A heartthrob star has gone from “The West Wing” to hawking chicken breasts.
Rob Lowe, who’s known for “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Parks and Recreation,” is Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new Col. Sanders in a campaign.
Lowe, like other fictional colonels before him, sports snow-white hair and beard in the ad for the new $3.99 Zinger chicken filet sandwich that hits the chain’s locations on Sunday.
But instead of a dressy jacket, he wears an astronaut’s uniform space suit with a painted-on bow tie befitting the southern gentleman Sanders, who died in 1980.
In the cheeky KFC spot, beginning Saturday, Lowe’s Sanders addresses a crowd and announces that the fast-food chain is launching the Zinger into space this summer.
“The time has come to explore beyond our known horizons to push KFC’s spicy, crispy chicken sandwich to new heights,” he says.
“Sure, there’ll be questions,” he adds. “Like why.”
The actor, who joins a roster of stars who’ve played Sanders, including Norm Macdonald, Darrell Hammond, Jim Gaffigan, George Hamilton and Billy Zane, said he took the job because of a rare childhood experience.
“My grandfather was the head of the Ohio chapter of the National Restaurant Association in the 1960s and took me to meet Col. Harland Sanders when I was a kid.” Lowe said in a statement. “It was a big deal.
“I thought this would be a nice homage to both Col. Sanders and to my grandfather.”
One downside: the colonel’s snow white beard runs the risk of reminding viewers of Lowe’s 1989 Oscars duet with Snow White.
Now that was so bad it was finger-lickin’ good.