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Legendary ‘SCTV’ Comedian Joe Flaherty Dies at 82



Joe Flattery died at age of 82

Joe Flaherty, the actor, writer and comedian from ‘Second City Television’ and ‘Freaks and Geeks,’ passed away at the age of 82 on Monday.

Joe Flaherty’s daughter, Gudrun, told Variety that her dad passed away. She said their family got help from the Comedic Artists Alliance to get him a 24-hour caregiver.

Comedian star Joe Flaherty and his family photo
Joe Flaherty with his family

Yesterday, after a short illness, my dad left us. It’s been tough dealing with this huge loss. Dad was amazing, with a heart as big as the sky. He loved old movies from the ’40s and ’50s like nobody else. Watching those classics with him in his last months was special. Those moments will stay with me forever.


Flaherty was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 21, 1941. He kicked off his career at The Second City in Chicago, where he wrote and acted in a bunch of shows like ‘The Next Generation,’ ‘Justice is Done or Oh, Cal Coolidge,’ and ‘Cooler Near the Lake’ alongside Brian Doyle-Murray and Harold Ramis.

Joe Flaherty teamed up with John Candy and Catherine O’Hara on ‘SCTV,’ a show about a goofy TV station called Second City Television. Flaherty played characters like the boss Guy Caballero and the vampire host Count Floyd.


Joe Flaherty carrer

He scored Emmys in 1982 and 1983 for writing on ‘SCTV’ and kept on acting in TV and movies for years. Flaherty also acted with John Belushi in stuff like ‘Cum Grano Salis’ and ‘No, No, Wilmette.’ Later, he joined Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, Doyle-Murray, and Ramis on the ‘National Lampoon Radio Hour.’

After seven years in Chicago, Flaherty moved to Toronto, helping to start up Second City Toronto and working on ‘SCTV’ there.

Joe Flaherty playing a role in Stripes
Joe Flaherty in a role of Stripes

Flaherty popped up in lots of TV shows and movies over the years. You might’ve seen him in ‘Back to the Future II,’ ‘Happy Gilmore,’ ‘Freaks and Geeks,’ ‘One Crazy Summer,’ ‘National Security,’ ‘Detroit Rock City,’ ‘Family Guy,’ and ‘The King of Queens. In ‘Freaks and Geeks,’ he played Harold Weir. In ‘Happy Gilmore’ he was a heckler named Donald. Further, in ‘Back to the Future II’ he was a Western Union courier.

Before he passed, Flaherty decided to spend his final days at home instead of a care facility. His ‘SCTV’ buddies pitched in on social media to help raise money for him through the Comedic Artists Alliance.

Martin Short shared some thoughts about Flaherty, saying how he was a big part of ‘SCTV’ and taught them a lot. Flaherty’s daughter, Gudrun, also talked about how much he loved movies and how proud he was of ‘SCTV’ and its success. She mentioned how the whole cast owes him a lot for keeping them on track and inspired.


But above all, Flaherty was a great dad. He was always there with a joke or some wisdom when needed. His absence is really tough right now, but his memories and impact will stick with us forever.