Rob Lowe plays KFC’s new Colonel Sanders to pay tribute to his grandfather

Robe Lowe’s newest acting gig is one he stepped into for personal reasons.

Lowe is the latest actor to take on the role of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Colonel Sanders, but his inspirational reason for doing so is very personal.

The former “West Wings” star will be appearing in the fast food chain’s new advertising campaign as a way of paying tribute to his grandfather.

“My grandfather was the head of the Ohio chapter of the National Restaurant Association in the 1960s and took me to meet Colonel Harland Sanders when I was as kid,” Lowe said in a statement Friday, according to Fox Business.

“It was a big deal. I thought this would be a nice homage to both Colonel Sanders and to my grandfather,” he said.

The new ad, promoting the fast food chain’s “Zinger” chicken sandwich, debuts on Sunday. Lowe traded in the Colonel’s signature white suit for a space suit that pays homage to the signature double-breasted Sanders fashion.

In the ad, Lowe’s Colonel announces the launch of the Zinger sandwich in a parody of President John F. Kennedy’s famous speech on space travel to the moon.

Kentucky Fried Chicken, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, was founded in 1930 and has more than 20,000 stores in over 120 countries.

The company’s spicy Zinger is their first fried chicken sandwich,  made daily by hand and in-house, the company’s president told FOX Business.

“We have been actually working on this for two years, we spent $80 million dollars upgrading our back house equipment and we spent the last six months re-training all of our staff on how to make a fried chicken sandwich fast because ultimately at lunch, we have to win on speed,” Kevin Hochman, president and chief concept officer for KFC, told Fox Business.

The company teased the new campaign in a series of tweets revealing Lowe as the face behind the space suit.

Lowe is following in the footsteps of many others like comedians Darrell Hammond, Jim Gaffigan, Norm Macdonald and actors George Hamilton and Billy Zane who have stepped in to portray KFC’s founder who died in 1980 at 90 years old.

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