Mailer is scheduled to appear next Tuesday as a curmudgeonly older man in an episode that also features his son, Stephen Mailer, who is a professional actor.
The Times said it took some subterfuge on the part of producers to get Mailer to say yes. After all, this is a man who said that sitcoms "violate any notion of serious acting and serious art."
Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of "Gilmore Girls," told the paper she never thought she would be able to get Mailer -- and initial phone calls to his publicist were not returned.
Producers then realized that one of the show's writers was close to Stephen Mailer -- so they wrote a part for him in an episode, and then sold both Mailers on the father-and-son angle.
"I was just looking forward to working with my son," Mailer told the Times. "I liked it more than I thought I would."