Humor logo

Goodbye, Joe

Joe Flaherty (June 21,1941 - April 1, 2024)

By Kendall Defoe Published 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
The Count

Lookout Joe, you're comin' home.

Old times were good times,

Old times were good times.

'Lookout Joe' - Neil Young

Strange having Neil's lyrics in my head as I think about my own feelings about the passing of Joe Flaherty. I was, once again, surfing pages on my phone after a long day of teaching and discovered that another icon from my youth was gone. I also wondered if this might have been a joke. April first had just passed, and I was ready for anything. But seriously, this? The death of one of my most beloved figures from my childhood? The loss of a man who was a keystone in one of the greatest comedy programs ever broadcast?

Sadly, yes.

This is going to be a very difficult article for me to complete, not just because of how I feel about his death, but also because I am not even that sure anyone really cares that much about the man and his career. I spoke to my mother on the phone just after learning the news, and she was aware of my love for his work. 'Such a sad loss for you,' she said. Yeah, it was... But for who else?

I soon learned that there were plenty of colleagues who wanted to share their own feelings about his career, including the people from near own generation: Dave Thomas, Martin Short, Dan Ackroyd, Dave Foley, Scott Thompson, Micheal McKean, and so forth were all online discussing their love for the man. I had a bit of a doubt that he would be lauded and praised so deeply, but the pleasure in seeing all of these recollections of his career made me smile, as did one other thing...


There were lots of mention of Freaks and Geeks and Happy Gilmore and his role as the noisemaker on the golf course whenever Adam Sandler's semi-pro attempted to make a shot. Okay...I liked the film. I thought that it was great to see Sandler and Bob Barker beating the excrement out of each other. And Flaherty was funny. But there was nothing in that film that could compare with seeing the same man portray Count Floyd/Floyd Robertson, a newsanchor and horror movie host with the worst vampire costume ever (a white turtleneck and drawn-on widow's peak? really?), but possessing a great howl. Or how about Don Cabellero, a character who was the imagined president of the imaginary SCTV network who only used a wheelchair for sympathy...and tax reasons (even as a child, I thought that this was hilarious). I would run home from school as a kid to see reruns of the show and marvel at how the most simple sketches were making me laugh more than anything I could see on Saturday Night Live - a true nightmare in the early 80s - or the regular sitcom feed my family and friends loved. SCTV was a comedy kingdom that I wanted to bow down to and remember as an example of what comedy could be.

And is that enough of a reason for me to be mourning his loss?


I also met the man.

An interesting Valentine's Day

I was a very uncool student surrounded by very cool friends who told me to keep it cool when I saw Mr. Flaherty a few tables over on his own eating his dinner. Not a chance. I went over, introduced myself, and wondered how I did not lose my mind while talking to him. He was a total gentleman, and I was able to return to my now red-faced friends with this rather brilliant and sarcastic autograph.

So, of course I got new friends, kept the autograph, and went back to finding clips and videos online of this man's work. And if you have any doubts as to his talent, please look at this parody of The Godfather. It is, without question, the greatest film parody I have ever seen or will see.

I thank you, Joe.

Old times really were good times.


Thank you for reading!

If you liked this, you can add your Insights, Comment, leave a Heart, Tip, Pledge, or Subscribe. I will appreciate any support you have shown for my work.

You can find more poems, stories, and articles by Kendall Defoe on my Vocal profile. I complain, argue, provoke and create...just like everybody else.

Give it a look...


About the Creator

Kendall Defoe

Teacher, reader, writer, dreamer... I am a college instructor who cannot stop letting his thoughts end up on the page.

And I did this: Buy Me A Coffee... And I did this:


Squawk Back




Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (8)

Sign in to comment
  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 months ago

    May his soul rest in peace 🥺 I'm so glad you got his autograph!

  • LASZLO SLEZAK2 months ago


  • Martha Agnes2 months ago

    Hilarious clip! The greatest of the great movies and the greatest of the great tenors! As an Uhmurikan, of course, I am obsessed right now with the return of Jon Stewart, and with Kimmel and Seth Meyers, with Colbert (who got kind of boring and intellectual when he went big time and became his nerdy, wonderful self), with SNL...With those of us below Niagra Falls, life is getting real when you have an election like the one we are having now. Nearly fainted with hilarity seeing the stone roll away before the three Marys and out walks Trump, comparing himself to Jesus. OMG!!!!!!!!!!! You are a fortunate soul indeed that all our doings in the Divided States seem remotely irrelevant to your life. Your comedic hero was one year older than me. Did you see Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Pulp Fiction, Animal House???? Jim Gaffigan is a fave of mine.'s back to getting this house ready to list...I 'll be back to read as much as I can lest I get lost in the idea that my leaving my house for another house is of more than passing interest! Ha! Hope it doesn't kill me. :)

  • Leslie Writes2 months ago

    I loved him in Freaks and Geeks. Very funny guy. Sorry to hear of his passing. This is a lovely tribute.

  • Mariann Carroll2 months ago

    Great tribute. I find it comedic that he choice to die on April 1. I figured he don’t want his fans to be sad in his passing. I don’t know him personally but he certainly seem like a wonderful person to give you a note like that. It’s sad to loss another great person but I think he is at peace.

  • Kageno Hoshino2 months ago

    Great comedy

  • Great story and wonderful token to keep the memory alive.

  • Lana V Lynx2 months ago

    Your admiration for the comedy genius comes through, Kendall. Sorry for your loss.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.