The West Wing: Season 1, Episode 6

Mr. Willis of Ohio (3 Nov. 1999)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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In the first of several episodes throughout the series' run that portrays ordinary Americans and how they interact with and ultimately affect the W.H., an Ohio middle school social studies ... See full summary »


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Title: Mr. Willis of Ohio (03 Nov 1999)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Nancy (as Renee Estevez)
Al Fann ...


In the first of several episodes throughout the series' run that portrays ordinary Americans and how they interact with and ultimately affect the W.H., an Ohio middle school social studies teacher, a widow who has recently filled the brief remaining term of his late wife in the House, joins two other reps to meet with Toby and Mandy about changes to unfair rules in the U.S. Census written into the latest federal budget. The other two, career politicians, are completely resistant to the changes, but Mr. Willis is swayed by a potent argument Toby makes regarding "strict constructionism" (generally conservative and libertarian belief that the U.S. Constitution is not a living document, and must be followed as written, unless officially amended through standard 38-state ratification) and the 14th Amendment. Toby is impressed with the man and his open-mindedness. Elsewhere, Sam tutors C.J. on the finer points of the census. Late in the episode, the staff meets for a late-night poker party. Written by meebly

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Release Date:

3 November 1999 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bartlet is technically incorrect when he says that the strawberry is the only fruit with its seeds on the outside. Because the seeds are on the outside, the strawberry is technically not a fruit but rather a "false fruit". See more »


C.J. Cregg: Why Josh, you've... you've swept me off my feet.
Josh Lyman: Whatever.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: Enterprise: Cogenitor (2003) See more »


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

There were no two guys that either one of you could have taken.
20 October 2012 | by (Estero Island) – See all my reviews

The first episode to make me cry. A school teacher (Al Fann) has temporarily taken his deceased wife's spot in congress, and is key to budget vote involving census sampling. Toby manipulates the situation, but in an honest way. Leo tells Jed his wife has left him. The President gets Josh to take Charlie out for a beer, which turns into an outing with Zoe, CJ, Mallory, and Sam. Zoe is harassed, and Charlie defends her. Later, Jed makes her cry when she resists being given more secret service protection. He talks about the horrific prospect of her being kidnapped (foreshadowing one of the greatest story arcs of the series). Plus a great poker scene in which Bartlet challenges the room to name the fourteen types of punctuation. And we have a Butterfield in the building! The debut of Michael O'Neill as Secret Service agent Ron Butterfield, who would play in sixteen splendid episodes over seven seasons.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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