— Sean Hayes (@SeanHayes) September 26, 2016
C.J. Cregg stood in the bed of a pickup truck in Ohio alongside her fictional co-workers from the West Wing. Will and Grace reunited on the set of their old apartment, unseen on screen since the finale a decade ago. And Iron Man pulled together his band of Avengers — and a bunch of other famous people — to talk about saving the world this fall from a presidential candidate who, they said, “could permanently damage the fabric of our society.”
They appeared on different screens but all shared a common purpose: to get Americans to vote on Nov. 8.
More specifically, to get Americans to vote with her.
It’s not uncommon for celebrities to unite behind a presidential candidate, especially if that candidate is a Democrat. Hollywood has earned its stereotype as a place for left-leaners, and actors and actresses who identify as such have been taking on political causes for decades.
But this year, it seems it’s not just belief in Hillary Clinton that is motivating these famous faces to join forces.
Equally so, it’s their disdain for her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, who is not without his own celebrity endorsements — including Hulk Hogan, Omarosa Manigault, Ted Nugent, Kirstie Alley and Lou Ferrigno. They’ve spoken with reporters and tweeted their support and posted videos on YouTube.
But none, for Trump or Clinton, have gone so far as this: After a 10-year hiatus from TV screens, the cast of “Will & Grace” came together for a 10-minute mini-episode centered entirely around convincing Karen, old pals with Trump — whom she affectionately calls Donnie — and Jack, who is an undecided voter, to cross over to team Clinton.
In the episode, actors Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally and Eric McCormack manage to cram in references to “Hamilton,” “deplorables,” Brangelina’s divorce, Ann Coulter, Clinton’s pantsuits, Trump’s wall, a butt double in “50 Shades of Grey” and “dusting” classes at Trump University.
When Jack barges in, admitting he isn’t voting for Trump but isn’t voting for Clinton either, Will and Grace seem shocked.
“Well who are you voting for?” Grace asks incredulously.
“I don’t know, Grace,” he says. “Maybe I’ll stay home on December 1.”
In the end, after a rousing speech from Grace about breaking through the glass ceiling and giving little girls an example to work toward, Jack is admittedly unconvinced. He particularly dislikes Clinton’s pesky habit of wearing pants.
“I still haven’t heard the one thing that’ll convince me to vote for one candidate over the other,” Jack says.
Will approaches slowly, gripping his shoulders.
“Katy Perry,” he says, “likes Hillary.”
“And bingo was her name-o!” Jack exclaims. “Sorry, Karen. I’m with her.”
The Internet gleefully celebrated this onscreen reunion, which the cast had been teasing for days on social media. At the end of the mini episode and across social media, the cast encouraged viewers to register to vote — and use the hashtag #votehoney.
— Dave Karger (@davekarger) September 27, 2016
— Chris Webb (@chriswhomakes) September 26, 2016
Fans of the political drama “The West Wing,” which was created by Aaron Sorkin and aired on NBC from 1999 to 2006, were equally elated to learn that during the weekend some of the actors who starred in the show’s lead roles would be reuniting in Ohio to campaign for Clinton. The show followed the two-term presidency of Jed Bartlet, a Democrat from New Hampshire known for his rambling, yet rousing monologues on the sanctity of democracy, liberty and civic discourse.
— Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney) September 25, 2016
It was idealistic, like much of Sorkin’s writing, but created a political world where the right and the left at least tried to work together, where the parties were respectful and good triumphed evil.
That, the cast told People magazine, is why they amassed for Clinton.
“I do not have faith that Donald Trump has any real interest in leaving the world a better place than how we found it,” actor Richard Schiff, who on the show played Toby Ziegler, the melancholy and crippling quixotic White House communications director, told People. “So there’s no debate here, there’s no question. I would vote for Donald Duck over Donald Trump.”
Mary McCormack, who played National Security Director Kate Harper, assembled the crew, which included actors Josh Malina (Will Bailey), Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman), Allison Janney (CJ Cregg), Dulé Hill (Charlie Young) and Schiff.
— Bradley Whitford (@WhitfordBradley) September 25, 2016
“What I’ve been saying about ‘The West Wing’ is that on the show we had rational, well-intentioned Republicans,” Whitford told People. “Obviously, Donald Trump and his antics, we would have never insulted the Republican Party on ‘The West Wing’ by having a candidate who mocks people’s physical disabilities, who demeans women. We’re living in some bad writing right now.”
The cast was not joined by their fictional leader, President Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen, though the actor did make in appearance in a different celebrity-filled spot that resonated with the same message: please vote.
“We cannot pretend both sides are equally unfavorable,” Sheen declares in the video.
He speaks in snippets, strewn together with others from, as the video defines it, a “s— ton of famous people” calling on Americans to register to vote. They call it an obligation and one of the “most important decisions” in American history.
“But you only get this many famous people together if the issue is one that truly matters to all of us,” the actors say, finishing each other’s sentences.
“Or an ecological crisis.”
“Or a racist, abusive coward who could permanently damage the fabric of our society.”
They promoted Save The Day, a short-form digital production company funded by a PAC, which has a website that helps citizens discover voter registration deadlines and information.
And registering, according to the video, affords viewers a special reward: Mark Ruffalo, nude, in his next movie.
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