‘SCTV,’ ‘Freaks and Geeks’ actor Joe Flaherty dies

Joe Flaherty

Comedian Joe Flaherty has died.

He was 82.

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Variety reported that Flaherty’s death was confirmed by his daughter in a statement through the Comedic Artists Alliance.

“After a brief illness, he left us yesterday, and since then, I’ve been struggling to come to terms with this immense loss,” his daughter, Gudrun, wrote. “Dad was an extraordinary man, known for his boundless heart and an unwavering passion for movies from the ‘40s and ‘50s. His insights into the golden age of cinema didn’t just shape his professional life; they were also a source of endless fascination for me. In these last few months, as he faced his health challenges, we had the precious opportunity to watch many of those classic movies together — moments I will forever hold dear.”

Flaherty was born in Pittsburgh, in 1941. He performed at The Second City comedy club in Chicago, writing and acting in several shows alongside other powerhouses who got their start with the group such as John Belushi, Harold Ramis and Brian Doyle-Murray. He also appeared on “National Lampoon Radio Hour” with Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and Chevy Chase.

Flaherty eventually moved to Toronto to start Second City Toronto and “SCTV” with John Candy, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short.

He would go on to impersonate other celebrities like Kirk Douglas, Richard Nixon and Gregory Peck, as well as develop his own characters, such as Count Floyd.

He won two primetime Emmy Awards for “SCTV,” according to IMDB.

In addition to his stage and television career in the ‘70s and ‘80s, he also was in several films, including “Happy Gilmore,” “Detroit Rock City” and “Back to the Future II.”

He also played the father on NBC’s “Freaks and Geeks,” The New York Times reported.

Short paid tribute to his former co-star, telling Variety, “In over 50 years of our friendship, there were very few people as wise or hilarious when it came to comedy, teaching improvisation and the art of character work as Joe. In ‘SCTV’ we called him the anchor. In life, he was simply the funniest man in the room. I just adored him.”

Flaherty had been ill but decided to remain at home instead of being admitted into what Variety called a “care facility.” His “SCTV” castmates tried to use social media to raise money for Flaherty’s care through the Comedic Artists Alliance to provide 24-hour care.

Gudrun Flaherty said her father died of a “brief illness” but did not say what the illness was or where he passed away, the Times reported.

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