On 'Parks & Rec,' Rob Lowe's Back in the Funny Business

The onetime teen idol who found TV success on The West Wing and Brothers and Sisters is taking a comedy break on NBC

This Sunday, say goodbye to Rob Lowe as the season finale of Brothers and Sisters airs. (How will Sen. Robert McAllister exit the series? This promo offers a big hint.) But tonight, say hello to Lowe when he joins NBC’s Parks and Recreation (8:30 p.m. ET) in a very different role. Watch the promo here. 

So long, angsty storylines and cancer-battling wife! Time for goofball humor, and a role as an impossibly upbeat bureaucrat who’s never fully dressed without a smile! "He is the most positive person in the world and he is also very, very intense and specific," Lowe told Zap2it.com. "So whether he is describing the way he wants his water, or the kind of colors he wants on a graph, everything means the world to him."

On the hit sitcom, Lowe will play an auditor hired to slash the budget (i.e. fire people) at Pawnee’s Parks and Recreation dept. But while his gloomy sidekick, Ben (Adam Scott) does the actual dirty work, Chris’ function is to put a pretty face on it. 

And that face is (at least partly) how Lowe got the gig. "He's the world's handsomest male,” Parks exec producer Mike Schur told The Wrap. “He's like a very bright beam of light...We wrote a line for Amy [Poehler] in Rob's first episode in which she says that she accidentally looked into his eyes and it was like staring at the sun."

But Schur is quick to point out that Lowe won’t be leaning on his looks. "He fits in because he's being really funny," said Schur. “Some of the fans have expressed fears that he won't fit into the world [of Pawnee]. But I think those fears will be allayed when they see him. He's handsomer than everyone else, but he's also happy to be part of a large ensemble.”

In fact, according to Lowe, he loves the character precisely because he’s not a romantic lead. "He’s a big, fat nerd," he said. "And I’m loving it."

The star -- who was once cast in the 1983 sex farce Class and cracked up Austin Powers fans as a young Robert Wagner -- also loves the chance to do comedy again. “On this show...the acting tone is very specific,” Lowe explained. “And I always felt, watching it, that that’s the kind of show I’d like to be on. I used to watch The Office and Parks and Recreation and say, ‘I can do that.’ You never know what the universe is going to offer up to you, and so here I am.”

Andy Samberg: My Parks and Recreation Episode Will Go Down in History
- VIDEO: Watch our exclusive interview with Parks and Rec star Amy Poehler!

Do you think Rob Lowe will be a funny addition to Parks and Recreation? Chime in below!

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