‘The West Wing’ Scene Dulé Hill Says ‘Still, To This Day, Warms My Heart’

There’s no shortage of poignant moments in The West Wing. 156 episodes of the award-winning TV show, and one scene, in particular, stands out to Dulé Hill

Dulé Hill attend the 2018 Denim, Diamonds, And Stars
Dulé Hill attend the 2018 Denim, Diamonds, And Stars | Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Dulé Hill plays Charlie Young, the president’s ‘body man’ in ‘The West Wing’

Hill joined the cast of The West Wing early on in the show’s first season. According to IMDb, the actor makes his first appearance as Charlie Young in The West Wing Season 1 Episode 3: “A Proportional Response.”

Charlie applies for a part-time job as a messenger at the White House. During the interview process, he gets recommended for another much more demanding job: being what Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) calls the president’s “body man” or personal aide. 

Bewildered at the job opportunity, Charlie initially thinks there’s been a mix-up but he eventually accepts the position. As a result of the job, he spends a lot of time with Martin Sheen’s character, President Josiah Bartlet, and they get to know each other well. 

Dulé Hill’s favorite scene in ‘The West Wing’ is 1 between him and Martin Sheen

The West Wing Season 2 has Hill’s favorite scene in the entire series. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the actor explained why he’s so fond of a particular scene in The West Wing Season 2 Episode 8: “Shibboleth.” 

“The scene with Martin [Sheen] in ‘Shibboleth’ where he gave me the knife,” Hill said. “That still, to this day, warms my heart because I feel like it really cemented the relationship between Charlie and Bartlet as a father-and-son-type relationship.”

The moment Hill’s referring to comes after his character spends the entire episode searching for a new carving knife for the president ahead of Thanksgiving. Charlie tracks down all sorts of unique and impressive knives. But the president doesn’t like any of them. 

Martin Sheen and Dulé Hill in 'The West Wing'
Martin Sheen and Dulé Hill in The West Wing | NBCU Photo Bank

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Finally, Charlie asks the president why he needs a new carving knife in the first place. He says because he’s giving his away. He then proceeds to give Charlie the Bartlet family carving knife. Made by Paul Revere, it had been passed down for generations. The president then tells Charlie’s he’s proud of him. 

It’s one of the few times Charlie and the president share a more heartfelt moment. They’re typically making jokes in between meetings or Sheen’s character is teasing Charlie for dating his daughter, Zoey (Elisabeth Moss). 

Aaron Sorkin likes the heartfelt moments on ‘The West Wing’ too 

Hill’s not alone is his favorite scene selection. The show’s creator, Aaron Sorkin, loves relatable scenes that involve the president.

“My favorite moments on the show were always showing the intersection of the person and the job,” Sorkin told Empire in their Definitive History of The West Wing

He enjoyed “any time Bartlet could be something other than the president – a father, or a husband, or a son, or a friend.”

When The West Wing ended in 2006, Charlie had become a special aide to C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney). Meanwhile, Hill received a best supporting actor Emmy nomination.