• http://www.patandkat.com/pat/weblog/ Patrick Berry

    “Yeah.” Seasons 1, 2 and 3 are in regular rotation in my DVD player. I was worried about buying TV shows on DVD, thinking I wouldn’t watch them much. Wrong.

    I also get sucked into reruns on Bravo.

  • http://michaelzimmer.blogspot.com/ Michael Zimmer

    I often schedule my activities around the 4 daily Bravo reruns. Reminds me of that quote: “America’s real drug problem…is called television.”

  • Zach Lipton

    Sadly, West Wing has gone far downhill in recent times. Here’s to The Farnsworth Invention (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408773/), a film project written by Sorkin and directed by Schlamme. They are both entirely too good not to be working on something good.

  • http://restiffbard.com Chris

    Yeah, my Tivo makes sure of it. But, I have to agree that without Sorkin the show misses something.

    One thing that is definetly different from the earlier seasons, and I believe this is true of all shows, when there is a tragedy now, it’s a real friggin tragedy.

    This is better highlighted by ER, which I stopped watching ages ago, wherein every episode something absolutely horrible happens to a favorite cast member. It’s always upsetting when a show goes from being a good fun show to being the magnification of all that is wrong in the world.

  • http://thunt.net thunt

    Although I agree, the show isn’t the same without Sorkin. The dialogue lacks the quick quick play style, but the new episodes are great if you enjoy a parallel reality. A president who actually cares about the people. Programs actually designed to help people, not just to cut (reform) taxes and destroy (modernize/privatize) social security.

    Truly a bizarro world where one longs for a fake government on television to replace the current one.

    4 more years.
    I can only hope the show stays on that long and that Jimmy Smits will make a good president….. (josh as vp??)


  • Relentless

    Even in fiction the truly great leaders are unelectable.

    Id be overjoyed to be governed by President Toby Ziegler…. but he would never even win a primary.

    On another note… havent they dragged out the Josh & Donna thing long enough? Either make it happen or have one of them get hit by a campaign bus. Enough already. heh

  • http://www.vertigo25.com/ andy

    I’d be overjoyed to be portrayed by… Christopher Lloyd?? How cool is that? Did you get to meet him? Why couldn’t you play yourself, BTW? I’ve seen you on videos, and I think you could do it…

  • Greg K.

    Nope. That show looks like left-wing drivel.

  • http://www.jzip.org/ adamsj

    I know what you mean–my kid is three months ahead of yours, and she eats our time more avidly than she eats her oatmeal. Little kids are so much fun! How can I resist reading her another book on my way out the door to work? Answer: I can’t.


    My wife and I have a Wednesday night pizza date to watch The West Wing, in no small part because, unlike most television, it isn’t drivel. It’s not hard-core realism, either, but it’s a lot closer to Life As We Know It than, oh, JAG, CSI, or Vegas.

    As for Josh and Donna, putting them into conflict on the campaign trail should be real good fun. Either they do something wild and crazy on the spur of the moment (good comedy, especially if they get caught) or they get truly mad at each other and become bitter enemies (good tragedy).

    Oh, yes–and the prospect of a Republican presidential candidate who doesn’t have 666 tattooed on his tongue. What’s not to like?

  • http://tweedledopey.blogspot.com tweedledopey

    Yeah, but I know why you are asking. Belarus – White Russia.

  • http://www.jzip.org/ adamsj

    Okay, now I get it.

    And where’s our damn pizza?

  • Susan

    Wow! Lessig is on the show!! I can feel less guilty about not doing my reading for my 14th Amendment class tonight :)

  • Dashiell

    How the heck did that happen? They don’t do real people on that show.

  • http://www.jeremyrichey.com JR

    Wow, that is quite the honor! Getting portrayed by Christopher Lloyd on the West Wing–I’m jealous.

  • Greg

    Ummmm…am I dreaming? Or is Doc from _Back to the Future_ playing Lessig?

  • http://www.fiveandtwenty.com/cdx/ Spike

    Someday I hope to be played by Christopher Lloyd.

