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West Wing Weekly hosts Joshua Malina, Hrishikesh Hirway talk their new podcast

Plus: Bradley Whitford might be harder to get than Lin-Manuel Miranda

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If Joshua Malina and Hrishikesh Hirway have it their way, the West Wing Weekly podcast will eventually recap all 154 episodes of the iconic White House drama. But which ones are they most looking forward to themselves? We asked them both to choose the top three episodes they’re most excited about covering. Check out their picks below to see if they match up with your top three, and read on for their plan to bring guests onto the podcast.

JOSHUA MALINA

“Game On” (Season 4, Episode 6)

“I don’t want to seem like it’s all revolving around me, but the ones that stand out and I remember are the ones that I’m involved in, so I’m anxious to talk about my first ever episode on the show. That may be a year from now or more, should we be so lucky to get through the entire series. I just have very, very fond and vivid memories of getting this incredible job on this show that I already loved, which was already a hit, and then having to step up and act with this incredible ensemble of people.”

“No Exit” (Season 5, Episode 20)

“All my scenes were with Richard Schiff as Toby — Toby and Will are sort of locked down because of an anthrax scare at the White House. They’re locked in the same room! I really enjoyed shooting that.”

“A Proportional Response” (Season 1, Episode 3)

“I don’t know if I should spoil it, but I think we’re going to get Dulé Hill on to discuss his first episode and his entrance into the series — I’m very excited about that.”

HRISHIKESH HIRWAY

“Arctic Radar” (Season 4, Episode 10)

“It’s one where Josh comes in when Will and Toby down to start working. Sam writes the note, “He’s one of us.” It’s sort of like the end of the crossover between Sam and Will. Will and Toby really go head-to-head, the avalanche of aspirin — I love that episode. It’s one of favorites over the whole series and I have to stop myself from talking to Josh about the episode so I can wait until we get to the actual episode, but that one is a highlight.”

“Take This Sabbath Day” (Season 1, Episode 14)

“I’m really excited to talk about “Take This Sabbath Day” from the first season, the death penalty episode. It has Noah Emmerich from The Americans in it, who was Josh’s [as in Malina’s] roomate. That’s one of my favorite episodes.”

“Galileo” (Season 2, Episode 9)

“That’s simply a top 10 all-time episode for me.”

GUEST STARS

As for getting guests to join them on the show, Malina and Hirway said moves have been made — though some may take a while to come though.

Right now, Brad Whitford is in the agreed to do it slash not responding to further phone calls phase,” Malina tells EW. “But I think he knows from our past relationship that I will haunt him and just make his life a living hell until he comes on, so that will happen. Lin-Manuel Miranda — the creator, star, composer of Hamilton — is a friend of mine, and he and Hamilton’s director, Tommy Kail, are going to come on. But now we do have a lot of scheduling to do. We have no dearth of people who want to be on.

“And we’re looking forward to nailing down an Ed and Larry episode with William Duffy and Peter James Smith. We’re got to work out the whole Ed and Larry of it all. What I would like to do… I’ll have to check whether we have rights issues, but I’d like to start that podcast by having them read a little bit of the first scene of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I think it would be appropriate.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: And I assume Aaron Sorkin is on the docket? How about Rob Lowe, whose character was replaced by yours on the show?

MALINA: Communication has occurred in a very positive fashion with the big dog himself, I’ll say that. Now scheduling Aaron is a whole different thing, so I can’t tell you for sure what year it’s going to be or who will be president, but we will have the big dog on the show. And I would be delighted to talk to Rob Lowe. I love Rob and when I transitioned onto the show, he couldn’t have been classier or nicer to me in terms of handing off the baton, so I have very, very fond feelings for Rob, and hopefully he’ll join us.

Any interest in getting political figures on the show? Maybe President Obama?

MALINA: It occurs to me even as we’re just speaking that at the end of April I’m going to, for the first time, go to the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, so I’m going to schmooze the s— of people of note that I meet. I’m going to … I’m glad you planted that seed. I’m going to see what I can get going there. My guess is there will be some fans of that show in that room. 

A version of this story originally appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1408–1409, on newsstands Friday or available for purchase here.