Count Floyd has died- Pretty scary, eh, kids?

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Joe Flaherty through the years.

Joe’s hilarious impersonation of William F. Buckley Jr.

Variety’s obituary here.

Joe, at 82, was the oldest member of the original SCTV cast. He was 82, about 13 years older than the youngest, Catherine O’Hara. He is the third member of the original SCTV cast (seen below) to pass, following John Candy and Harold Ramis. The four living members are Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy and Dave Thomas.

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Although SCTV was originally a Canadian show, that original cast featured three Americans: Ramis (Chicago), Martin (Portland, Maine) and Flaherty (Pittsburgh). That was the maximum allowed, because the rules prevalent at the time demanded that at least 50% of the performers had to be Canadian.

(Canadians Martin Short and Rick Moranis joined the cast later.)

Below, Joe Flaherty discusses the early days of SCTV with Jen Candy, John’s daughter. What a great, nostalgic visit with a charming man! When the hour was up, I wanted another two hours. I was deeply disappointed that Jen never got him on for a second appearance. (Curse you, pandemic.)

As Joe points out in that interview, he tool an unusual path toward Second City stardom. He was the classic late bloomer. After some college, the Air Force, and acting classes, he was already 28 when he joined Second City Chicago – as a stage manager! It was quite a while before he got to perform, and that happened only because the rest of the cast refused to work with Gerrit Graham on a road show, so Joe was plugged in as a desperation choice.

4 thoughts on “Count Floyd has died- Pretty scary, eh, kids?

  1. This really brings me back to my late teens and practically falling off the couch laughing while watching SCTV. RIP Joe, and thank you.

    In a connection with another major theme of this site, I remember an interview with Flaherty at the height of the show in which he discussed his hopes that the show would keep going for many more years and become a bit more daring, including skits involving nudity. That did not actually ever happen on SCTV as far as I recall. I don’t think it would have been allowed on the major networks that they were on by that time. Ironically it might have been possible in their earlier years on Canada’s Global TV Network, which occasionally did show some nudity.

  2. Why is the William F Buckley clip here? I thought this was about Joe Flaherty. I bet Flaherty could do a mean Gore Vidal. Was that what you meant to have?

    1. Joe’s impersonation of Buckley was brilliant!

      Now that you mention it, SCTV never did recreate the Buckley – Vidal debates, perhaps for lack of a Vidal type. Maybe Joe could have played both parts!

  3. “And you know what’s going to happen to Mrs. Prickley too.” Perfect.
    As Schumann once said, “Hats off, gentlemen. A genius!”

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