'Seinfeld' Cast Brings Joy to Cancer Victim in His Dying Hours by the Forward

'Seinfeld' Cast Brings Joy to Cancer Victim in His Dying Hours

More than a dozen former cast members of “Seinfeld” helped a son give his dad an amazing gift as he lay in his deathbed: Videos wishing the 67-year-old lung cancer victim “Happy Birthday.”

Julia Louis Dreyfus (Elaine Benes), Jerry Stiller (Frank Costanza), Wayne Knight (Newman), John O’Hurley (J. Peterman), Larry Thomas (The Soup Nazi), and even Ping Wu (Ping the delivery) all answered James Calder’s call to participate in the birthday project.

Calder’s dad Jim — a mega-fan of the sitcom — died three days before his Nov. 10 birthday at age 67 after his valiant two-year battle with lung cancer.

Calder started showing his dad the videos when it was clear the end was near, he wrote in

“Hi Jim, Julia Louis-Dreyfus here,” said in her video. “I’m so thrilled and happy to hear how much you’ve enjoyed ‘Seinfeld’ along with your family … You have a wonderful son who clearly adores you, so, congratulations on that.”

O’Hurley, the first to respond, did his video completely in character.

“Hello there J Peterman here, I understand it’s your birthday and so your family asked if I could do something a little special,” O’Hurley said.

“Well, not only special but you my friend will be traveling, yes you’re heading off to Papua New Guinea where you are going to be joined by the little naked natives of Bantu Besh and you will be learning that gentle art of bikini waxing. Because as you have always told your clan, always have a skill so you can use your hands and never go hungry, boy will you be happy you gave them that advice. So therefore happy birthday.”

Calder wrote that his dad “was shocked and mystified about how we were able to reach the Seinfeld cast members. He really felt the love and support.”

“These wonderful people helped to honor and celebrate my father’s birthday and provided a much needed distraction during an extremely difficult time for my family. Their kindness and compassion has humbled us to our core,” said Calder.


John A. Oswald

John A. Oswald

John Oswald is The Forward’s deputy digital media editor.

'Seinfeld' Cast Brings Joy to Cancer Victim in His Dying Hours

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