NEW YORK – Seinfeld character Elaine Benes once told pal Jerry Seinfeld, “Ugh, I hate people.”
“Yeah, they’re the worst,” Seinfeld shot back.
But the cast of the hit 1990s sitcom — including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who portrayed Benes — has proved that’s not always the case.
Actors from the series recorded a series of videos for a dying man, James Anthony Calder, after his son reached out to say his dad was a super fan who could use a boost on his 67th birthday. Calder died of a rare form of lung cancer last month, a day after seeing the videos but three days before his birthday, his son wrote in The Huffington Post.
“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,” wrote Calder’s son, who is also named James Calder. “Their kindness and compassion has humbled us to our core.”
Among the actors who sent video greetings to Calder’s father were John O’Hurley, who played Elaine’s boss Mr. Peterman; “Soup Nazi” Larry Thomas; Patrick Warburton, who played David Puddy on the show; and Wayne Knight, a.k.a. Seinfeld’s nemesis, Newman.
Also included: Louis-Dreyfus, who sent her own video the day before Calder’s father died.
“I just wanted to say happy birthday. I hope it’s a great one, and I’m wishing you the very best,” Louis-Dreyfus said in the video after thanking the elder Calder for being a fan and praising his work raising a son “who clearly adores you.”
“You did that very well,” she said.
Others include Newman, Soup Nazi Larry Thomas, Mickey (Danny Woodburn), Walter(Wayne Wilderson), delivery biker Ping (Ping Wu), Lippman (Richard fancy), Carol (Lisa Mende) and more. Even Al Roker — who once appeared on the show made his own video.
The son wrote in the Huffington Post that the experience had restored his faith in humanity.
“In a world where my father’s own oncologist could use a lesson in human kindness and compassion, we found a wealth of it from cast members of Seinfeld and readers. From my family to every single person who helped with this project in any way, thank you so much!” he wrote.
The effort touched others, as well.
“This brings tears to my eyes,” one Twitter user posted.
It’s safe to say he’s not alone.