Monthly Archives: April 2016

‘Good Wife’ Creators Say They Wanted To End The Show ‘While It Was Still Good’


As The Good Wife comes to a close, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) has risen to managing partner at her Chicago law firm and Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) is again facing corruption charges.i

As The Good Wife comes to a close, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) has risen to managing partner at her Chicago law firm and Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) is again facing corruption charges.

Jeff Neumann/CBS


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Jeff Neumann/CBS

As The Good Wife comes to a close, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) has risen to managing partner at her Chicago law firm and Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) is again facing corruption charges.

As The Good Wife comes to a close, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) has risen to managing partner at her Chicago law firm and Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) is again facing corruption charges.

Jeff Neumann/CBS

On May 8, the CBS drama The Good Wife will be ending its seven-year run. Why now? “We wanted to go out while it was still good,” says Michelle King, who created the show with her husband, Robert King.

The series began with a sex scandal that sent State’s Attorney Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) to prison, leaving his wife, Alicia (Julianna Margulies), to pick up the pieces. Over the course of the show, Alicia goes from a former housewife trying to restart her career to a managing partner at her big-time law firm. Now her husband is again facing corruption charges — except this time he’s the governor of Illinois.

Michelle tells NPR’s Scott Simon, “We’ve known for quite a while that there was seven seasons-worth of story to tell in the education of Alicia Florrick, and we’ve come to the end of that story.”

Interview Highlights

On how Alicia has changed over the years

Robert King: She’s become more cynical, tougher, stronger, more powerful, funnier, my guess is. And within the last year or two I think she’s become a little sick of her children. … What I love about her is she feels very real in that way. But I do think this is a woman who has found more and more independence and kind of liked more and more independence.

On how Peter has changed

Michelle King: I think he’s gained more self-awareness than anyone else on the show. I mean, before the series started, he was pretty much doing whatever he wanted, didn’t think anything could splash back on him; and, having gone to prison, [he] sees that that’s not the case and now considers his moves far more carefully and is just a more thoughtful person than he was.

On whether Bill and Hillary Clinton inspired the show

Robert King: Not as a genesis. I mean, it’s kind of interesting to look at the phenomenon of political spouses, and especially political spouses that kind of find their own power center. And that, I think, is interesting.

On what they aimed to accomplish with their final episodes

Michelle King: I would say we’re writing both for ourselves and very specific fans. I mean, the people that work on the show are also rabid fans of the show, and you wanted everyone that was working on it to feel really proud about the way the series ended. So I would say we were acutely aware of trying to make people feel good about what we were doing.

Robert King: We really wanted to say goodbye to a big troupe of actors and characters that we’ve kind of loved over the years. So there’s been this kind of almost series of farewell episodes where you might have Michael J. Fox come in or these NSA guys or, you know, Stockard Channing and Dallas Roberts as Alicia’s relatives. We just kind of wanted to return to things that we enjoyed over the years and really give them a chance to say goodbye.

Stars Tell The Story Of This Fairy Tale-Inspired ‘Queen’


In the kingdom of Bharata, horoscopes mean a great deal. The story the stars tell of your life is an immutable truth that will govern your interaction with the world. But Mayavati’s horoscope is terrifying: It declares her to be married to death and destruction, such that her father’s wives shun and blame her for every misfortune. With war looming at Bharata’s borders, Maya’s ill-starred horoscope casts an increasing shadow; though she’d rather live a quiet, retired life of the mind, a politically expedient marriage seems like the only thing that can save her kingdom.

Dire circumstances lead to her marrying Amar of Akaran — a mysterious man from a mysterious kingdom, both seemingly spun from the stories Maya tells her younger sister, Gauri, about naga and apsara and the Night Bazaar. His devotion to her seems at odds with the taboos governing her life in Akaran, and it isn’t long before Maya’s constant picking at the stray threads in his narrative makes the whole come apart, revealing far more than was ever dreamt of in her philosophy.

The sentence-level beauty of this book often stunned me: There’s a smooth, understated loveliness to the writing that kept catching me off guard. In Chokshi’s prose, voices have substance and texture while light has color and flavor; never have I wanted to munch on books so much as after reading “The archives were cut like honeycombs and golden light clung to them, dousing every tome, painting, treatise and poem the soft gold of ghee freshly skimmed from boiling butter.”

