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"The Wake Up Call"
The West Wing episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 124
Written by Josh Singer
Directed by Laura Innes
Production no. 2T5014
Original airdate February 9, 2005
Guest stars

Kristin Chenoweth
Christopher Lloyd
Roger Rees
Steve Ryan
Elya Baskin
Anthony Azizi
NiCole Robinson
Renee Estevez
Pamela Salem

Season 6 episodes
  1. NSF Thurmont
  2. The Birnam Wood
  3. Third-Day Story
  4. Liftoff
  5. The Hubbert Peak
  6. The Dover Test
  7. A Change Is Gonna Come
  8. In the Room
  9. Impact Winter
  10. Faith Based Initiative
  11. Opposition Research
  12. 365 Days
  13. King Corn
  14. The Wake Up Call
  15. Freedonia
  16. Drought Conditions
  17. A Good Day
  18. La Palabra
  19. Ninety Miles Away
  20. In God We Trust
  21. Things Fall Apart
  22. 2162 Votes
List of The West Wing episodes

"The Wake Up Call" is episode 124 of The West Wing.


The episode opens with the President listening to opera in the Oval Office and C.J. tells the President to go to bed by 8:30pm and gets Margaret to move his morning wake up call to later in the morning.

When a British passenger aircraft is accidentally shot down over Iran, causing an international crisis, C.J. tries to handle the crisis without waking the President; as a result, she is caught in the middle of a battle between the President and the First Lady over how much to let Bartlet's MS affect his schedule. The situation is made worse when the First Lady appeals to Kate Harper, leaving Kate confused about where the First Lady is in the White House "chain of command."

Lord John Marbury makes an appearance as the British Ambassador by initially calling out "Gerald" in the halls of the White House looking for Leo; he expresses the doubt of the British Prime Minister in trusting the Iranians.

C.J. comes up with a diplomatic solution that the President goes with, but the two clash over his treatment of her in front of other White House staff.

Because of the precise wording of Toby's press statement (referring to the efforts of "the White House" as opposed to the efforts of "the President") a Washington Post reporter correctly intuits that the President's wake-up call was delayed, and starts demanding a look at the "tick tock," a document specifying the details of the President's schedule; Annabeth distracts the reporter by introducing him to Miss World from Bhutan, who had been scheduled to meet with C.J. and Toby as previously Leo had met with the Miss World winners.

Meanwhile, Toby and constitutional scholar Lawrence Lessig (played by Christopher Lloyd) work with Belarusian diplomats on a new constitution. Toby insists the US constitution is an unwise starting point, since former dictatorships like Belarus would be vulnerable to a strong executive branch that would result from a U.S. model, but Lessig explains that the point of starting with the U.S. Constitution is to focus on the document's values rather than its details.

The episode ends with Abby and the President arguing in the Oval Office over his MS and his schedule and C.J. overhears the details in her office.

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