Lawrence Francis O'Donnell, Jr. (born November 7, 1951) is an American political analyst, journalist, actor, producer, writer, and host of The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, a Monday through Thursday evening MSNBC opinion and news program. O'Donnell called himself a "practical European socialist" in a Newsmaker Interview dated November 11, 2005. He frequently filled in as host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC before getting his own show on the cable network. Beginning 24 October 2011, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell switched time slots with The Ed Show, with Ed Schultz taking over the 8 p.m. Eastern slot, and O'Donnell returning to the 10 p.m. Eastern slot.O'Donnell has also appeared as a political analyst on The McLaughlin Group, The Al Franken Show, and Countdown with Keith Olbermann. He was an Emmy Award-winning producer and writer for the NBC series The West Wing (and played the role of the President's father in flashbacks) and creator and executive producer of the NBC series Mister Sterling. He is also an occasional actor, appearing as a recurring supporting character on the HBO series Big Love, portraying an attorney. He began his career as an aide to U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and was Staff Director for the Senate Finance Committee.