Also understated is the quality of Maya’s observation in the first quarter of the book; I enjoyed her perspective most when it was engaged in sketching the court in which she lived, her careful interactions with the other women in her father’s harem, and her sneaking into the rafters above her father’s inner sanctum to watch “the way power settles over people in a room, the way language curls around ankles like a sated cat.”

Unfortunately for me, the book was less interested in these aspects than I was, and cast them off relatively quickly in favor of pursuing a very enjoyable — but far more typical — romance narrative at the crossroads between a few different stock tale types, growing its tension from the uncertainty of which story-path it would pursue. It’s a captivity narrative — but is it more Hades and Persephone, or Beauty and the Beast? It’s a story about taboo-breaking — but is it more Bluebeard or the Black Bull of Norroway?

Tale-telling is very much at the core of this book, and people are often being asked to make narrative decisions about themselves and others. Your horoscope’s words may be cast in stone, but how do you interpret them? Given the choice between two equally terrible outcomes, how will you determine which is best? Over and over, The Star-Touched Queen raises questions about who and how to trust, how and why to act, and if I wasn’t always satisfied by the answers, I nevertheless appreciated the exercise.

While it’s difficult not to be disappointed by the book’s second-half shift away from real relationships with clear and present stakes to the shadows of past relationships in former lives, it’s a disappointment experienced mostly in retrospect; Chokshi’s beautiful writing and lovingly detailed setting kept me invested in every page, even while I remained far more interested in Maya’s relationship with her sister than in the strange beauties of Akaran. I wanted, ultimately, more of the Maya we see in the book’s first few chapters — curious, thoughtful, loving, brave — than the Maya we see later on: unravelling the mystery of who she “really” is, by which the book means “in relation to a man.”

I certainly don’t deny the lasting appeal of stories where a powerful, shadowy man is entirely, helplessly devoted to the female protagonist and her own innocent mystique — it’s just been done so much more often than stories centred around women’s relationships to each other that I can’t help but hold it to a higher standard.

Those quibbles aside, there’s a great deal to praise and enjoy in The Star-Touched Queen. Solidly crafted and very engaging, this is a smooth, lovely and assured debut.

Amal El-Mohtar is the author of The Honey Month and the editor of Goblin Fruit, an online poetry magazine.

The Art Of MacGyvering For Sleep-Deprived Moms And Dads


One of a multitude of uses for the magical multitasker: blue painter's tape.i

One of a multitude of uses for the magical multitasker: blue painter’s tape.

Craighton Berman/Workman Publishing


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Craighton Berman/Workman Publishing

One of a multitude of uses for the magical multitasker: blue painter's tape.

One of a multitude of uses for the magical multitasker: blue painter’s tape.

Craighton Berman/Workman Publishing

As anyone who’s been one can attest, new parents need all the help they can get.

While blogger, author and mother of two Asha Dornfest can’t come do the night feedings, she does have a number of MacGyver-style moves that may help avert disaster — and preserve some parental sanity.

Dornfest is the author of Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids, which compiles some of the best tricks from her blog of the same name.

Dornfest, whose kids are now 16 and 12, started ParentHacks a decade ago. Some of the solutions may seem simple — but sometimes they aren’t so obvious when you’re in midst of a kid crisis.

“Every now and then, sometimes it’s that moment of desperation that actually inspires some crazy ninja moment of genius,” Dornfest tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers. “Every now and then I would stumble upon one of these solutions, and whenever another parent would share something like that with me, I would think to myself, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?”

Dornfest shares some of her favorite hacks with McEvers.

On what to do for a kid who can’t keep her shoelaces tied

Swap the shoelaces out for elastic, the cheap elastic that you can buy in a sewing section of a store. Amazingly, it transforms lace-up shoes into slip-ons if you just tie it.

On how to fix a broken diaper tab and other uses for the ‘magical multitasker’

A Band-Aid actually works in a pinch. But, believe it or not, there is a magical multitasker that I still, to this day, carry with me all the time, and that is a roll of blue painter’s tape.

It comes off easily, it’s kind of the Post-it note of tapes. And so … it works really well on a diaper, in a pinch. You can actually use it (to childproof a) hotel room. You can put it over electrical outlets. You can use it to keep drawers closed, because you know how little toddlers are, they love to open and close drawers.

