BY MADDY VITALE
Success took Kate Flannery far from her hometown of Philadelphia, her family vacation retreat of Ocean City, and life on the East Coast.
Flannery, a star best known for the role of Meredith on NBC’s The Office, continues her vast and versatile career of acting, comedy, dancing and singing.
And through it all, Flannery, who lives in Los Angeles, makes it a point to come back to Philly and also spend time with family at their vacation home in Ocean City.
“I definitely feel like Ocean City is home. Once I come over the bridge, it feels good,” Flannery said in an interview with OCNJDaily.com on Tuesday. “There is a reason why my family has been coming here since 1923.”
Flannery will be back in town for this weekend’s Night in Venice celebrations.
To kick off the festivities, she will appear for a meet-and-greet with fans at the Ocean City Music Pier on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Guests will have the opportunity to take one photo on their own camera and get an autograph on a provided photo. Tickets are $20 and on sale now at oceancityvacation.com/boxoffice and at Welcome Centers throughout town.
“It is always great to meet fans. The Office fans are the best fans — especially when I am in Philly or at the shore,” Flannery said. “I am so connected to this place. I want people to come and we will talk and I will sign whatever they would like.”
On Saturday is the iconic Night in Venice boat parade and house decorating contest. Flannery recalled when she was part of the 2019 boat parade.
“It was such a good time,” she said. “It was full circle for me. It reminded me of sitting on the dock and watching the parade as a kid eating penny candy.”
While Flannery is perhaps best known for the nine seasons she played Meredith on The Office, her career has been varied.
“During the pandemic, The Office was the most watched sitcom and I feel that people are even more connected to the show than ever before,” Flannery explained.
She recently has been seen on Young Sheldon on CBS. She’s been heard on Cartoon Network’s Ok Ko and Steven Universe. She also guest starred on FOX’s Brooklyn Nine Nine, New Girl, ABC’s American Housewife, Comedy Central’s Another Period, HULU’s All Night and FOX NFL pre-game show on Riggle’s Picks.
Flannery was in the Tribeca Film Fest’s Tenured and Slow Learners and in the critically acclaimed Forth Man Out on NETFLIX. Kate stars in the HBO short Emergency Contact, How To Get Girls, Dial A Prayer with William H. Macy, and the Sundance hit, Cooties with Elijah Wood. She has also sung with the Ocean City Pop’s Orchestra.
She was in the movie, Golden Art, which is available on Apple TV and on Demand. It is a comedy about female arm wrestlers.
Flannery explained how she feels at her best when she is working. Even as a kid, she had that strong work ethic.
She worked at two Ocean City Boardwalk shops at one time during her summer vacations.
“I remember working two jobs and riding my bike from one to the other,” she said. “I always liked to keep busy.”
While she makes it a point to come back east, her multi-faceted career takes her all over the country.
Flannery said she is going on tour again with fellow actress, comedian and singer Jane Lynch.
They will be performing in the fall in a show and then a Christmas show in December.
“We have a great time, we really do,” Flannery said. “It is a joy to get to do what you love and get people to come and watch you. If you come and see Jane and I, there is definitely comedy.”
For more than 30 years Flannery has been honing her craft, doing what she loves and does not intend to slow down any time soon.
And even when interviewed about her career and her life, she ends it with comedy as only Meredith — or rather — Kate can.
“I have been very lucky and I do work hard. As an artist I want to be challenged as well. I am not phoning in my life,” she said.
“Also, they made a Funko Pop doll called the Meredith Casual Friday doll. It is so funny to me. People ask me to sign them. It’s like, I lose value if you take me out of the box,” she joked.
But seriously, she said she is thrilled to once again be at her favorite shore town on a huge celebratory weekend.
“It isn’t summer until I come to Ocean City,” she said.