Tuesday, June 21
Joe Flaherty, born 1940, becomes only the second person to be wished a Happy Birthday by this blog and survive.
Wish I could have found a pic of Joe as Robert Mitchum. His turn as Peter O'Toole in "The Man Who Would Be King of the Popes" is probably my fondest SCTV memory. On every commentary track on the first two seasons, somebody mentions that it was Joe who gave them the little hint that helped them nail down a character.
I've yet to lay hands on a copy of Dave Thomas' behind-the-scenes book, but another of my favorites has a terrific anecdote attached: The Merv Griffith Show, with Rick Moranis as Merv Griffin in Mayberry. Flaherty is a barely-passable Don Knotts in that one, with Catherine O'Hara doing a fine Aunt Bea and Gene Levy a demented Howard the barber, and John Candy as Otis. Thomas was supposed to be Gomer, but he just couldn't get it. So he sings a few bars of something--"New York, New York", maybe, and launches into a truly lame Gomer. Then Moranis/Merv says, "Oooh, doesn't he sound like Gomer? Fred Travalena is with us!"