Joe Flaherty

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Joe Flaherty
BornJoseph O'Flaherty
(1941-06-21) June 21, 1941 (age 73)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Years active1976–present
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Joe Flaherty
BornJoseph O'Flaherty
(1941-06-21) June 21, 1941 (age 73)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Years active1976–present

Joe Flaherty (born June 21, 1941) is a American actor and comedian. He is best known for his work on the Canadian sketch comedy SCTV from 1976 to 1984 (on which he also served as a writer), and as Harold Weir on Freaks and Geeks.


Flaherty was born Joseph O'Flaherty[1] in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but moved to Chicago where he started his comedy career with the Second City Theater as Joe O'Flaherty. Along with several other Second City performers, he began appearing on the National Lampoon Radio Hour from 1973 to 1974. After seven years in Chicago, he moved to Toronto to help establish the Toronto Second City theatre troupe. During those years, he was one of the original writer/performers on SCTV, where he spent eight years on the show, playing such characters as Big Jim McBob (of Farm Film Report fame), Count Floyd/Floyd Robertson,[2] and station owner/manager Guy Caballero who goes around in a wheelchair simply for respect.

Other memorable Flaherty characterizations included emotional talk show host Sammy Maudlin, seedy saxophonist-private eye Vic Arpeggio, aggressive elocution lecturer Norman Gorman, myopic public television host Hugh Betcha and "crazy as a snake" ex-convict Rocco.

SCTV ceased production in 1984.

Throughout his film career, Flaherty has appeared in a number of cult favorites, for example, playing the part of the Western Union postal worker who delivers Doc Brown's 70-year-old letter to Marty McFly in 1989's Back to the Future Part II, as well as the crazed fan yelling "jackass!" in Happy Gilmore. In season 8 of Family Guy, Joe once again played the Western Union man in "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side". He likewise satirizes his Back to the Future Part II character in "The Big Bang Theory", this time playing a Vatican worker whose role is essentially identical to that of his Western Union character.

In 1989, Flaherty played a guest role in Married... with Children in episode 4.04, "Tooth or Consequences", as a recently divorced dentist who must repair Al Bundy's teeth.

Between 1997-1998, Flaherty starred in the TV adaptation of The Police Academy (Police Academy: The Series) as Cmdt. Stuart Hefilfinger. The series lasted for only one season.

In 1999, Flaherty joined the cast of Freaks and Geeks, an NBC hour-long dramedy set in 1980-1981 academic year, in which he played Harold Weir, the irascible father of two teens. Despite a dedicated cult following, the show only lasted one season. In the third episode, "Tricks and Treats", he dons a cheap vampire costume reminiscent of his "Count Floyd" character of the depicted era.

He made appearances on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens as Father McAndrew, priest at the Heffernans' church. He currently stars on the Bite TV original program called Uncle Joe's Cartoon Playhouse, and serves as a judge on the CBC program Second City's: Next Comedy Legend.

As of 2004, Flaherty is a member of the faculty at Humber College, where he teaches a comedy writing course. He is also on the program's Advisory Committee. He is an accomplished pianist.

Flaherty's brothers are comedy writers David and Paul Flaherty (the latter being a writer on SCTV).

He currently resides in Los Angeles, California. He has a daughter and a son: Gudrun Flaherty and Gabriel Flaherty.



2004Anchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyHimselfOnly appears in deleted scene in the DVD edition.
2004Home on the RangeJeb the GoatMovie
2003National SecurityOwen FergusMovie
2002SlackersMr. LeonardMovie
1999Freaks and GeeksHarold WeirTelevision Series
1999Detroit Rock CityFather McNultyMovie
1997The Wrong GuyFred HoldenMovie
1996Snowboard AcademyMr. BarryMovie
1996Happy GilmoreDonald the Jeering FanMovie
1995A Pig's TaleMiltMovie
1994Stuart Saves His FamilyCousin Ray - FuneralMovie
1990Maniac MansionDr. Fred EdisonTelevision series
1989Cannonball Run 3 (Speed Zone)Vic DeRubisMovie
1989Who's Harry Crumb?DoormanMovie
1989Back to the Future Part IIWestern Union ManMovie
1987InnerspaceWaiting Room PatientMovie
1986One Crazy SummerGeneral RaymondMovie
1986Club ParadisePilotMovie
1985Sesame Street Presents Follow That BirdSid SleazeMovie
1984Johnny DangerouslyDeath Row inmate (uncredited)Movie
1983Going BerserkChick LeffMovie
1981StripesBorder GuardMovie
1981Heavy MetalLawyer (segment "Captain Sternn"), General (segment "So Beautiful and So Dangerous")Movie
1980Nothing PersonalPatrol Car Policeman #2Movie
1980Used CarsSam SlatonMovie
19791941Raoul LipschitzMovie


Celebrities impersonated by Flaherty on SCTV include: Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, William F. Buckley, Jack Klugman, Robert Mitchum, Bing Crosby, Don Knotts, Yassir Arafat, Richard Nixon, Alistair Cooke, Slim Whitman, the corpse of Albert Schweitzer, Gregory Peck, Eddie Anderson (as 'Rochester'), Alan Alda, Elvis Presley, Hugh Beaumont, John Huston, Larry Fine, Pope Paul VI, Geraldo Rivera, Art Garfunkel, Broderick Crawford, Jacques Cousteau, Lowell Thomas, Henry Fonda, Marcello Mastroianni, Sylvester Stallone, Shoo Boxx, Paul Bradley, Aaron Copland, Dom DiMaggio, Dick Beddoes, Gavin MacLeod, Prince Philip, Tom Wolfe, Peter O'Toole, Salvador Dalí, Gene Siskel, and musician Paul Revere.

Flaherty appeared in a cameo in the deleted scenes from Anchorman as the salacious News Director who first employs Rita Genkin after her graduation from Syracuse University. He encourages her to wear a swimsuit to do the weather.

Flaherty appeared as an immigration Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in the "Canadian Road Trip" episode of That '70s Show alongside fellow SCTV member Dave Thomas.


  1. ^ Joe Flaherty Biography (1941-)
  2. ^ A bit of SCTV trivia here: Count Floyd, who was SCTV news anchorman Floyd Robertson in a vampire costume and make-up, is based on Bill Cardille, whom Joe Flaherty watched as a kid growing up in Pittsburgh. Cardille did the weather for the local NBC station, and on weekends hosted the studio wrestling matches and as "Chilly Billy" hosted the Saturday night horror feature.

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