Remembering the Legacy: A Tribute to Joe Flaherty

Remembering the Legacy: A Tribute to Joe Flaherty

At the age of 82, American comedian and actor Joe Flaherty, best known for his work on SCTV’s sketch comedy series and Freaks and Geeks, passed away.

Gudrun, Flaherty’s daughter, revealed his passing and stated that it was the result of a “brief illness”.
Flaherty, a Pittsburgh native, began his comedic career with Chicago’s The Second City improv troupe.

With credits on numerous well-known television comedy, including Frasier and Family Guy, his career lasted almost five decades.

Gudrun noted in a statement that her father’s “unwavering passion for movies from the 40s and 50s” had an impact on his professional life. ¬†She continued by saying that he especially enjoyed his time on SCTV.

“He cherished every moment spent on the show, so proud of its success and so proud to be part of an amazing cast,” she continued.

“There were very few people as wise or hilarious when it came to comedy, teaching improvisation and the art of character work as Joe,” comedian and former SCTV castmate Martin Short said in a statement.

“We referred to him as the anchor on SCTV. He was just the funniest man in the room when he was alive. I simply loved him.”

Following eight years on SCTV, Flaherty was chosen to play Harold Weir, the father of two awkward kids, in the teen comedy-drama Freaks and Greeks.

Although the show was canceled after only one season, it went on to become a cult classic and paved the way for the careers of a number of up-and-coming actors, including Linda Cardellini, Jason Segel, James Franco, and Busy Philipps.

In the 1996 movie Happy Gilmore, played by Adam Sandler, Flaherty had a brief but memorable part as a heckler who teases the movie’s protagonist, a golfer.

The actor was well-liked both in his home country of the United States and in Canada, where he eventually relocated to start The Second City’s Toronto branch.

He made guest appearances on the Canadian sketch comedy program The Royal Canadian Air Farce and starred in a number of comedies.

Co-stars recalled Flaherty as a gifted comic who was also compassionate.
Adam Sandler claimed to have “worshipped Joe growing up” in an Instagram post.
It would be an absolute pleasure to have him taunt me while playing golf. The kindest person you’ve ever met. Remarkable comic talent. And a real sweetie ideal combination,” wrote Sandler. “Much love to his kids and thanks to Joe for all the greatness he gave us all.”

Flaherty co-starred with Jennifer Tilly in the 1997 movie The Wrong Guy. “I was so thrilled to be able to work with him,” Tilly wrote.

“He gave a flawless performance. An excellent comic. Too soon gone.”

Before being divorced in 1996, Flaherty spent 22 years of marriage to Judith Dagley. Gudrun and Gabriel Flaherty, his two children, are his only survivors.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top