thousands; Sam (Rob Lowe) confronts a representative of the Energy Secretary who publicly advocates release of federal oil reserves; C.J. (Allison Janney) gets personally involved when a foreign White House tourist becomes extremely agitated at the sight of a painting donated by the French government.


Rob Lowe as Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn Deputy Communications Director
Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Personal Aide to the President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Press Secretary
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
Richard Schiff as Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler Communications Director
John Spencer as Leo Thomas McGarry Chief of Staff
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Deputy Chief of Staff
Martin Sheen as
Jed (Josiah Edward) Bartlet President of the United States
Special Guest Star
Adam Arkin as
Dr. Stanley Keyworth ATVA Psychiatrist
Guest Starring    
Paxton Whitehead as Bernard Thatch  
Gregalan Williams as Robbie Mosley Military Officer
Gary Cervantes as Bobby Civilian Advisor
Daniel von Bargen as Ken previously "Jack" / Military Officer
Special Appearance By
Yo-Yo Ma as
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) / Reporter
Purva Bedi as Kaytha Trask ATVA trainee
Jana Lee Hamblin as Reporter Bobbi  
Timothy Davis-Reed as Reporter Mark  
Robert Noble as Valet  
Deborah Snipes as Staffer  
Eric A. Payne as Secret Service Agent  
Greg Wrangler as Secret Service Agent  
Michael Crider as David Housman Rebecca Housman's son
Etyl Leder as Rebecca Housman Woman on WH tour

Information Links

Christmas at the White House


Emmy Awards

Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series Nomination for
Kenneth Hardy
Ellen Totleben
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series Win for
Thomas Del Ruth, A.S.C.
Submitted for consideration for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Win by
Bradley Whitford
Submitted for consideration for Outstanding Drama Series Win

ASC Awards

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Episodic TV Series Win for
Thomas Del Ruth, A.S.C.

DGA Awards

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series Night Win for
Thomas Schlamme

Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards

Best Contemporary Hair Styling - Television - Single Episode Nomination for
Jeffery Sacino
Tony Williams

Media Quotes

"I do get into it with Aaron when I think the young aides are getting too cheeky. Even with Bill Clinton, who is fairly casual and young, not your father's president, there still is a line. You just don't make flip remarks." - Dee Dee Myers

"High-Stakes TV"
by Karin Lipson and
Frank Lovece
February 27, 2000
New York Newsday

"When horrible things have happened in the White House, the tendency is for the staff to move beyond them quickly, and I think that's especially true of Josh," said [Bradley] Whitford.

"Whatever emotional response he's feeling is less important to him than his job," he added. "Besides, by the time he realizes he's having an emotional response because of the shooting, he'll try to avoid it."


"I don't think that Aaron wanted to do a conventional recovery scenario," said [Bradley] Whitford.

"He's in No Position For Josh-ing on 'Wing'"
by Donna Petrozzello
December 13, 2000
New York Daily News

A few hours later, the race would be settled; 36 hours later, NBC's coverage of Gore conceding to Bush would pre-empt the "West Wing" episode Whitford was here to promote.

On Election Day, it was [this] episode he had been shooting, he recalled, with cast and crew gravitating to TVs after each take to catch the latest returns.

Whitford laughed. "I had worked hard on the campaign and I was very anxious," he said. "Thank God it's an episode where I'm supposed to be emotionally discombobulated."

"Whitford loves just Joshin'"
by Frazier Moore
December 20, 2000
Associated Press

"King of the Hill" mastermind Mike Judge and the show's cast delighted TV reporters in Pasadena last week - by reading a scene from "The West Wing" in character aspropane poobah Hank Hill and pals.

Hank, of course, was President Josiah Bartlet, played on "West Wing" by Martin Sheen, with his best buds Dale, Bill and mumbling Boomhauer playing various roles.

The scene was taken from a popular "West Wing" episode from this season about a missing fighter pilot.

"The Starr Report"
by Michael Starr
January 15, 2001
New York Post

Our first two seasons we had Peter Parnell, who wrote The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket, Hyde in Hollywood, Romance Languages and Flaubert's Latest, all of which debuted at Playwrights Horizons in New York. He was also my first writing teacher. ... he traced the orgins of a painting that was hanging in the Blue Room of the White House, ... - Aaron "Benjamin" Sorkin

Posted at Forum
by Aaron "Benjamin" Sorkin
July 22, 2001

Q: A recent episode of "West Wing" mentioned a military pilot who disappeared with an armed plane several years ago. I remember the incident, but don't recall if the plane was found and the bombs recovered. What can you tell us?
- Jim Barken, Woodstock

A: The incident occurred on April 2, 1997, when a three-plane Air Force formation was flying on a training mission over Arizona. Capt. Craig Button was piloting the third aircraft, an A-10 Thunderbolt, and presumably was about to drop a 500-bomb on the bombing range when he suddenly left the pack and veered northeast toward Colorado.

Nearly 800 miles later, his plane disappeared from radar. Skiers near Vail reported hearing a crash and seeing smoke.

The wreckage was found in deep snow on Colorado's Gold Dust Peak after an 18-day search, but there was no trace of the four Mark 82 GP bombs that plane was carrying. Human remains that were found were identified as Button's.

Lacking any evidence of a mechanical problem or physical disorder, the Air Force eventually concluded that Button, 32, had committed suicide.

A footnote of interest: In August 1999, a hiker reported seeing a tail fin sticking out of some boulders on Colorado's Whitney Peak. Investigators found it to be a rusty, unexploded mortar round, possibly of World War II vintage. An explosives ordnance team from Fort Carson, Colo., blew it up.

by Colin Bessonette
January 9, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For more information about this episode:
Continuity Guide to "The West Wing"
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