Walking with ‘The West Wing’

Ah, the walk and talk.

Remember, West Wing fans? Remember all those long, uncut scenes full of rapid-fire dialogue delivered by staffers winding their way through endless White House corridors?

Here, I’ll give you a prime example:

C.J.: (walking) What’s your Secret Service code name?
Sam: (also walking) They just changed them.
C.J.: I know. What’s yours?
Sam: Princeton.
C.J.: Mine’s flamingo.
Sam: It’s nice.
C.J.: (stopping) No, it’s not nice.
Sam: (also stopping) The flamingo’s a nice-looking bird.
C.J.: The flamingo is a ridiculous-looking bird.
Sam: You’re not ridiculous-looking.
C.J.: I know I’m not ridiculous-looking.
Sam: Any way for me to get out of this conversation?
C.J.: (resumes walking) I’m going to talk to someone.
Sam: (also resumes walking) Excellent.

Well, friends, if you miss gems like that classic exchange, you’re in for a rare treat: Several cast members from The West Wing have reunited to shoot a Funny or Die spot for Every Body Walk!, an online educational campaign to get Americans off the couch and on their feet.

It seems only fitting that this group was pegged to get out the word about the health benefits of walking. Hell, they probably walked the equivalent of the Oregon Trail during the course of a season. The dialogue in this spot doesn’t disappoint, either, with a blatant nod to the too-clever zingers creator Aaron Sorkin is famous for (and one last monologue for President Bartlet to wax poetic about something important and inspirational).

Also, the line about Mrs. Landingham is priceless (RIP, dear lady).

Given that Every Body Walk! is promoting walking as a way to cut the risk of things like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and breast, colon, and prostate cancers (translation: this isn’t a campaign to combat childhood obesity), The West Wing is likely to bring a warm smile of familiarity to many members of the adult demographic they’re going after. (One of my friends on Facebook noted that “seeing them in character again feels like home”—a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with.)

Here’s hoping this spot sparks a nationwide walk and talk movement. I’ve already staked out an excellent hallway in my office building. (Seriously, it’s a giant circle—we could walk and talk for days…)

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