Joseph (Joe) Flaherty, actor, writer (b at Pittsburg, PA 21 June 1941). Joe Flaherty, an American comedian who came to Canada to help establish the Toronto branch of the Chicago Second City comedy troupe in 1973, is the only performer, apart from Andrea MARTIN, to have appeared in every SCTV episode over the 8-year run of the popular satirical television show. His best-known characters were Guy Caballero, the unscrupulous station owner who rode around in a wheelchair to get "respect," and Count Floyd.
Of all the original SCTV alumni, Joe Flaherty chose to give Hollywood stardom a pass, preferring to remain in Canada and make guest appearances in numerous film and television shows. Throughout his film career, Flaherty has appeared in Back to the Future Part II (1989) and as the heckler in Happy Gilmore (1996). Other films include The Lady in Red (1979), Stripes (1981), Heavy Metal (1981; voice), By Design (1982), Sesame Street Presents Follow that Bird (1985), Who's Harry Crumb? (1989), Stuart Saves His Family (1995), The Wrong Guy (1997), Home on the Range (2004; voice) and Phil the Alien (2005; voice).
Joe Flaherty's television credits include the highly acclaimed YTV series Maniac Mansion (1990-93), which he wrote, starred in and directed. Named by Time magazine as one of the 10 best shows of 1990, its nonconformity to normal sitcom standards assured its cult status and relatively short lifespan. He played a father in the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000). Flaherty also appeared in 4 episodes of the popular CBS show The King of Queens (2001-03) as a priest. He was a regular on The David Steinberg Show (1972) and made guest appearances in Kojak, King of Kensington, Traders, That 70s Show, Frasier, Royal Canadian Air Farce and Primetime Glick. He had a recurring role in the Vancouver-filmed series Robson Arms and has contributed his voice to episodes of Family Guy and American Dad.
Along with the other cast members and writers of SCTV Network 90, Joe Flaherty won an Emmy Award in 1982 and another in 1983 for outstanding writing in a variety or music program. In 1995 the original SCTV team collectively received the Earl Grey Lifetime Achievement Award at the Geminis. In 1990 Flaherty received a Gemini Award for best supporting actor in Looking for Miracles, a made-for-television movie based on the novel by A.E. Hotchner.
One of Canada's most accomplished writers of sketch comedy, in 2002 Joe Flaherty became a member of the faculty at the Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts in Toronto, where he teaches a comedy-writing course.