In the summer comedy The Way Way Back, Allison Janney played a sauced mom who leaks TMI, and in the new CBS sitcom Mom, Janney plays another poor role-model mother who’s a recovered addict. But Janney will forever be known for the most sober of characters, President Bartlet’s press secretary and chief of staff C.J. Cregg on The West Wing. Fans of that Aaron Sorkin show will recall the season 1 episode where the White House staff gathers at the end of a long day of walk-and-talks to watch Cregg’s performance of Ronny Jordan’s 1993 song, ‘The Jackal’ — a jazzy, whispery rap that the actress had mastered in her downtime during the show that has since become a secret-handshake of sorts for those who love Janney, Cregg, and The West Wing.
When Janney recently signed on to Twitter, White House press secretary Jay Carney welcomed her to the site by asking her to teach him how to do “The Jackal.” If he was watching Arsenio Hall last night, he received a free lesson. Janney slinked and slanked on to the host’s lap to perform a sensual rendition of the song. Watch it below.
I think we can all agree with Toby Ziegler, who correctly shushed Josh Lyman, “Never talk to me during ‘The Jackal.'”