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Adam Sandler mourns death of 'genius' 'Happy Gilmore' co-star Joe Flaherty in tribute 

Flaherty, who was also known for his roles on "SCTV" and "Freaks and Geeks," died April 1 at age 82.
Adam Sandler, Joe Flaherty
Adam Sandler honored Joe Flaherty on Instagram, calling him a "true sweetheart."Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Adam Sandler is mourning the loss of his "Happy Gilmore" co-star Joe Flaherty, who died April 1 at age 82.

Sandler honored the late "SCTV" and "Freaks and Geeks" star in an Instagram tribute.

"Oh man. Worshipped Joe growing up. Always had me and my brother laughing. Count Floyd, Guy Caballero. Any move he made. He crushed as border guard in Stripes," Sandler wrote, citing some of Flaherty's zaniest characters.

The "Murder Mystery 2" star went on to remember what a "sweetheart" Joe Flaherty was off-screen.

"Couldn’t be more fun to have him heckle me on the golf course. The nicest guy you could know. Genius of a comedian. And a true sweetheart. Perfect combo," he wrote.

Sandler added, "Much love to his kids and thanks to Joe for all the greatness he gave us all."

What was said in the announcement of Joe Flaherty's death?

Andrew Alexander, founder of the Comedic Artists Alliance, which previously had raised funds to help with Flaherty's care, confirmed to NBC News that the actor died April 1 at the age of 82.

What films and TV shows did Joe Flaherty appear in?

Joe Flaherty, Adam Sandler
Flaherty as his slimy "SCTV" character Guy Caballero.Everett Collection

Flaherty found fame in the mid-1970s alongside John Candy, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy and Harold Ramis as a writer and performer on the Canadian sketch show "SCTV."

He depicted a host of wacky characters on the troupe's sketch show, including the slimy Guy Caballero, who was the owner of the fictional SCTV network, and a goofy horror TV host named Count Floyd, who was the alter ego of another of Flaherty's characters, Floyd Robertson, co-anchor of SCTV News.

Joe Flaherty, Adam Sandler
Flaherty, in a hat, behind Sandler in the movie "Happy Gilmore."Everett Collection

Flaherty memorably played a heckler in Sandler's 1996 sports comedy "Happy Gilmore."

Flaherty later starred as Harold Weir, the TV dad of Linda Cardellini and John Francis Daley's characters, on Judd Apatow's critically acclaimed teen dramedy series "Freaks and Geeks," which aired from 1999 to 2000 on NBC.

Freaks and Geeks
Joe Flaherty, back left, and "Freaks and Geeks" co-stars (clockwise) Becky Ann Baker, Linda Cardellini and John Francis Daley.NBC

Flaherty's knack for turning small parts into on-screen magic was apparent in his role as the Western Union courier who delivered an important letter to Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in 1989’s “Back to the Future Part II.” He later reprised his role in a spoof of “The Empire Strikes Back” featured on the TV series “Family Guy.”

Who else is paying tribute to Joe Flaherty?

Apatow honored Flaherty on Instagram, calling him "the kindest man, a brilliant actor and a GOAT in the world of comedy."

Daley wrote on X that Flaherty "made me crack up so hard it ruined takes. My favorite days on set were the ones where we had scenes together. What a lovely guy.”

Comedian Patton Oswalt also honored Flaherty on X, writing, "Good god Joe Flaherty was to-the-core funny."