Great Moments That Make Us Put Up With Aaron Sorkin When He's Being An Idiot
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President Bartlet calls the Butterball hotline (From "The West Wing")
One of the great failings of Sorkin's "Studio 60" was his inability to write authentic — or even funny — sketches for the show-within-the-show, which undercut the credibility and moral high ground of its allegedly brilliant main characters. But it's not as if Sorkin can't write comedy well, as illustrated often on "Sports Night" (Joshua Malina's delivery of "I told many many people" always kills me), and perhaps best here in this "West Wing" Thanksgiving moment where Martin Sheen's inquisitive Commander in Chief decides to call the Butterball hotline to get advice on the proper way to cook stuffing. The whole thing is priceless, from Bartlet's difficulty inventing a fake name ("Joe Bethersenton. That's one t, and with an h in there"), address, and job history ("I do radio commercials for... products") to Toby and Charlie's silent attempts to rein in their president's tomfoolery. I don't know that I'd buy this as a "Studio 60" sketch, but as part of "The West Wing," it was splendid.