Allison Janney knows her way around the White House — at least the fictional one, having playing CJ Cregg on “The West Wing” for seven seasons. She even made a surprise appearance in the White House press room recently, posing as her character from the NBC drama. Janney crashed the press briefing to discuss the opioid epidemic, an issue raised on her current show, “Mom,” which deals with the struggles of drug addiction.
In the May 5th episode of “Mom” (titled “Pure Evil and a Free Piece of Cheesecake”), she goes back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue once again — and finds a familiar face: her “West Wing” co-star Richard Schiff, who played Toby Ziegler on the NBC drama.
The “West Wing” reunion comes at the end of an episode where her character, Bonnie, is struggling to deal with her daughter, Christy’s (Anna Faris) success.
As the two finally make peace, Bonnie muses about what her own future may hold. “What are you really good at?” asks Christy.
“I’m smart, I’m personable, I’m really good at tricking people into liking me,” says Bonnie (Janney). “Despite having no real skills, I love telling people what they’re doing wrong.”
Add Christy, “And you have a very healthy ego.”
They conclude the “obvious” answer is politics.
Cut to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where “Madam President” Bonnie is walking through the White House, trailed by Schiff, who’s playing her chief of staff. Naturally, they’re doing the fast-paced walk-and-talk made famous by “West Wing” executive producer Aaron Sorkin.
“Where are we on getting my face on a stamp?” faux president Bonnie asks.
“Do you really want people licking the back of your head?” he replies.
“Good point, let’s put me on money,” she says.
They even stop at one point to joke about that walk-and-talk. “Should we sit down and talk?” she asks him. “Oh god no,” he says. “Conversations always seem much more interesting when you walk.”
They test their theory with a quick face-to-face chat about the Supreme Court nomination.
“You’re right, this is boring,” she concludes. “Let’s keep walking.”
“Mom” airs Thursdays at 9pm on CBS.