Actor/comedian Jim Zulevic passed away this weekend and while I’m sure he’s not familiar to most of you, he was sneakily all over the place. I remember seeing him in an episode of The Shield and immediately remembering him from The Specials and being glad he was still out there doing it. It was like when I saw US Bill as one of the writers of Scrubs. It was more reassurance that that little underdog of a film was getting a little more life. I’m not one for site eulogies, but this is an exception as it’s by someone close to the man.

From James Gunn, writer of The Specials and director of the upcoming Slither as well as the guy behind the word processor for Dawn of the Dead and the Scooby Doo flicks:

Jim Zulevic, who played Mr. Smart in The
Specials, and was a Second City veteran, passed away today as the result of a
heart attack. He was a young guy, and this comes as a complete surprise to
all of us who knew him. Jim was a good friend, a great comic, and a
wonderful man. The world is a poorer place without him.

Jim and I both moved to L.A. in 1998.
After he was cast in The Specials, we became quick friends, and spent many a
long night talking about our pasts, our plans, and our aspirations. We had
a lot in common: a Mid-West, Catholic upbringing, a dislike of atrifice, a
love of cinema and comedy, and dark-as-hades senses of humor.

In 1999 Jim cast a young actress named Jenna
Fischer in a play he wrote. Though I knew Jenna slightly as she had a
small part in the Specials, we hadn’t kept up. I went to the play to
support Jim, and I rediscovered Jenna. At a party after the
play, Jenna and I ended up chatting all night. We started dating
the next day, and four months later we were engaged to be married. We both
credit Jim with being one of the primary forces who brought us

Jim introduced me to the term "splashback":
when you’re pissing in a urinal and it splashes back onto your hands. Just
yesterday I was pissing in a poorly-designed urinal in Toronto and this
occurred, and I thought of Jim, as I always do when I piss on myself, and
I realized I needed to give him a call. I got caught up in what I was doing
afterwards, and I didn’t follow though and ring him up. I’m going to
regret that choice forever.

I’m angry and broken-hearted that Jim is
gone, but I’m grateful for what he brought into my life — the support and
friendship and, of course, my wife. I only wish I had told him while he
was still here.

Jim, I don’t really know if I believe in an
afterlife, but I hope, somehow, you can hear me now. I loved you, and I’ll
miss the fuck out of you. Whether you knew it or not, you were a good man
who meant a lot to all of us. Every time I piss on myself, I’ll continue
to think of you — and, knowing you as well as I did, I’m certain there’s no way
you’d more like to be remembered.