The heartfelt moments on the sidelines
O’Hurley said that one of his most lasting memories stems from an interaction that he just happened to see when he was kicking back in Peterman’s chair with his feet up on the desk during a lull in shooting.
He told how from his view behind the desk, he could see Hollywood legend and Seinfeld guest star Lloyd Bridges finishing up a scene on the set of Jerry’s apartment which was right next to Peterman’s office.
Lloyd Bridges actor sons Beau and Jeff Bridges were on set on that particular day, watching their father’s scene, and O'Hurley said that he witnessed a tender family moment when the director called ‘cut’.
"I remember (Lloyd Bridges) turning to Beau and him saying 'How am I doing tonight? Am I doing alright?' and Beau saying 'Dad you’re doing just great,' and they hugged and then he hugged Jeff and it was just so moving,” O’Hurley said.
Bridges appeared in two episodes of the show as Izzy Mandlebaum, an overly competitive octogenarian, and his second time on the show in October 1997 marked his final television appearance before his death five months later.
"It was kind of a Hallmark moment for me because I got to peak on in another family," O’Hurley said.
His lasting fan base -- and continued ties to J. Peterman
The real John Peterman, who launched his eponymous fashion catalog, said in an earlier interview that show creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David were personal fans of the clothing line and found humor in the idealized descriptions used to tell the international back-stories of the garments.
The company later got another notable fan -- O’Hurley himself -- and shortly after his arch on the show ended, he invested in The J. Peterman Catalog and became a member of the company’s board.
O’Hurley said that in addition to the financial and advisory roles that come with being on the board, he also puts a face to the name that he no longer answers to.
"When we have our board meetings for The Peterman Company in Manhattan every year, the real J. Peterman and I will be walking down Madison Avenue after the meeting and people- and sometimes I mean police squad cars- will pull up next to us and shout out ‘Hey Peterman!’ and they’re talking to me and not him," O'Hurley said.
"It's the greatest act of identity theft on television and I take total credit for it."
Ever the spokesman, O’Hurley said that he has several of the company’s trademark jackets in his closet in Vermont, and, channeling his descriptive alter ego, he added that the Australian cotton is "impervious to ill-gotten weather".