“StandUp In Stilettos” Scoop: Kate Flannery On New Hosting Gig And Philly Bar Roots

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At first glance, you may think of Kate Flannery as her drunken character Meredith on NBC’s The Office. You may expect Creed or Kevin to pop out to join her or you may think that a bat will begin to circle her head soon with Dwight hovering over her with a black trash bag. Or, you could also think of a slew of other roles she plays like her work in her comedy act Lampshades, her stints on Saturday Night Live, Wendy in the Wendy’s Hamburger commercials and even her work in the late Nora Ephron’s “Love, Loss and What I Wore” on the New York stage. But despite having a memorable face and a shot glass usually glued to her hand, Kate has been able to step away from Dunder Mifflin for a bit to host the new TV Guide Network series StandUp in Stilettos.

A series that premiered in late June that showcases talented comediennes, (who just so happen to be female!), StandUp in Stilettos features three comedians every episode talking about material for and about women. The show is the first hosting job for Kate and was filmed in just three days. The ladies brought great material, makeup and of course, stilettos for the occasion.

Bridesmaids made a big screen impact in 2011 but as Kate points out, women have always been funny. And Kate herself is an example of that. After discussing about our Scranton pride, Kate went on to discuss her hosting gig, her personal comedic icons and if a second season for the new series is a possibility.

Note: We were in wedges and flats at the time, but that of course didn’t take away from the extra fun Stilettos talk.

New show with some of the best female comedians out there. What can audiences expect?

KATE FLANNERY: It’s called StandUp in Stilettos! It’s on the TV Guide network. It is a half hour of three female stand ups and myself hosting and it is in front of a live audience and it’s really funny! It’s women who are not just talking about female specifics. What it is—it’s writing a wrong and I can’t believe there’s never been a female stand up show, which is why I thought, “Oh my God. I totally want to host that!” It’s not my idea and I didn’t produce it. They just asked me and I thought, “Oh my God, absolutely.” And I actually have some friends who said yes to do it. I didn’t ask them but my name was attached and I feel like we were like, “Hey, wouldn’t that be fun? Yes.” It’s just kind of awesome because it made it such a pleasure. We shot in a really short period of time and these women have really big acts and they just came with their best game.  I just think the show is really strong and it’s long, long, long, overdue. Just long overdue.

Was there a lot of bonding going on? Sharing material with one another?

A little bit, but it was fast and furious. We shot 12 episodes in three days so there was not a lot of re-shooting. It was kind of get them in and get them out, but we had really great make up and really great hair, which for the girls is fun. [Laughs] It was really fun. Sorry, I shouldn’t be in wedges right now. I’m StandUp and Wedgies right now—sitting down and wedgies. [Laughs] By the way, StandUp and Stilettos, I did not come up with the title…it sort of sounds like a drag show. But that’s okay.

Isn’t it your first time hosting? How was that experience?

It is. It’s really fun actually. I have a comedy act called Lampshades and we’ve hosted many stand-up shows but were not sort of only in the stand-up world because we also open for music acts like The Dan Band and Richard Cheese and we sort of have our own sort of version of the stand-up. Although we do play clubs sometimes, but it’s nice to be a part of that world and not depend on that world. It’s tough. Stand-up is like you’re your own director, you’re your own writer, you’re your own editor, your own star. So it’s all on you. So you know there’s not really a reversal. It’s as much and as ready as you are in front of a live audience. And God knows how it’s going to go.

Who are some of your comedic icons?

Carol Burnett, Katherine O’Hara, Andrew Martin and all of the women from the first season of Saturday Night Live.

Have you ever performed with the Lampshades at your dad’s bar in Philly?

No we never did a Lampshade at my Dad’s bar. We partied afterwards at my brother’s bar after a Lampshades show. No we never did. [Laughs]

Do you get a lot of jokes from your family? I read that your father goes to funerals if he can’t make church on a Sunday.

Oh yeah! If he can’t make it to church he likes to go to mass first thing in the morning. Start your day off right just in case you get killed! So if he somehow misses that early mass he will find a funeral to go to and every once in a while its some dead old lady with like three people in the family who are looking at him like, “What are you doing here mister?” But yeah, my dad is very funny and his stage was the bar and he definitely had routines and definitely had funny lines for certain people. He definitely taught me a lot about timing and he continues to. He’s really fantastic.

Like you said, it’s about time StandUp in Stilettos happened. Just like in Bridesmaids with your Office co-star Ellie Kemper. All of a sudden everyone was like, “Wow, females are funny!” Well, obviously. Did you find it gratifying?

It’s gratifying and it’s a little bit like duh. It’s a combo platter. But it’s just nice that I feel like the argument is really moot at this point. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s kind of over. Like the conversation is kind of over it’s just sort of like we don’t really need to go back there.

Exactly. And is there a chance for a second season?

We’ll see. I think there is a possibility and I feel like gosh they got great talent and I’m sure God knows there is so many women that I would like to see do the show. Like, I love Sarah Colonna on Chelsea Lately. And there’s so many really, really funny women. And you know sometimes they’re too big for it but you never know. It’s a nice way for people to see what you do. Especially if you are a familiar face in the business and people don’t know that these women’s have acts. It’s a win-win.

StandUp In Stilettos currently is on every Saturday at 10 p.m. on the TV Guide Network.

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