One of my favorite uses is for creating little floor games. So you can use it to create tracks for toy cars on the floor. Or you can use it to mark the hot zone around a grill outside.

On the cleaning power of the lint roller

It’s great for getting crumbs off of just about anything. You can use it to clean the flotsam that ends up at the bottom of a diaper bag. You can almost use it as a little vacuum cleaner for the car.

On how to deal with kids’ ‘fear of the flush’

My favorite parent hack in the book is how to disable the auto-flush sensor on a public restroom toilet. The simple way is to cover the sensor. This is where our handy and beloved painter’s tape comes in, or Post-it note, and then remove it after the kid is out, and then the auto-flush can do what it’s meant to do.

West Wing Fans: ‘C.J. Cregg’ Returns To The White House Briefing Room


Actress Allison Janney makes a surprise visit to the the daily news briefing at the White House on Friday.i

Actress Allison Janney makes a surprise visit to the the daily news briefing at the White House on Friday.

Carolyn Kaster/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Actress Allison Janney makes a surprise visit to the the daily news briefing at the White House on Friday.

Actress Allison Janney makes a surprise visit to the the daily news briefing at the White House on Friday.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

The real White House West Wing felt a bit like the fictional one at the center of the NBC television series The West Wing for a brief moment on Friday afternoon.

Posing as her character C.J. Cregg, who was the press secretary in the critically acclaimed show that ran from 1999 until 2006, actress Allison Janney took a surprise turn on the podium to the delight and surprise of the real White House press corps.

“Josh is out today, he has, I believe it’s a root canal,” she said about real-life White House press secretary Josh Earnest’s absence — but it was also an allusion to a scene in the show’s first season when Deputy White House Chief of Staff Josh Lyman took a disastrous turn at briefing the press when Cregg had a dental emergency.

“But let’s be honest, I’m better at this than he is anyway,” she continued to laughs.

Janney began with two announcements: that President Obama is “still working” on his speech for Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner and that “he intends to be funny, very funny.”

The second was also a call back to another famous scene in the show: “It is Friday, which means that at half past 5, I will be performing ‘The Jackal’ in my office for anyone who is interested, or remembers or cares.”

Earnest eventually miraculously recovered from his “root canal,” and burst into the room telling the actress that “this isn’t your show anymore!”

Janney ended the spoof by revealing the real reason she was at the White House: to talk about opioid addiction and what was being done to combat the problem. Her current show on CBS, Mom, deals with drug addiction and its struggles.

“This is a disease that can touch anybody, and all of us can help reduce drug abuse through evidence-based treatment, prevention and recovery. Research shows it works, and courageous Americans show it works every day,” Janney said.

Before she returned the briefing to Earnest, “C.J.” did take one question from CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller: “Who is President Bartlett supporting in the Democratic primary?”

“I think you know the answer to that question,” she quipped. Actor Bradley Whitford, who played Deputy Chief of Staff Lyman, said earlier this month that actor Martin Sheen’s President Bartlett would absolutely vote for Hillary Clinton.

A White House Meeting Brings Together 2 Lost Souls In ‘Elvis & Nixon’




DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. It’s likely that most people have seen the now classic photo of President Nixon shaking hands with Elvis Presley at the White House on December 21, 1970. The new film “Elvis & Nixon” is about that historic meeting. It stars Michael Shannon as Elvis and Kevin Spacey is Richard Nixon. Film critic David Edelstein has a review.

DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Like many people, I can’t get enough of Richard Nixon, and not just in relation to Watergate, which Bob Woodward called the gift that keeps on giving. In Harry Shearer’s online series “Nixon’s The One,” he showed you could make a great psycho comedy simply by performing the transcripts of Nixon’s Oval Office conversations. And the charming new film “Elvis & Nixon” goes a step further. It dramatizes the meeting of two American icons and illuminates both men’s strange minds.

In December 1970, Presley actually delivered a letter to the White House, asking to meet with Nixon and be appointed a federal agent at large in the war on drugs, though no such title existed. Yes, Presley had scandalized conservatives in the ’50s, but the movie shows him to be a fundamentally well-mannered Southern boy who loved his guns and his country and only abused legal drugs. He’s appalled by much of the counterculture. He fantasizes going undercover and bringing drug dealers to justice. And he gets his meeting.

