Joe Flaherty, who played Dr. Fred on television, passes away 02 Apr, 2024 / 0 comments

According to The Hollywood Reporter, comedic actor/writer Joe Flaherty, best known as a cast member of the brilliant Canadian sketch comedy series SCTV, has died at the age of 82.

In Mojo World™, Flaherty has the distinction of starring in the polarizing live action television adaptation of Maniac Mansion, which ran for three seasons on YTV in Canada and The Family Channel (replete with an artificial laugh track) in the U.S. As we once attempted to chronicle, the show began its life as a pitch that was said to be along the lines of The Addams Family or The Munsters, with the Edisons naturally assuming the role of the kooky spoof of a gothic horror household. Though there aren’t really any details to go on, the impression is that it would have been a fairly loose but recognizable adaptation of the game.

However, the project was ultimately offered to SCTV alumnus Eugene Levy who, when he expressed disinterest in the series bible he had been handed, was told he had creative carte blanche to shape the show into whatever vision he liked. What resulted was a self-aware parody of the conventional sitcom (think It’s Garry Shandling’s Show) and something of an SCTV reunion project - with Flaherty’s casting as Dr. Fred being only the most obvious connection - rather than anything that resembled the story, flavor, or really much at all beyond the title, of the computer game. The show nevertheless attracted a cult following and squeaked past the magic 65-episode number that led it to be regularly syndicated in Canada for years after its cancellation. No proper home video or streaming release has materialized to date.

Flaherty is also known for the many appearance he made in movies and other television shows. To people of a certain age group, he might be most immediately recognizable as the Western Union guy at the end of Back to the Future Part II:


Source: The Hollywood Reporter


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