Exactly, he was the expert Cooper didn't bring in, bringing in Albert instead. It's just a throwaway line, but it's cool that they remembered something like that when making the prequel film.
I can see why you may not care for Blue Velvet. I felt it worth mentioning, and the similarites are there (dark undertones beneath cheery small town America) but Blue Velvet is far darker, with the exception of FWWM and a few bits of the series.
Only the first five episodes then......oh, how I wish I could see it all with fresh eyes again. That's great.