“Damn, who the hell schedules these things?”
April 2, 2024 10:35 PM   Subscribe

American-born Canadian comedy legend Joe Flaherty has died after a short illness. He was 82 years old. American audiences might know him best as Happy Gilmore’s heckler, or Big Bird’s co-kidnapper, or as Mr. Weir from “Freaks and Geeks.” Canadian viewers and comedy nerds will more likely recognize him from SCTV, or as Jennifer Tilly’s long-suffering dad in the cult classic The Wrong Guy.

It happened Monday night, but his family made the announcement Tuesday morning…perhaps to ward off any false alarms of April Fooling.

At the turn of the Millennium, Toronto’s Humber College launched its School of Comedy. Joe was on the faculty, and countless lucky alumni will remember him as a brilliant teacher.

I’m hono(u)red to be one of them, though my star never rose nearly as high.

Thanks, Joe.
posted by armeowda (51 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Navelgazer at 10:50 PM on April 2

RIP Count Floyd.
posted by UhOhChongo! at 10:54 PM on April 2 [21 favorites]

When I was in my teens my brother discovered this very funny show on Friday nights called SCTV. It was an amazingly hilarious and intelligent parody of Show Biz and because I read a lot of esoteric things and relentlessly watched old TV shows and movies I got a lot of the Show Biz references like The Rat Pack, old comedians, hapless talk show hosts, etc. Plus the Canadiana as well, which was always razor sharp.
Flaherty will always remembered to me for his work on SCTV, I think out of everything he did the show gave him the most room as far as his very obvious talents go.
RIP Joe, and thank you so much.

posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 10:59 PM on April 2 [7 favorites]

This one hurt. RIP Joe.
posted by whatevernot at 11:12 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]

oh damn. that's a huge bummer. Thanks for all the laughs, Joe
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:31 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]

posted by LobsterMitten at 11:35 PM on April 2

Oh I loved him on SCTV, which I watched faithfully as an ‘80s kid. Then later, he was so good as the dad on Freaks and Geeks. (I always think of this clip: “He died!”) Can’t believe he was only around 60 at that time—seems like just yesterday. He was a good one. RIP Joe.

posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:38 PM on April 2 [7 favorites]

Flaherty as William F. Buckley still makes me smile. RIP.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 12:04 AM on April 3 [9 favorites]

Goodnight, Guy Caballero. Goodnight, Tex Boil. Goodnight, Billy Sol Hurok. May the Lord bless you and blow you up real soon.

And say hey to John Candy for me, will ya?

posted by JustSayNoDawg at 12:33 AM on April 3 [12 favorites]

I feel like Joe was on TV for about 80% of my childhood, and never failed to make me laugh.

posted by sudasana at 12:35 AM on April 3 [3 favorites]

posted by hydrobatidae at 2:46 AM on April 3

posted by Thorzdad at 3:53 AM on April 3

posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 3:57 AM on April 3

posted by mikelieman at 3:59 AM on April 3

Man, he was so good in Freaks and Geeks.
posted by mikelieman at 4:00 AM on April 3 [9 favorites]


SCTV had some of the smartest comedy out there. You never needed that wheelchair to earn my respect, Guy.
posted by PlusDistance at 4:18 AM on April 3 [10 favorites]

posted by JoeXIII007 at 4:18 AM on April 3

posted by warriorqueen at 4:22 AM on April 3

posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 4:31 AM on April 3

posted by briank at 4:34 AM on April 3

"Blowed up REAL good!"

And his impressions were fantastic. Charlton Heston!
posted by SoberHighland at 4:49 AM on April 3 [5 favorites]

posted by dannyboybell at 5:03 AM on April 3

posted by nothing.especially.clever at 5:10 AM on April 3

I wasn't allowed to stay up that often to watch it on WNBC Channel 4, but when I did, I made sure to watch it. I'm sure I missed a lot of subtext that someone older would have gotten immediately, but SCTV was, for me, just way better than SNL.

posted by mephron at 5:18 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]

posted by adekllny at 5:19 AM on April 3

Mr. Weir: Nick’s father is a hard man. My old man was the same way.

Lindsay: Yeah, I know the feeling.

Mr. Weir, pointedly: Lindsay, trust me. You don’t.

posted by box at 5:26 AM on April 3 [13 favorites]

posted by djseafood at 5:49 AM on April 3

posted by Mitheral at 5:57 AM on April 3

I thought Count Floyd was undead?!?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:36 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]


Pretty scary stuff . . .
posted by pt68 at 7:28 AM on April 3 [3 favorites]

ctrl/f "maniac mansion" = no hits.

This needs to be remedied.
posted by philip-random at 8:03 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

Aw, man.

As an aside, Freaks & Geeks still holds up.
posted by emelenjr at 8:11 AM on April 3 [3 favorites]

posted by Sphinx at 8:26 AM on April 3

"The first time I saw Count Floyd, I almost strangled. I was drinking a cup of coffee, lying in bed watching television, and it was a complete surprise. Joe Flaherty nailed the essence of TV monster movie cheese without even using a real word from the English language -- Big Eyebrows, Joe -- real Big Eyebrows."
-- Frank Zappa

posted by credulous at 8:33 AM on April 3 [4 favorites]

Joe Flaherty made me laugh many times. I'm still grateful.
posted by kaymac at 9:09 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

posted by luckynerd at 9:12 AM on April 3

R.I.P. It took me longer than it should've to figure out that in the SCTV universe, Floyd Robertson and Count Floyd were the same person...
posted by AJaffe at 9:12 AM on April 3 [4 favorites]

Damn. Joe Flaherty was hilarious. I will miss him.

posted by evilDoug at 9:44 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

posted by snsranch at 9:46 AM on April 3

posted by jabo at 9:51 AM on April 3

The video of a 1982 softball game between SCTV cast and crew in this previous FPP isn't available at the original link, but it's still available in some facebook posts found in a quick googling. You can first see Flaherty (as Joseph O'Flaherty in Moranis' narration) at about 1:35. If you can't see the facebook video, I searched "sctv softball game video;" there might be other non-facebook links around, but many seem to point to the nonworking youtube link.
posted by msbrauer at 10:45 AM on April 3 [1 favorite]

posted by riruro at 10:52 AM on April 3

posted by Atom Eyes at 11:29 AM on April 3


My favorite SCTV skit is this Steinbeck parody.
posted by neuron at 12:03 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]

The cast of SCTV were all fabulous, but Joe was always my absolute favourite. Martin Short referred to him as SCTV's anchor.
posted by juiceCake at 12:51 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]

The Canadian Cinemusical Universe was confirmed when Count Floyd introduced the Rush song "The Weapon." In 3-D! Scary!

posted by Halloween Jack at 1:22 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting that, box. He was hilarious but also put such a real and nuanced spin on Harold Weir.

posted by queensissy at 3:07 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]


For some reason I pictured him turning up at his own funeral and heckling. "What a jackass!"
posted by greenhornet at 1:30 PM on April 4 [2 favorites]

My brother and I are rather far apart in age, and one of the ways we bonded growing up was watching SCTV. Our favorite was Monster Chiller Horror Theater, and we’d spend lots of time saying stuff like, “Whoa, really scary!! and “Dr. Tongue’s 3-D House of Pancakes!” to each other. That was largely thanks to Joe’s particular genius. Thanks Joe, and RIP.
posted by holborne at 9:33 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

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