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

Joe Flaherty, the comedic actor best known for his performances in the influential sketch comedy series “SCTV” and as a father on the short-lived NBC ensemble series “Freaks and Geeks,” died on Monday. He was 82.

His death was confirmed by his daughter, Gudrun Flaherty, who said that Mr. Flaherty died after a “brief illness.” She did not specify a cause, or say where he died.

Alongside an ensemble that included John Candy, Martin Short, Rick Moranis, Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, Mr. Flaherty played a variety of characters on “SCTV.” The concept of the series, which aired in the 1970s and ’80s, was that its sketches were “shows” for a low-rent TV station in a fictional town called Melonville.

Among Mr. Flaherty’s characters were Guy Caballero, the sleazy president of the station, and Sammy Maudlin, an unctuous late-night talk show host. His character Count Floyd wore a cheap vampire costume while hosting a horror movie show, “Monster Chiller Horror Theater.” The joke was that the movies the program showed — such as “Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes” — were seldom very scary, leaving Floyd holding the bag and often having to apologize to viewers.

Gudrun Flaherty said in a statement that her father had an “unwavering passion for movies from the ’40s and ’50s,” which influenced his career, as well as his time on “SCTV.” Ms. Flaherty said: “He cherished every moment spent on the show, so proud of its success and so proud to be part of an amazing cast.”

Mr. Flaherty was also known for roles on television shows and in films that were cherished by fans.

He played Harold Weir, the no-nonsense father of two awkward teenagers, in the cult television series “Freaks and Geeks,” which ran for only one season after premiering in 1999, but helped launch the careers of several young actors, including James Franco, Seth Rogen, Busy Phillips, Jason Segel and Linda Cardellini.

In the 1996 film “Happy Gilmore,” Mr. Flaherty had a small but memorable role as a man who taunts the titular golf player, played by Adam Sandler, from the crowd.

A full obituary will follow.

Victor Mather contributed reporting and Kirsten Noyes contributed research.

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