  • Kate

    Wow, so I generally check your site once a week or so, although I haven’t checked it recently because of the whole Sao Paolo thing. And here I am on a Wednesday night and my TiVo (I love TiVo) flips me over for it’s regularly scheduled West Wing taping (when I was a trademark/copyright associate I rarely made it home in time for the 9pm showing…one of the reasons I no longer am an associate…but I do go on) and there is Christopher Lloyd playing a character with a very familar name…you!

    I don’t care how well respected you are or how jaded you may have become. That’s just so cool.

    On the other hand, I’m only eight minutes into the show, so I hope “you” don’t die horribly in a terrorist bombing or something.

  • BillK

    Being played by Jum from Taxi…

  • Nest

    Larry, you’re much better looking than Christopher Lloyd. Congrats on the props — from Hollywood, no less!

  • http://dml.georgetown.edu Theodora A. Bakker

    Ah! I understand now! I have jus begun watching West Wing.
    Excellent, I look forward to seeing how they portray you. I look forward to all the publicity that will result.

  • Robert Treat

    Well… this could end up like reverse liveblogging by blogees rather than the blogger… cool to see Larry get mentioned on national TV, though I agree with the above poster, why not let him play himself? well, here hoping they toss in a few arguments against copyright in tonights episode! :-)

  • http://anonymoses.blogspot.com anonyMoses

    Quel surprise!
    My reception is so bad, I didn’t realize it wasn’t you. Gotta change my blog now…

    A great group with whom to be associated…and deserved.
    And Lloyd! Best…

    Back to the show!

    Kind regards,
    David K. Beckwith

  • BillK

    Professor Lessig, were you involved in the script for this episode?

  • http://www.beaconschool.org/~clehmann/MT Chris Lehmann

    Well, I was sitting there trying to figure out if that was you or Christopher Lloyd! Congrats!

  • http://senshineko.com/weblog/ John Steven

    My ears certainly perked up when I heard ‘Lawrence Lessig’… but then I was wondering at how you sounded so much like Doc Brown. ;)

  • http://stevenlong.net CowDefender

    I am an avid West Wing viewer, and to hear the name Lessig on the show jarred the Big Thinkers episode back, and appearances on the Screen Savers.

  • Josh

    Watching it on Tivo. Almost spit out my Coke and had to see what was going on here.

    Anyway, back to the future!

  • N

    “This is heavy, Doc.”

  • Greg

    “Reforming the Rule against Perpetuity?”

    I’m guessing that you didn’t have input into the script.

  • http://throwingthings.blogspot.com Adam

    It could’ve been worse. They could’ve had Marilu Henner as Martha Nussbaum.

  • Rob

    Very fun!!! “the future of ideas Lawrence Lessig?” First west wing episode I’ve seen in months, I definitely didn’t see that coming. I was watching it with a group of friends, they asked why I knew who he was and was so excited about it – as a result, afterwards we got into a 20 minute discussion about the DMCA and the difference between software patents and software copyrights.

    I came up with this anology on the fly during the conversation (with non-CS – and non-legal – friends) – a software patent – a patent on an algorithm, allows you to prevent anyone (even privately) from the exericise of the patent. A software patent is as if you’re patenting a method of sorting socks…

    But if you have a free (I suppose as in beer) service to sort other people’s socks, someone who charges people to fold their socks (using the same method) can sue you for infringing on thier patent. This was interesting primarily as it seemed to make sense to me and to them, and explain why software patents weren’t neccessairly a good idea the way software copyrights probably are, which most metaphors of this type seem to not accomplish.

  • http://www.pullara.ca David

    You know you’ve made it big when you’re portrayed as yourself on The West Wing. Congratulations. Now all you need is a guest spot on The Simpsons, and you will officially move from great thinker to cultural icon. ;)

  • http://lonewacko.com The Lonewacko Blog

    The West Wing reminds me of the Brady Bunch with 1990′s clothing and a “liberal” outlook. The Prez wanders from room to room engaging people in their latest subplots.

    I’m sorry, that was a bit of a crack. The idea of a blogger being a character on a TV show rocks.

  • Jeff

    Congratulations on the TV spot. I’ve read your column for awhile now in Wired, and enjoyed it very much.

