117 “The Disaster Show” (Episode 17)

Allison Janney
Allison Janney as C.J. Craig
(promotional photo from “The West Wing”)
NBC Photo
Broadcast: May 24, 2007
Teleplay by: Aaron Sorkin
Story by: Chad Gomez Creasey & Dara Resnick Creasey
Directed by: Thomas Schlamme
Guest Host
Allison Janney
Music Guest
Macy Gray singing Finally Made Me Happy
Quotes, Dialogue, Plot Points
  • Matt, Danny and Jordan, do not appear in this episode.
  • Tom and Lucy are now an “item”, planning a short vacation to Hawaii (with Simon and his girlfriend, or whoever he finds to replace her).
  • Jack to Cal, “If a bomb goes off after we got a warning, do you know what will happen to our insurance premiums?”
    “Yeah. Plus people will get hurt.”
    “I guess it would be fundamentally wrong of me to leave the building, get in my car, drive as far away as possible.”
    “Yeah, I’m going to go back to work.”
    “…It’s going to be a good show tonight?”
    With the strike of the prop people, the cue card people and now a bomb threat, Cal, running the show on his own, understandably responds, “Don’t see how.”
  • As Allison is saying goodnight at the end of the show, one of the bomb sniffing dogs comes up to sniff her and finally she explodes into a rant with broad gestures, “All right. You know what? That’s it…. The whole night has been a complete disaster. The prop guys walked out because Danny Tripp is an idiot. And there were no cue cards. And I had no cash in my wallet. And the machine gun went off a half hour after I got shot.”
    Cal tells her through the receiver in her ear, “Allison, Allison. I turned off your mic after you said ‘That’s our show.’ Nobody can hear you. You’re just coming off like a madwoman. Now, I’m turning you on in the control room. If you can hear me say, ‘Thank you.’” And after she gains control again, she does say it and Cal responds, “It was a bad show…. I mean classically bad. But it still beats digging a hole for a living, right?” Allison chuckles at that and Cal continues, “Tell me you still didn’t have the time of your life tonight.”
    After another pause, she enunciates, “Thank you!”
—More Info Coming Soon—
From CinimaBlend:”Watching Thursday’s episode, titled ‘The Disaster Show,’ was in some ways a reminder of why the show seemed like it would be great to begin with. Allison Janney was guest-starring as, well, the guest-host of the fictional sketch show, and seeing her paired again with Timothy Busfield, who played her love interest on ‘The West Wing,’ added enough sparkle to float the entire episode.The typical series of romantic double-crosses and foibles happened backstage, with Simon and Tom planning a romantic getaway to Hawaii with their girls and Harriet, as always, mooning over Matt.”
  • “STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP”– ORIGINAL EPISODE RETURNS — ALLISON JANNEY GUEST STARS–Allison Janney (”The West Wing”) guest hosts the show that goes haywire when the propmasters and cue card workers stage a last minute wildcat strike. (source NBC)
  • “Playing herself, Allison Janney winds up on an out-of-control set when the prop masters and cue-card workers strike unexpectedly.” (source TV Guide)
  • Bradley Whitford, Steven Weber, D.L. Hughley, Sarah Paulson, Timothy Busfield and Nathan Corddry also star. (source NBC)