Joe Flaherty, ‘SCTV’ and ‘Freaks and Geeks’ Actor, Dies at 82

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The world of comedy mourns the loss of one of its brightest stars, Joe Flaherty, who passed away at the age of 82.

His daughter, Gudrun, confirmed his death on Monday after a brief illness.

Born on June 21, 1941, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Joe Flaherty’s career in comedy spanned nearly five decades. He spent seven years honing his craft at The Second City in Chicago before moving to Toronto to establish the theater’s outpost.

Flaherty is best known for his role in the iconic Canadian sketch comedy series “SCTV,” where he starred alongside comedy legends like John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, and Harold Ramis. His brilliant performances earned him Emmys in 1982 and 1983 for his writing on the show.

Flaherty remained closely connected to Toronto throughout his career, fulfilling the role of artist-in-residence at Humber College. His daughter, Gudrun, highlighted his deep passion for movies from the ’40s and ’50s, which greatly influenced his work.

Flaherty’s versatile talent shone through in his portrayal of memorable characters such as Guy Caballero, Count Floyd, Big Jim McBob, Sammy Maudlin, and Harold Weir. He showcased his comedic brilliance in various television comedies like “Frasier” and “Family Guy,” as well as in memorable film roles in “Happy Gilmore” (1996) and “Freaks and Geeks” (1999-2000).

Beloved by audiences both in the US and Canada, Flaherty’s contributions to comedy were unparalleled. He will be remembered fondly for his wit, humor, and enduring legacy in the world of entertainment.

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