Karen O'Leary


Actor, MC and Early Childhood Teacher

You would think Karen O’Leary was a cop in another life. In her exciting career to date she has played a naive cop in Taika Waititi’s What We Do In the Shadows, where her character inspired spinoff series Wellington Paranormal; she played a salacious cop in The Breakupperers; a sensible cop in The Educators; and a slight dodgy security guard in webseries Potluck. In fact, Karen is a highly versatile performer with a variety of roles under her belt. She has appeared on Have You Been Paying Attention?, Seven Sharp, Anika Moa Unleashed and recently joined the Alternative Commentary Collective.

Prior to acting, Karen was working in an early childhood centre – and we all know what a tough audience kids can be! She is great at working a crowd, engaging an audience and always getting some laughs in – but she can also deliver a serious message when the occasion demands it. Karen is truly a star for all seasons.




Wellington, New Zealand


Comedy Host, Comic & Improvisation, Compere/MC, Live Performance Host


Acting, Comedy, Education, Film & Television, Music


Kapiti Int Women's Day Lunch March 2020

"We were super happy with Karen. Our other speakers shared more somber messages so Karen was the perfect lift for the event - adding humour, energy and personality. She still shared a serious message at times, but she delivered it in an entertaining and engaging way. She was a total hit with the crowd and we thank you both for the time and energy you put into our event."

Charlotte Tollervey

PomPom Events