Allison Janney Brings Back 'The Jackal'

by Alicia Lutes

There's nothing more perfect than the following sentence: Allison Janney, flawless queen and perfect specimen of humanity, performed The Jackal on the Arsenio Hall Show Tuesday night. That's right, that C.J. Cregg classic — straight from Season 1 of The West Wing.

You don't know what The Jackal is? Who are you, the monster that lives under my bed and whispers that all things in life should be serious and not-at-all funny and absurd? Let me set you straight, ma. The Jackal is a 1993 song from British urban/acid jazz artist Ronny Jordan, but it really came to prominence in 2000 when Janney's character did it on Aaron Sorkin's best walk-and-talkie, The West Wing. Janney — a.k.a. C.J. Cregg the White House Press Secretary for greatest-TV-president-ever (fight me on this), Jed Bartlet — slinked and slithered her way with the best of them and created for herself an iconic moment of silly TV ephemera that will live tucked in the hearts of TV lovers forevermore.

So without further ado, America ... may I present to you the return of (wait a beat before you say it aloud, makes it that much better): The Jackal.

And just as a bonus, here's Janney's 2000 take on the song, straight from the Sorkin's mouth:

Oh my god I love Allison Janney you guys. I love her. I just love her so much. Allison Janney, please take me under your wing so we can have a hilariously silly mentor-of-radacity/friendship. I'll bring the white wine.