Principal Figgins in The West Wing, 1999

5 July 2010

I recently moved into a new apartment, in the process of which I regained a roommate from this past summer who possesses, along with baking skills and a robust liquor supply, a copy of the first season of The West Wing. Moseying my way through it I saw – though it had lingered as a distant memory – the now-ubiquitous Dr. Cuddy engaged in a bizarre career lacuna in which, sandwiched between undergrad and a brilliant subsequent career as a doctor medical school and a hospital administrator, she went to Georgetown Law and became a hooker to pay her way, slept with the Deputy Communications Director of the White House and lived in an inappropriately-posh townhouse for someone in her station. It was a decade ago, so perhaps it was the wrong side of Dupont Circle at the time. Anyway as in addition to being a club princess in the 90s Lisa Edelstein has been in perhaps every television show on air (and some not) I didn’t think it worth making hay.

What had not lingered in my memory, however, was the sight of Glee’s own Principal Figgins as the much younger Indian Ambassador to the United States in an episode inappropriately entitled “Lord John Marbury.” (It is inappropriate because only the second and later sons of marquesses and dukes are titled “Lord Firstname Lastname” – in the show his senior title, if memory serves, would be Marquess of Needham and Dolby and therefore he’d be called Lord Needham, as would the episode, which is entirely beside the point.) Incidentally, in the minute or so he is featured Indian Ambassador Figgins was considerably more reasonable than High School Principal Figgins ever was. He was probably forced to resign in disgrace after railing about the dangers of Muslim vampirism.


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