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May 17, 2002
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School's a joke for Flaherty
By JIM SLOTEK


TORONTO -- Class is now in session, Count Floyd presiding.

Ex-SCTV guy Joe Flaherty tells The Toronto Sun he's accepted a full-time position in the fall as artist-in-residence at Humber College, in the college's School Of Comedy.

"I know my agent is not going to be happy when I tell him. But I'd just like to get out of the rat race for a while and this sounds like fun," said Flaherty, who'll be in town the week of Sept. 27 for Second City's VIP-filled Alumni Week and the induction of SCTV as a star on Canada's Walk Of Fame.

Flaherty's acceptance of Humber's offer was contingent on the actor not landing TV series work for the fall. He had filmed The Hot Spot, a comedy pilot for the WB Network in which he played the ghost of a suicidal hotel clerk.

'OLDEST GUY'

This week he found out the show wasn't included on the network's list of fall series. "I think I would've been the oldest guy on the network," he says of the WB, home to Buffy, Smallville, Angel and Dawson's Creek.

The School of Comedy started as a summer program at Humber and has recently been expanded to a full-year course. Joe Kertes, the dean of the program confirmed that Flaherty was offered the position, "and we feel very fortunate to have him."

Flaherty's duties will include "directing shows and offering master classes," Kertes said.

'BIGGEST BREAK'

Flaherty was recently in the short-lived UPN series Go Fish, and spent three seasons in the acclaimed Fox Network series Freaks And Geeks. He's currently directing a live soap-opera exercise at Second City's L.A. workspace. "I hate the process down here (L.A.)," he said over the phone. "Of course, it's tough to take yourself out of the action, and I may question this decision later," he added with a chuckle.

"The funny thing is I get very little work in Toronto when I live in Toronto. I just don't know what the deal is. I get my work in Toronto when I live in L.A."

Conversely, he recalls "I got Freaks And Geeks when I was living in Toronto." So following that logic, turning teacher could be the biggest break in Hollywood he ever had.


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