By Margaret Lyons
August 06, 2009 at 07:43 PM EDT

I 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