‘You’ve Been Flanigrammed!’ How A Man Is Spreading Joy, One Song And Dance At A Time
After biking over 3,000 miles and delivering 265 performances to friends near and far, he says he's far from done.
You won't find the word "Flanigram" in any dictionary, but the man who inspired the phrase has been bringing lots of joy to people in his community and beyond.
Billy Flanigan has worked as a performer and entertainer at Disney World in Orlando, FL for 38 years. When the resort closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, he knew that he would miss performing, but he wasn't sure how to fill the void. He decided to visit a friend one day, and from a safe distance they had a chat that went a long way in lifting both of their spirits.
"He stood on the sidewalk and I sat on my stoop and we chatted for a while," the friend later wrote on social media. "When he left, I burst into tears. I hadn't seen my friends or cast mates in weeks, and it was amazing to have a face-to-face interaction with someone (safely distanced, lol!)."
From there, Flanigan wanted to keep spreading cheer, so he hopped on his bike and started visiting as many people as possible. The stops quickly grew from a brief hello to a short performance by Flanigan, with a personal message for each recipient.
Check out Flanigan as he delivers a "Flanigram" to a friend in Orlando...
"This is my way to be social and be safe at the same time," Flanigan told the Orlando Sentinel. "I ding-dong the doorbell, back up and do my song and dance."
Flanigan has been a performer at Disney World for 38 years. Billy Flanigan/Facebook
Word of Flanigan's spontaneous visits started to spread, and a friend started calling them "Flanigrams" after she got her own personal performance.
Flanigan estimates that he's biked over 3,000 miles and has delivered Flanigrams to over 250 of his friends and colleagues. He's traveled all over Florida and has even brought his show on the road when he drove to visit friends in Texas and Arizona.
Flanigan's friend came up with the term "Flanigram" to describe his impromptu stop-offs. @thebillyflanigan
On a recent trip, he biked to a friend's place who he hasn't seen in decades.
"She's never going to remember me," Flanigan said. But "I came up, and she was at her window and shouted, 'Is that Billy Flanigan?'"
Flanigan started an Instagram page where he posts selfies and gives a little background information about the people he visits each day.
While Flanigan knows he's not changing the world with his impromptu stop-offs, he doesn't see the harm in bringing more joy into the world.
"It's just a short visit, a little song, it's silly," he said. "But I love to make people smile. If I can brighten someone's day, I want to do it."
Kudos to Flanigan for making it his mission to bring smiles to others, especially during a time when people are stuck at home. We're pretty sure we're located a bit outside of Flanigram range, but we can only hope that someday the smiling guy on the bicycle will make his way North!