Venturelli/WireImage; Ron Batzdorff/NBC
Dan Snierson
January 17, 2018 AT 03:48 PM EST

On next week’s installment of This Is Us, Kate will decide to adopt a pet. With whom will she cross paths while on this mission? Waithe for it — it’s a familiar face.

Lena Waithe will guest star on the NBC family drama, EW has learned exclusively.

The creator of The Chi and Master of None standout will play an animal shelter worker who advises Kate (Chrissy Metz). “They’re a very fun duo together,” says TIU executive producer Isaac Aptaker. “She’s a super cool East Side L.A. woman who loves dogs and cats — and finding them homes.”

The in-demand Waithe, who won an Emmy last fall for writing the “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None, will be seen on the big screen in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One. She also will have a recurring role on season 2 of Netflix’s Dear White People.

RELATED: Master of None star Lena Waithe makes history with Emmys writing win

How exactly did Waithe come into the This Is Us orbit? “She’s friendly with one of our writers, Kay Oyegun,” says Aptaker. “We wrote the part and she said, ‘Oh, I think we should give it to Lena,’ and we were like, ‘Oh yeah, of course we should give this to Lena. Because that would make this the coolest story ever.’ Luckily she was able to do it.”

The season 2 guest roster of This Is Us also includes Garrett Morris, Kate Burton, Sylvester Stallone, and Ron Howard.

To see what Aptaker revealed about the latest clue re: Jack’s death in last night’s episode, click here.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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