Photo via James Calder Youtube
YARDLEY, PA (WTXF) - More than a dozen cast members from the beloved Sitcom, Seinfeld, had recorded videos wishing an ailing super-fan a happy birthday before he died last week.
Jim Calder was just shy of his 67th birthday when he passed away from a rare form of lung cancer on November 7.
Calder’s son, James, had been deciding what to get his father in the weeks leading up to his birthday. He wanted whatever it was to be meaningful on such an occasion.
James soon came up with the perfect idea, which began with a Facebook group where friends and family could post videos of support and birthday wishes.
The videos began rolling in, but James kept thinking of more people he could reach out to for some special messages for his dad. Instantly, his dad’s favorite show came to mind—Seinfeld.
James and other family members close to Jim began to brainstorm ideas of how they would contact the Seinfeld cast. They soon began contacting the different members through word of mouth, published articles and social media.
Nothing could have prepared James and his family for the incredible response they received.
The first video that came in was from actor John O'Hurley. In his video, O’Hurley wished Jim a happy birthday while performing as J. Peterman, the character he played in the much-loved sitcom.
James then received a video from Larry Thomas, known for his role as the ‘Soup Naz’i on Seinfeld. Then Danny Woodburn, who played the hot-headed character Mickey Abbott, got in touch with James over Facebook, also forwarded along his own video.
The success prompted James to write about the project on Huffington Post, where the story received a lot of publicity.
Soon enough, Wayne Wilderson (Walter at Peterman), Wayne Knight (Newman), Kevin Page (Stu Chermack), Ping Wu (Ping the delivery man) and Steve Hytner (Kenny Bania) all joined the list of well-wishers for Jim.
Then, James received his first contact from one of the show's four main characters: Michael Richards, better known as Kramer. Then Jerry Stiller (Frank Costanza) and Lawrence Mandley (Larry the Cook) sent along videos that they requested stayed private for Jim and his family.
On November 6, as it became clear that Jim's condition was worsening, James and his mother decided to show him some of the videos to Jim though his birthday was still days away.
Later that day they received a video from another one of the big four: Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She expressed her happiness over how much Jim had loved the sitcom and wished him a happy birthday.
Sadly, Jim passed away peacefully with his family by his side the next day.
When James' wife returned home after Jim's death, she switched on the TV and saw that one of Jim's favorite Seinfeld episodes was playing, and thought of it as a sure sign that her husband was at peace.
Jim’s family has set up a page so that people may donate to the American Cancer Society in his name.