The West Wing (1999–2006)
3 user 1 critic

In Excelsis Deo 

When a homeless veteran dies on the National Mall and his body remains uncollected for hours, Toby becomes fixated on getting him a proper burial.


Alex Graves


Aaron Sorkin (created by), Aaron Sorkin | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rob Lowe ... Sam Seaborn
Moira Kelly ... Mandy Hampton
Dulé Hill ... Charlie Young
Allison Janney ... C.J. Cregg
Richard Schiff ... Toby Ziegler
John Spencer ... Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford ... Josh Lyman
Martin Sheen ... Jed Bartlet
Lisa Edelstein ... Laurie
Timothy Busfield ... Danny Concannon
Paul Austin Paul Austin ... George Huffnagle
Janel Moloney ... Donna Moss
Tom Quinn Tom Quinn ... John Noonan
Renée Estevez ... Nancy (as Renee Estevez)
Raynor Scheine ... Homeless Man


When a homeless veteran dies on the National Mall and his body remains uncollected for hours, Toby becomes fixated on getting him a proper burial.

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Release Date:

15 December 1999 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The decorations in C.J.'s goldfish bowl change depending on the theme of the episode. For example, in the first season's Christmas episode "In Excelsis Deo", the bowl contains a Christmas tree. In "He Shall, From Time to Time", which features the State of the Union, the bowl contains a podium and two flags. In the season finale "What Kind of Day Has it Been", in which a subplot concerns trouble aboard the space shuttle, a shuttle appears in the bowl. See more »


Dolores Landingham, the President's secretary, mentions that her twin sons had a low draft number in the lottery. Her sons died in Vietnam on December 24, 1970. The first lottery drawing was held December 1, 1969; with a low lottery number, they would easily be in the field by December 1970. See more »


Josh Lyman: Where are you going?
President Josiah Bartlet: To a place called "Rare books." You know what they sell?
Josh Lyman: Fishing tackle?
See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Christmas Themed Episodes (2014) See more »


Samson, HWV 57: Act III Scene 2: Air: How willing my paternal love (Sung in German): Act III: Let their celestial concerts all unite
Written by George Frideric Handel
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User Reviews

I agree with the previous poster.
2 January 2009 | by dsandrewsSee all my reviews

I am a very conservative guy, and not a big fan of West Wing, BUT I happened to catch this episode in a hospital waiting room one day. I think this episode is the best thing I have ever seen on TV, period. The montage between the Arlington funeral and the children's choir in the White House was some of the best production I have ever seen anywhere. Pure genius! If it weren't for the show's generally liberal bias I would have become a big fan based on this episode alone. I have to give my props to the creative writers. I wish they had left out the political commentary and had been more balanced (over the entirety of the series). It wouldn't have hurt the quality of the series and this episode shows what they were capable of, if they would just entertain and not try to preach.

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