Allison Janney surprises White House pressroom with briefing as ‘The West Wing’s’ C.J. Cregg

Actress Allison Janney

Actress Allison Janney surprises members of the White House press corps on April 29, 2016. Janney, known to viewers as Press Secretary C.J. Cregg in “The West Wing,” was calling attention to the opioid epidemic.

(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Actress Allison Janney who played Press Secretary C.J. Cregg on Aaron Sorkin’s beloved White House drama “The West Wing” made her triumphant return to the White House briefing room Friday.

Janney feinted at running the news conference in lieu of White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who, she said, was out with a “root canal.”

STAY TUNED: Allison Janney and Anna Faris will be at The Times for a live video on Tuesday, May 3 at 2 p.m. PT. 

Announcements Janney made before taking questions included the president’s plans for the correspondents’ dinner (“He intends to be funny,”) and that, given that it was Friday, she would be performing “The Jackal” at half past five in her office. (Janney’s character was famous for lip-syncing Ronny Jordan’s 1993 song “The Jackal.”)


At this point, Janney was sadly interrupted by Earnest’s appearance in the briefing room, spurring the actress to give up the charade and reveal her ulterior motive for hijacking the briefing.

In reality, Janney was present to talk about America’s growing opioid epidemic and to celebrate those working to help fight substance use disorder. It’s a particularly timely topic given the latest news that Prince, whose death last week at 57 shocked the world, had prescription painkillers in his possession when he died. 

Since her stint on “The West Wing,” Janney has landed on CBS’ “Mom,” where both she and Anna Faris play recovering addicts. 


The annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner takes place Saturday.

Janney can be seen on “Mom” at 9 p.m. Thursdays on CBS. 

Follow me @midwestspitfire



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