The West Wing (1999–2006)
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100,000 Airplanes 

On the night of the State of the Union, Sam has to explain the process of writing the speech and grading reaction to it to a magazine reporter (Traylor Howard) throughout the evening; C.J. ... See full summary »


David Nutter


Aaron Sorkin (created by), Aaron Sorkin


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rob Lowe ... Sam Seaborn
Dulé Hill ... Charlie Young
Allison Janney ... C.J. Cregg
Janel Moloney ... Donna Moss
Richard Schiff ... Toby Ziegler
John Spencer ... Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford ... Josh Lyman
Martin Sheen ... Jed Bartlet
Mary-Louise Parker ... Amy Gardner
Marlee Matlin ... Joey Lucas
Traylor Howard ... Lisa Shureborn
Bill O'Brien Bill O'Brien ... Kenny Thurman
Nancy Linehan Charles ... Oncologist #1
Howard S. Miller ... Dr. Ken Walker
Nicholas Hormann ... Oncologist Bobby


On the night of the State of the Union, Sam has to explain the process of writing the speech and grading reaction to it to a magazine reporter (Traylor Howard) throughout the evening; C.J. arranged the coverage aware that the reporter, Lisa Sherbourn, is Sam's ex-fiancée; flashing back to the speechwriting process, we see the president dining with several of Abbey's medical colleagues, and they ponder the future of cancer research, motivating Bartlet to ask that a section be added to the SOTU in which he calls for U.S. scientists to find a cancer cure by 2012; the staff, convinced that the Congressional censure is weighing heavily on the president, tries to talk him out of this bold but risky proposal. Written by meebly

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Release Date:

16 January 2002 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode title refers to how, with the Nazi threat looming over the US and having a relatively small army, Roosevelt announced they would build an unheard of 50,000 planes over the next four years, and then ended up going well beyond that, building twice as many. Sam refers to this when explaining how the US could make it a national effort to cure cancer within the decade. See more »


After Sam finishes reading the section about curing cancer, the camera displays the laptop before he deletes the text. The title of the document open is "N_Science.doc", upon hitting delete the title changes to "Curing_Cancer.doc" and there is a slight shift in the angle of the laptop. See more »


Sam Seaborn: In 1940, our armed forces weren't among the twelve most formidable in the world, but obviously we were going into a big war. And Roosevelt said the U.S. would produce 50,000 airplanes in the next four years. Everyone thought it was a joke. And it was, because it turned out we produced 100,000 airplanes. Gave the air force an armada that would block the sun.
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West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony
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