The West Wing: Season 6, Episode 8

In the Room (8 Dec. 2004)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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Magicians Penn and Teller give a controversial performance at Zoey's birthday party in the White House that threatens to drown out the news of the impending China trip. President Bartlet ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Abbey Bartlet (credit only)
Penn Jilette (as Penn & Teller)


Magicians Penn and Teller give a controversial performance at Zoey's birthday party in the White House that threatens to drown out the news of the impending China trip. President Bartlet goes to New Orleans on his way to China after unexpectedly requesting briefings be postponed until they are in the air. Josh tries to decide which Democratic presidential candidate he wants to support, and is alarmed that Bartlet wants to appoint California Republican Congressman Arnold Vinick to be Ambassador to the United Nations. Written by Murray Chapman

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Release Date:

8 December 2004 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Senator Vinick's shoes being shined are from Allen Edmonds, famous for their handmade shoes of every US President since Ronald Reagan. See more »


While suffering from partial paralysis due to his MS, Bartlet loses feeling in and the ability to move both hands. It then progresses to his legs and his whole right arm. In a meeting with the senior staff a short time later, he remarks that he has gotten the use of his left hand back. He promptly gestures with his right hand while talking, and uses his right arm shortly thereafter to push his own wheelchair, but no reference is made (by anyone) to any abatement of the paralysis in his right arm. See more »


Penn Jillette: What if we burned a flag, not in protest, but in celebration of the very freedoms that allow us to burn a flag - the freedoms that everyone who has ever worked in this magnificent building has pledged to preserve and protect?
Josh Lyman: [taken aback] Did you go to law school?
Penn Jillette: No, clown school.
See more »


References Crossfire (1982) See more »


West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony
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User Reviews

No, clown school.
16 December 2012 | by (Estero Island) – See all my reviews

One of the greatest "as themselves" appearances in show history, as Penn & Teller entertain at a White House birthday party for Zoey, and create an uproar when they appear to burn a flag. Josh's later confrontation with them is hysterical (and politically razor-sharp). The debut of the final major player in the WW saga: Senator Arnold Vinick, republican populist candidate for president (Alan Alda - M*A*S*H, SAME TIME NEXT YEAR, CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS). You immediately buy the reality of his character, in no uncertain terms. Bartlet is off on Air Force One to the China summit, hiding the fact that M.S. paralysis is spreading through him. The surgeon general (Mary Kay Place) is along for the ride.

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