Source: The Second City Toronto (Instagram)

Comedian Joe Flaherty, best known as a founding cast member of the Canadian sketch comedy series SCTV, died at 82 on Monday.

The Pittsburgh, Penn. native earned his chops in Toronto on the hit show Second City Television, better known as SCTV. He appeared alongside John Candy, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.  

Flaherty had worked with Second City Chicago for seven years before moving to Toronto to establish a Canadian outpost of the iconic improv theatre company. 

It was there with that infamous Toronto cast of talent that Flaherty would create and hone some of his most iconic characters, including Count Floyd and Guy Caballero

Outside of SCTV, he starred in the sitcom Freaks and Geeks and had dozens of cameos in comedy films such as Stripes, Back to the Future Part II and most notably, as the hired goon golf heckler in the 1996 cult classic Happy Gilmore.

“Oh man. Worshipped Joe growing up,” wrote Happy Gilmore star Adam Sandler in a social media post.. “Always had me and my brother laughing. Count Floyd, Guy Caballero. Any move he made. He crushed as border guard in Stripes. Couldn’t be more fun to have him heckle me on the golf course. The nicest guy you could know. Genius of a comedian. And a true sweetheart. Perfect combo. Much love to his kids and thanks to Joe for all the greatness he gave us all.”

Flaherty’s passing followed a brief illness, his daughter, Gudrun, said in a social media post.

Comedian Colin Mochrie expressed his condolences on X, writing, “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.”

Ottawa-born comic Tom Green, who hosted Flaherty as a guest on his talk show, also lamented the loss of Flaherty. 

“One of my true heroes from @sctv. Growing up watching him made me think about comedy in a completely different way,” wrote Green.

“Joe was one of the greatest of all time.  My condolences to his friends and family and to all of his fans around the world.  Rest in peace Joe.”

Even long after SCTV ended, Flaherty mainted a deep love for Toronto, serving as an artist-in-residence at Humber College. 

“In over 50 years of our friendship, there were very few people as wise or hilarious when it came to comedy, teaching improvisation and the art of character work as Joe,” wrote SCTV co-star Martin Short in a press statement. “In ‘SCTV’ we called him the anchor. In life, he was simply the funniest man in the room. I just adored him.”