It’s hard to imagine the weirdness, the sheer discontinuum of Nixon and Elvis together. Nixon’s alienation from the pop culture of his day was total. He didn’t know rock ‘n’ roll, but he knew it was made by his enemies – long-haired kids who flouted authority. In the movie, Kevin Spacey’s Nixon assumes Elvis is like all the others maybe worse – as he rambles to his aide Egil Bud Krogh, played by Colin Hanks.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “ELVIS & NIXON”)

KEVIN SPACEY: You know, Krogh, guys like that who were just born good-looking – well, you obviously know – they never had to work for it, if you know what I mean. Not me, no, I had to make something of myself to get a girl to notice me. It wasn’t just handed to me by some sort of genetic lottery. I wasn’t born looking like a Kennedy, you know. But that’s why guys like me are survivors. But guys like this Elvis fellow – no, underneath all that they’re weak. They whither at the first sign of trouble. They just crumble like a sand dune.

EDELSTEIN: There’s a subtext to that scene in “Elvis & Nixon.” Nixon never got over losing to the photogenic John F. Kennedy. And he’s pickled in bitterness. Kevin Spacey captures as no one I’ve seen the stiffness born of terrible insecurity, that lack of elasticity that made Nixon so ill at ease and such a stickler for protocol. Michael Shannon plays Elvis before the weight gain, but after Presley’s alienation from the world. Shannon doesn’t do much of an Elvis impersonation, but I think he nails something in Presley – the casual, soft-spoken kingliness. This Presley believes that he can bend the world to his will, and it’s a riot when he saunters into federal offices and causes people to freeze in disbelief. Everyone bows down to him, no matter how ridiculous his words, with the notable exception of the African-American characters who plainly resent his appropriation of their music.

Director Liza Johnson has the right sprightly touch. The film comes in at a trim 86 minutes, but not all of them work, perhaps out of fear the audience won’t relate to either Elvis or Nixon. The filmmakers often focus on an old chum of Presley’s, Jerry Schilling, played by Alex Pettyfer, whom Presley drags to Washington and who’s forced to choose between the king and his own fiance back in Los Angeles. It’s not a painful subplot, only formulaic and inessential.

But the last act is everything it should be. A title crawl informs us no tape exists of the actual Elvis-Nixon meeting. But if it didn’t happen the way it does here, it should have. Nixon is disarmed by Presley’s denunciations of hippies and war protesters, which really was how subordinates won Nixon’s confidence, attacking his enemies even before he could. You can’t believe what you’re seeing. In their insane way, these two lost souls connect. “Elvis & Nixon” is a doodle, but it’s not a slight as some of its critics have complained.

In addition to depicting its title characters in a new light, it shows the crazy-making insulation of celebrity. Elvis and Nixon, each in his own way, have so much power. But their windows on the world are now fun house mirrors, reflecting back, even magnifying their own nuttiness.

BIANCULLI: David Edelstein is film critic for New York magazine. FRESH AIR’s executive producer is Danny Miller. Our technical director and engineer is Audrey Bentham, with additional engineering support from Joyce Lieberman and Julian Herzfeld. Our associate producer for online media is Molly Seavy-Nesper. Roberta Shorrock directs the show. For Terry Gross, I’m David Bianculli.

On Monday’s show, we look back on the heyday of LA’s punk scene with John Doe and Exene Cervenka of the band X and Dave Alvin of The Blasters. Doe has put together a new book about those early days. They brought guitars and will perform live versions of a couple of songs, including this one by the band X.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “THE WORLD’S A MESS IT’S IN MY KISS”)

X: (Singing) No one is united and all things are untied. Perhaps we’re boiling over inside. They’ve been telling lies. Who’s been telling lies? There are no angels. There are devils in many ways. Take it like a man. The world’s a mess. It’s in my kiss. The world’s a mess. It’s in my kiss. The world’s a mess. It’s in my kiss. The world’s a mess. It’s in my kiss. You can’t take it back. Pull it out of the fire. Pull it out in the bottom of the ninth. Pull it out. In chords of red disease dragging my system, dragging my head and body. There are some facts here that refuse to escape. I could say it stronger but it’s too much trouble. I was wondering down at the bricks. Hectic, isn’t it? Down we go, cradle and all. No one is united…

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: ‘Silicon Valley’ And ‘Bob’s Burgers’


Bob's Burgers. i

Bob’s Burgers.

