Louis C.K. joining 'Parks and Recreation'

Louis-c-k_lI got an e-mail last night with the subject line “!!!!”, which could have meant anything: Spam? Love connection? Recipes for alcoholic popsicles? It turned out to be better than that: Louis C.K. is going to be on Parks and Recreation. Four exclamation points indeed!

According to Variety, Louis C. K. “will portray a Pawnee police officer and potential love interest for the character played by star Amy Poehler. Louis will first appear in the second episode of the Parks season and appear in several segments thereafter.”

I’ve been a big Louis C.K. fan for a while, particularly his stand-up, and when I saw him perform a few months ago, I was struck by how emotional his routine can be. He’s often pegged as sort of an bitter comedian (well…), but that’s not the whole story: He’s intense, certainly, but his set covers moments of profound disappointment and self-doubt, of helplessness and bafflement, and also elation and unexpected victory. Most of the punchlines are a little blue for a family blog, but amid the R- and X-rated material, there’s a lot of, dare I say it, heart.

Which is great news for P&R. I’m one of the few people who’s into the series, but even I can acknowledge that it’s pretty low-energy. All the characters operate on roughly the same flat-affect wavelength. Even Poehler’s Leslie Knope is sort of a drip, which is why the show never quite pops — there’s not quite enough conflict or opposition that arises, organically, from within character relationships. I’m hopeful that C.K.’s addition to the cast will bring some much-needed vibrancy.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Are you excited to see Parks and Recreation find its footing a little, or do you think Louis C.K. is a step in the wrong direction?

Photo credit: Peter Field Peck/Landov

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Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • Wojo

    I’m not even that big a of a Louis C.K. fan so I’m kind of surprised how excited I am to read this. I’ve enjoyed “Parks and Recreation” so far though, and I especially like Nick Offerman’s character. I could see Nick and Louis playing well off each other if they end up having scenes together.

  • Lynny

    Love him and love the idea. I like the show, but it could use a little juice.

  • Stacie

    I love Louis CK!!!! I don’t really like P&R but I maybe I’ll give it another go with Louis on there.

  • Tuzo

    I haven’t seen the show but I will check it out now. I know what you are saying about Louis C.K. having “heart”. I would call it truth. But not a superficial “have you ever noticed how the peanuts on the airplane are so small” type. It’s deeper. It’s real. Sometimes it’s ugly, sometimes it’s sad, and sometimes it’s inspiring. But it’s truth. And it comes from a deep place. I guess you could call that heart.

  • Raven_Moon

    Perhaps, Louis C.K. is a step in the right direction for “Parks and Recreation.” I found the show to be rather boring, with only the occasional bright spot, which is a shame because I really like Amy Poehler & Rashida Jones. Despite this, I’ve stuck with it. I’ll check out the first couple episodes of the 2nd season, but if it doesn’t pick up, I will be officially done with this show.

  • F2 generation

    He better not name his kids F.U.

  • paige

    i actually enjoyed his show Lucky Louie…

  • Rebecca

    I am one of the few that has liked every episode so far. I think he will be a great and funny addition to the characters.

    Every time somebody talks about how weak Parks And Recreation is, I just have to remind them that The Office was crap the first season, but got better from the second season on. The actors and characters just have to find their place and it will happen. And it will be hilarious.

  • will

    This is a step in the right direction. Louis is one of the most brutally honest, most talented comics I’ve ever seen. Now all they have to do is get rid of Rashida Jones.

  • Daver

    The man the wrote and directed Pootie Tang can add nothing but good things to the show.

  • Daver

    Uh…*that*.

  • gina

    I have to completely disagree about your criticism of Parks and Recreation’s “flat-affect” personalities and lack of conflict. I think the show is brilliant. It is one of the few sitcoms, if the only one, that manages to have interesting characters without playing off of the tired “gender differences” stereotype. Perhaps that is why you see them as flat and why you think conflict is lacking? Because they haven’t played the men and women against each other like most sitcoms do? (i.e. men are lazy childish slobs trying to get away with everything and women are controlling nags trying to get everyone to be more in touch with their emotions)

  • gina

    On a side note, as far as “drippy characters” goes — The Office is almost entirely made up of drippy characters. I started watching P&R because it had some of the same great features of The Office (workplace humor, breaking the fourth wall) but with brighter characters and a little bit of a faster pace.

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