Comedian and Actor Passes Away

Comedian and Actor Passes Away

( – Comedian and actor Joe Flaherty has died at age 82. His daughter, Gudrun Flaherty, announced his death in a statement on April 2, saying he had battled a brief illness. She added that she was struggling to come to terms with the loss. Gudrun described her father as a man with a boundless heart and an “unwavering passion” for movies and comedy.

Pennsylvania native Flaherty was best known for his SCTV comedy sketch show and film roles including Happy Gilmore, Stripes, Innerspace, and the teen comedy-drama Freaks and Geeks. He was also a regular performer on Saturday Night Live.

The SCTV cast, which included actor Martin Short, recently held a fundraiser in his name and said they owed him an outstanding “debt of gratitude” for his creativity and inspiration.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1941 to Irish and Italian parents, he served in the US Air Force for four years before committing to the theater. He moved to Chicago in 1969 to pursue an entertainment career at the Second City Theater, where he worked with stars including John Belushi and Harold Ramis. From there, he moved to Toronto to become one of the initial stars of the SCTV sketch show, which ran until 1984.

His daughter noted in her statement that SCTV was the highlight of his career. “He cherished every moment,” she said.

Fans and co-stars paid tribute to the comedian on social media, including Happy Gilmore’s Adam Sandler, who wrote that he “worshipped” the comedian growing up. “Always had me and my brother laughing,” Sandler wrote.

Mark Hamill said on X that SCTV was one of the greatest sketch shows ever produced, with “some of the most brilliant comic actors ever assembled in one show.” Freaks and Geeks creator and comedian Paul Feig called him a true comedy hero, and Jennifer Tilly wrote that she was “thrilled” to work with him in the 1997 comedy The Wrong Guy.

Flaherty married Judith Dagley in 1974, but they divorced in 1996. They had two children.

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