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Joe Flaherty, ‘Freaks and Geeks’ and ‘Happy Gilmore’ Star, Dead at 82

Joe Flaherty Freaks and Geeks and Happy Gilmore Star Dead at 82
Joe Flaherty Paul Natkin/WireImage/Getty Images

Joe Flaherty, best known for his work on Freaks and Geeks and SCTV, has died at 82.

Flaherty’s death was announced Monday, April 1, by his One Crazy Summer costar Joel Murray, who wrote via X, “We’ve lost another of my idols. RIP Joe Flaherty.”

No cause of death has been revealed.

Flaherty was one of the original writers and performers on beloved sketch show SCTV, which premiered in 1976 and starred other comedians including Catherine O’Hara, Rick Moranis, Eugene Levy and Martin Short.

After SCTV ended in 1984, Flaherty had memorable bit parts in movies like 1989’s Back to the Future Part II and 1996’s Happy Gilmore.

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In Happy Gilmore, Flaherty played Shooter McGavin’s (Christopher McDonald) unnamed accomplice who antagonizes Happy (Adam Sandler) at the tee box, yelling, “Gilmore! You suck, ya jackass!”

Flaherty joined the cast of NBC’s Freaks and Geeks in 1999, playing Harold Weir, the father of Sam Weir, played by John Francis Daley.

“Joe Flaherty made me crack up so hard it ruined takes,” Daley wrote via X on Tuesday, April 2, about his late costar. “My favorite days on set were the ones where we had scenes together. What a lovely guy.”

In addition to Freaks and Geeks, Flaherty’s television credits included guest spots on The King of Queens and Even Stevens, as well as voice work on shows like Family Guy, American Dad! and Clone High. Flaherty also appeared in movies like Detroit Rock City, Freddy Got Fingered, Slackers and National Security.

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After news of his death was announced, countless other former costars, friends and fans paid their respects on social media.

“I was so thrilled to be able to work with him,” Jennifer Tilly, who costarred with Flaherty in the 1997 movie The Wrong Guy, wrote via X. “His performance was pitch perfect. A great comedian. Gone too soon.”

Whose Line Is It Anyway? star Colin Mochrie shared via X, “I was incredibly fortunate to have worked with Joe Flaherty a few times. A sweet man that produced a lot of laughs. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Michael McKean, who costarred with Flaherty in the 1980 comedy Used Cars, wrote via X, “RIP Joe Flaherty. Lovely guy and good grief, he was funny.”

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