    And for all the West Wingers out there, there IS something missing since Sorkin left. Humor. When watching the old episodes on Bravo, I had forgotten how funny the first couple of seasons were.

    You can’t have great drama without some humor. Laughing helps lighten the load.

  • http://www.pacificviews.org natasha

    Very, very cool. Congratulations, professor.

    But… why did it have to be in an extreme alternate reality episode where the British are hasty and agressive (they observed diplomatic immunity for a member of Libya’s British embassy staff that shot a constable in broad daylight), Iran is shooting down airliners (instead of having theirs shot down, about 190 people were in the Iranian passenger plane shot down by a US warship, also in broad daylight), and the US is chilling everybody out.

    Having Lloyd on the program must have really got them thinking outside the box.

  • Patricio L�pez

    Can anybody torrentify this ep for those of us who don’t generally live in the US and are Lessig fans?

  • http://www.digital-web.com Nick Finck

    So is there a likeness between the professor here and Christopher Lloyd? I don�t… I am going to say no, but it’d be interesting to see who people would think is a better candidate and has a greater likeness.

  • http://work4bandwidth.blogspot.com mike w

    Nice to see ‘you’ on West Wing. That was a surprise. I thought at first – and only for a second – that they had pulled the character’s name out of a phone book and then realized they hadn’t. Reversed the PVR at that point. At least he didn’t pull up to the White House in a Delorean with a Cuisinart on the back… :)

  • Bob V.

    It certainly would be nice to have a President who has read, and can discuss intelligently, Future of Ideas! Congratulations on the excellent “product placement”, and please tell us how this came to be.

  • Nikki P

    I was listening to the TV when I heard “This is Professor Larry Lessig.” I thought I must’ve heard wrong, so I looked up from my crochet work and saw Jim from Taxi (not really a look alike, Professor) and heard the second intro. I thought, this is really cool. Who the hell does he know? I was hoping, however, that the TV Lessig would be there to discuss revising the DMCA and not the RAP (maybe the WW writers think RAP has something to do with hip-hop and therefore copyright infringement). It also occurred to me that the very folks who produce the WW are probably pushing for more digital copying restraints.

  • http://pirateradiostation.weblogger.com JimA4Media

    Back to the Future of Ideas – by Christopher Lessig

    Great show!

  • kjesch

    This is one of the odder moments I’ve seen on tv lately. While it must be a kick for you, I just keep asking WHY? There was no dramatic reason for the show to use your name, since the plot didn’t involve cyber- or copyright law. It would be like having “Don Cheadle” show up on an episode of the OC, except he’s being played by Morgan Freeman (C. Lloyd is significantly older than you). Oh, and while we’re at it, make Cheadle a game show host in the episode.

    In other words, with all respect, this is a long way to go for a little book plug.

  • http://mybit.typepad.com Karl


    Lessig’s comment “Fond memories of another life” is a clue.

    Check my post here.

    If I recall my Lessig-history correctly, he cut his Lawyer-teeth helping to draft Constitutions for post-Soviet bloc countries.


  • http://dmusic.com tom barger

    Matt Haughey has a mpg video clip of the West Wing episode:

    I can’t seem to configure my various browsers to either play this video file or dwonload it. Anyone esle have the same problem? or suggestion?

  • http://www.slashdot.org Al


    Having trouble here, too. I think Matt Haughey’s mpg file got corrupted when he uploaded it to his site.


  • Martin Seaboyer

    Actually, the clip works fine. Look for a media player called “mplayer”, it runs virtually anything.

  • ron adams

    I have been an avid fan of west wing since the start. I was upset at the handling of the rob lowe situation(I thought he was one of the best characters on the show), and now things are getting out of hand with Josh. How can someone who is called by several characters one of the best political minds in Washington, be mostly made to look stupid. He was asked to run the campaign for Smits character, but he never listens to him, and some of the ideas Josh comes up with really are stupid. and what’s with the fight with Toby in the next episode? He’s the communications director for crying out loud. In a real west wing situation he would be working for Josh – he always seemed to me to have to much authority. Never did like that character. If Josh is being forced out, or does not become the brilliant Chief of Staff that he should be(providing that Sanchez is elected) the show has lost a loyal fan.

    Ron Adams

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