The Obama administration is holding a virtual public forum for the second year in a row next week, and the principal cast of The West Wing came together again to voice their support for the idea in a video from the White House.
The idea pays "fromage" to President Andrew Jackson, who turned the White House into an open house on Feb. 22, 1837, offering the American public the opportunity to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and discuss the issues of the day with the president and his staff. Jackson had a 1,400-pound block of cheddar cheese hauled in for the event, and visitors could take a piece of it home with them.
Fans of Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing will surely be familiar with that tidbit of American history, as the series' first two seasons each contained an episode centered around President Josiah Bartlet's "Big Block of Cheese Day" — or, as one of his senior staff members derisively referred to it, "Total Crackpot Day."
The Obama administration held its first Big Block of Cheese Day on Jan. 29, 2014, the day after President Obama gave his 2014 State of the Union Address. The president and his staff answered questions from the public through a number of social media forums. The White House produced a brief skit to promote the event featuring then-White House press secretary Jay Carney and two West Wing cast members, Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman) and Joshua Malina (Will Bailey).
Nearly the whole ensemble came together for this year's video, which you can watch above. Press secretary Josh Earnest appears along with Whitford, Malina, Mary McCormack (Kate Harper), Dulé Hill (Charlie Young), Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler), Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg) and Martin Sheen (President Bartlet).
This year's Big Block of Cheese Day will be held next Wednesday, Jan. 21, again following President Obama's State of the Union address, which begins Jan. 20 at 9 p.m. ET. Members of the administration will take questions with the hashtag #AskTheWH via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.
"So, like Reddit?" Whitford asks.
"Yeah, but without the weird stuff," Earnest replies.