The West Wing: Where All My Favorite Shows Got Their Talent

When The Clone Wars writer Katie Lucas (yes, that Lucas) compared me to The West Wing’s Josh Lyman, and I admitted that I’d never seen the show, she strongly recommended that I watch it. Five minutes into the series pilot, I was hooked. A number of things stood out to me about the show, not the least of which was the fact that I agreed with nearly every one of President Bartlet’s policy initiatives. Aaron Sorkin’s dialog is outstanding, the main cast shines in every episode, and the show does a great job of exploring American politics. None of this was particularly surprising as I delved deeper into the series. What I didn’t expect was that, over the course of its seven seasons, The West Wing would feature a variety of key actors from my other favorite shows and movies. I’ve collected a partial list here so you can see just what I’m talking about.
  • Rob Lowe (Sam Seaborn, starring in Seasons 1 through 4) – Chris Traeger on Parks and Recreation
  • John de Lancie (Al Kiefer in 20 Hours in L.A. and Mandatory Minimums) – Frank Simmons on Stargate SG-1
  • Glenn Morshower (Mike Chysler in various episodes) – Aaron Pierce on 24
  • Carmen Argenziano (Leonard Wallace in Night Five) – Jacob Carter on Stargate SG-1
  • Reiko Aylesworth (Janine in Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics) – Michelle Dessler on 24
  • Nick Offerman (Jerry in The Crackpots and These Women) – Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation
  • Gregory Itzin (State Dept. Representative in Enemies Foreign and Domestic) – Charles Logan on 24
  • James Morrison (Jessie Weiskopf in Angel Maintenance) – Bill Buchanan on 24
  • William Devane (Lewis Berryhill in The Dogs of War and Jefferson Lives) – James Heller on 24
  • Cherry Jones (Barbara Layton in Eppur Si Muove) – Allison Taylor on 24
  • Robert Picardo (E. Bradford Shelton in The Supremes) – Richard Woolsey on Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis
  • Jason Isaacs (Colin Ayres in Gaza, Memorial Day, and N.S.F. Thurmont) – Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films
  • Jimmy Smits (Matt Santos in Seasons 6 and 7) – Bail Organa in the Star Wars films
  • Don S. Davis (Don Butler in In God We Trust) – George Hammond on Stargate SG-1
  • Mitch Pileggi (Senator Dresden in Mr. Frost) – Steven Caldwell on Stargate Atlantis

Huge thanks to Katie for getting me addicted to The West Wing!