FOX


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FOX

Bob's Burgers.

Bob’s Burgers.

FOX

We’re so excited that this week’s show brings Danielle Henderson to our fourth chair. You might remember Danielle from the chat she and I had about American Crime earlier this spring, and she’s back to talk to us about the HBO comedy series Silicon Valley, which just kicked off its third season. We chat about the writing style, the ensemble, the surprisingly nuanced comedic treatment of billionaires, and lots more.

In our second segment, we’ve got a special segment: Stephen Thompson sat down to talk to Loren Bouchard, one of the creators of Bob’s Burgers, about a new cookbook that translates some of the imaginary burgers from the show into reality. At the bottom of this post, you’ll find some highlights from their interview to whet your appetite.

As always, we close the show with what’s making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about getting to use a new tool to have conversations with folks at NPR about moments in the news. Glen is happy about a Twitter account he loves and a show he calls a “spiritual cardigan.” Danielle is happy about a documentary that led her to a book and to a habit we encourage you to embrace. And I am happy about a documentary and a comedy I discovered at a recent film festival.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Linda, Glen, Danielle, and producer Jessica.

On why the Bob’s Burgers team decided to make a cookbook

“When the show reaches just a certain number of years in, you can crap out a bunch of products if you’re so inclined, and we really didn’t want to do that. We didn’t want to put out a novelty cookbook that was just cashing in on the few people who might pick it up as an impulse purchase. If we were gonna do it, we wanted to do it well. And so his [Cole Bowden’s] blog became suddenly the potential heart of this thing, where all his work would be what we would base it around. And he himself was, you know, adding ingredients and inventing these things because all he knew from the blackboard on the show was the dopey name we’d given it. Yeah, the one ingredient we’d managed to think of a joke for.”

On why passionate people make good characters

“Obviously, we’re drawing on our own experiences… There’s this creative urge which you can’t quite understand, and if you’re a kid and you’re, you know, up in your room, and you’re drawing compulsively hour after hour and you just can’t stop drawing, there’s nothing knowable about it… As I got older and I started wanting to tell stories, in a way, the characters that are most interesting to me are those people. It’s like figuring that out about myself and about the people I work with, that urge to create, and that passion… it seems like to me a really fun and a great characteristic to give a character.”

On changing a character from a boy named Daniel to a girl named Tina

“The original 12 minutes we produced for Fox were almost exactly the first 12 minutes of the pilot that aired on TV, with one significant difference: Dan Mintz was a 13-year-old named Daniel… The dialogue was exactly the same. We switched the sex, and we had to switch only one word, which was, um, ‘balls.’ … The network had one thought. They were sort of picking at this possibility that maybe the oldest child wasn’t differentiated enough. He didn’t… They use this word in Hollywood which I kind of like, even though it has a little stink of Hollywood-ism on it, but they say, ‘He wasn’t popping.’ …

“I think on some level we just lucked into a great trick. I’ve heard this before that writers can sometimes get stuck writing female characters, and one trick is to write it like it was a male character. It’s just a weakness of writers; it’s not a weakness of any gender. It’s just, writers are unimaginative like all of us. We fail sometimes to really find what’s interesting about a person when we’re trying to create them, and we got lucky. So we created the drawing of Tina, much as she looks now, and we put some test dialogue in her mouth … and then we also used some stand-up from Dan Mintz. … To their credit, they went for it. They said, yeah, she’s… That’s a great answer to the question, ‘How do you make the oldest child pop?'”

The Art Of McGyvering For Sleep-Deprived Moms And Dads


One of a multitude of uses for the magical multitasker: blue painter's tape.i

One of a multitude of uses for the magical multitasker: blue painter’s tape.

Craighton Berman/Workman Publishing


hide caption

toggle caption

Craighton Berman/Workman Publishing

One of a multitude of uses for the magical multitasker: blue painter's tape.

One of a multitude of uses for the magical multitasker: blue painter’s tape.

Craighton Berman/Workman Publishing

As anyone who’s been one can attest, new parents need all the help they can get.

While blogger, author and mother of two Asha Dornfest can’t come do the night feedings, she does have a number of MacGyver-style moves that may help avert disaster — and preserve some parental sanity.

