Office star Kate Flannery’s characters are cleaning up

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Comedic actor Kate Flannery, who is used to playing characters who are pretty wild and free, got a change of pace for her newest project.

The Philadelphia native is best known for her role as socially inappropriate Meredith Palmer on all nine seasons of “The Office.” These days she’s playing the principal of a high school in the Hulu teen series “All Night.”

“I feel like I’ve played characters that have made a mess and now I have to clean it up,” she told The Detroit News this week. “Being principal, trying to prevent and keep people in line ... Meredith did not (do that).”

Released last week, “All Night” is a 10-episode series that takes place during an overnight lock-in high school party.

“It almost feels like an ’80s movie about high school,” she said.

Flannery also lends her voice to the animated series “OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes,” which she says caught on with fans when it was still a web show before its Cartoon Network debut.

Flannery will likely have mostly “Office” fans in line to meet her during her appearance at this weekend’s Motor City Comic Con at Novi’s Suburban Collection Showplace. She’s appearing with her former castmate, Oscar Núñez, who played Oscar Martinez on the show. The pair will sign autographs and take photos with fans (for a fee) and also participate in a panel Q&A with fans at 5 p.m. Friday.

Though “The Office” has been off the air for five years, the Emmy Award-winning comedy series still has a large fan base. A recent “The Office” trivia game in Ferndale had to be expanded to two additional venues after hundreds of fans showed up to test their minutiae.

“The Office fans are really fun and intense in a great way,” said Flannery. “They remember everything and they’re always really excited.”

She says the show appeals to the average person.

“Even kids really get it because I feel like working in an office is very similar to the format of being a student where you have the teacher who is like the boss and you have to sit next to somebody like Dwight, even though you don’t pick them. It’s a trip.”

Flannery has done comic con-type events before, but she says this is her first time teaming up with Núñez. “The Office” stars will be among dozens of other actors from film, television and the comic world appearing at Motor City Comic Con. Jason Patric, Jenna Elfman, Lucy Lawless, and others plan to appear.

“Superman” star and mental health advocate Margot Kidder was in that list until her unexpected death on Sunday.

“She was great. The world has changed so much since she was diagnosed as bi-polar and I feel like what was kind of a career-killer (back then) is so part of our conversation today,” said Flannery, adding that she feels Kidder was unfairly treated when she first spoke out about her disease and mental illness in general. “It was really tough. She was so beloved and she’s such a face of an era. I hope she felt more support in her later years than she did in the 1990s when she came out.”

The event will have a memorial for Kidder where fans can pay respect to the actress who played Lois Lane in four films.

Motor City Comic Con 2018

Suburban Collection Showplace

46100 Grand River, Novi

12:30-7 p.m. Fri., 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat. and 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.

Tickets: $25-$40 per day, $75 weekend pass, $199 VIP, $10-$20 children, kids 5 and younger are free

Kate Flannery appears all three days. Autographs are $30 and photo opportunities are $40. Group photo opp with Oscar Nunez is $70. Flannery and Nunez are part of a panel and Q& A at 5 p.m. Friday in Speaker Room 2.