Dornfest is the author of Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids, which compiles some of the best tricks from her blog of the same name.

Dornfest, whose kids are now 16 and 12, started ParentHacks a decade ago. Some of the solutions may seem simple — but sometimes they aren’t so obvious when you’re in midst of a kid crisis.

“Every now and then, sometimes it’s that moment of desperation that actually inspires some crazy ninja moment of genius,” Dornfest tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers. “Every now and then I would stumble upon one of these solutions, and whenever another parent would share something like that with me, I would think to myself, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?”

Dornfest shares some of her favorite hacks with McEvers.

On what to do for a kid who can’t keep her shoelaces tied

Swap the shoelaces out for elastic, the cheap elastic that you can buy in a sewing section of a store. Amazingly, it transforms lace-up shoes into slip-ons if you just tie it.

On how to fix a broken diaper tab and other uses for the ‘magical multitasker’

A Band-Aid actually works in a pinch. But, believe it or not, there is a magical multitasker that I still, to this day, carry with me all the time, and that is a roll of blue painter’s tape.

It comes off easily, it’s kind of the Post-it note of tapes. And so … it works really well on a diaper, in a pinch. You can actually use it (to childproof a) hotel room. You can put it over electrical outlets. You can use it to keep drawers closed, because you know how little toddlers are, they love to open and close drawers.

One of my favorite uses is for creating little floor games. So you can use it to create tracks for toy cars on the floor. Or you can use it to mark the hot zone around a grill outside.

On the cleaning power of the lint roller

It’s great for getting crumbs off of just about anything. You can use it to clean the flotsam that ends up at the bottom of a diaper bag. You can almost use it as a little vacuum cleaner for the car.

On how to deal with kids’ ‘fear of the flush’

My favorite parent hack in the book is how to disable the auto-flush sensor on a public restroom toilet. The simple way is to cover the sensor. This is where our handy and beloved painter’s tape comes in, or Post-it note, and then remove it after the kid is out, and then the auto-flush can do what it’s meant to do.

West Wing Fans: ‘C.J. Cregg’ Returns To The White House Briefing Room


Actress Allison Janney makes a surprise visit to the the daily news briefing at the White House on Friday.i

Actress Allison Janney makes a surprise visit to the the daily news briefing at the White House on Friday.

Carolyn Kaster/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Actress Allison Janney makes a surprise visit to the the daily news briefing at the White House on Friday.

Actress Allison Janney makes a surprise visit to the the daily news briefing at the White House on Friday.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

The real White House West Wing felt a bit like the fictional one at the center of the NBC television series The West Wing for a brief moment on Friday afternoon.

Posing as her character C.J. Cregg, who was the press secretary in the critically acclaimed show that ran from 1999 until 2006, actress Allison Janney took a surprise turn on the podium to the delight and surprise of the real White House press corps.

“Josh is out today, he has, I believe it’s a root canal,” she said about real-life White House press secretary Josh Earnest’s absence — but it was also an allusion to a scene in the show’s first season when Deputy White House Chief of Staff Josh Lyman took a disastrous turn at briefing the press when Cregg had a dental emergency.

“But let’s be honest, I’m better at this than he is anyway,” she continued to laughs.

Janney began with two announcements: that President Obama is “still working” on his speech for Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner and that “he intends to be funny, very funny.”

The second was also a call back to another famous scene in the show: “It is Friday, which means that at half past 5, I will be performing ‘The Jackal’ in my office for anyone who is interested, or remembers or cares.”

Earnest eventually miraculously recovered from his “root canal,” and burst into the room telling the actress that “this isn’t your show anymore!”

Janney ended the spoof by revealing the real reason she was at the White House: to talk about opioid addiction and what was being done to combat the problem. Her current show on CBS, Mom, deals with drug addiction and its struggles.

“This is a disease that can touch anybody, and all of us can help reduce drug abuse through evidence-based treatment, prevention and recovery. Research shows it works, and courageous Americans show it works every day,” Janney said.

Before she returned the briefing to Earnest, “C.J.” did take one question from CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller: “Who is President Bartlett supporting in the Democratic primary?”

“I think you know the answer to that question,” she quipped. Actor Bradley Whitford, who played Deputy Chief of Staff Lyman, said earlier this month that actor Martin Sheen’s President Bartlett would absolutely vote for Hillary Clinton.