Wet Hot American Summer

Wet Hot American Summer

Updated Aug 13, 2015 at 10:14PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jun 24, 2015 at 12:20PM EDT by Ari Spool.

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Wet Hot American Summer is a 2001 live-action satirical film set in a 1980s American summer camp. The film follows a group of camp counselors as they attempt to find love on the last day of camp, and has become a cult hit based on its raunchy, nostalgic humor and all-star cast.


Meant to be a satire of 1980s teen sex romp films, Wet Hot American Summer is set in 1981 at Camp Firewood, a Jewish summer camp in Maine, and follows the ensemble as they are preparing for the last day of summer camp. Several different story lines ensue with the cast as each member attempts to secure one last chance at love before they all have to go home to where they are from. Camp director Beth (Janeane Garofalo) falls in love with a physics professor (David Hyde Pierce) attempting to save the camp from the fall of Skylab. The camp's theater directors, Susie (Amy Poelher) and Ben (Bradley Cooper), are trying to prepare the campers to put on a talent show. Three other counselors, Coop (Michael Showalter), Katie (Marguerite Moreau), and Andy (Paul Rudd) are engaged in a love triangle, while another counselor, Victor (Ken Marino), engages in a wild chase to get back to camp from a field trip in time to sleep with Abby (Marisa Ryan). All the while, the camp's chef, Gene (Christopher Meloni), a Vietnam Veteran, is engaged in a match of wits against a talking tin can (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin).[1]


The film was released on July 27th, 2001, and starred a large ensemble of different actors and actresses, most of whom would go on to become more famous after the film. These stars included many of the cast members of MTV's The State and Saturday Night Live, including Ken Marino, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Michael Showalter, Janeane Garofalo, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, and Bradley Cooper.

Netflix Revival

After years of rumors and fan speculations about a second film being produced as a sequel or prequel, in January 2015, Netflix confirmed that the film will be revived in July as an original comedy series called Wet Hot American Summer: The First Day of Camp, a prequel story set in the early 1980s before the plot setting of the film, with most of the original cast reprising in their roles.[8] On January 27th, Netflix released a promotional video unveiling the return of the ensemble cast, which received more than 1.85 million views over the course of six months (shown below).

On June 23rd, 2015, the first official trailer for The First Day of the Camp was released via YouTube (shown below), where it racked up more than 500,000 views in the first 24 hours.[9]

On July 31st, the pilot season consisting of eight episodes premiered on Netflix.


The film initially was only shown in limited release, and received mostly incredibly negative reviews. Famously, the renowned film critic Roger Ebert wrote his extremely negative review as a poem, to the tune of the old Allen Sherman camp song "Hello Muddah Hello Faddah."[2]

I want to escape,
Oh mudduh faddah--
Life's too short for cinematic torture.
Comedies like this,
Oh mudduh faddah--
Inspire in me the critic as a vulture.

The film has a cumulative score of 31% on Rotten Tomatoes and 42% on Metacritic.[3][4] Some critics, including that for Entertainment Weekly, praised the film, but it was still a flop at the box office, and never went into wide release in theaters. It was released on VHS and DVD in 2002.

Soon after the home video release, it became clear that this video was going to be a cult hit. The first user reviews written in 2002 and 2003 on both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes are overwhelmingly positive. On Metacritic, used JudS gave the film a 10, writing "Okay, look. I can see why the critics don't like it. Showalter-Wain comedy is so far out of the mainstream, that I don't think it will ever be universally accepted. Yet, in a strange way, these guys are on the cutting edge of modern comedy."[5] The film began screening at midnight showings and other cult outlets. Many actors and media personalities, including Jesse Thorn and Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars, have called Wet Hot American Summer their favorite film of all time, and almost every member of the cast has gone on to have wide career success in Hollywood.[1]

Online Presence

The official Wet Hot American Summer web site is a portal for reviews and showtimes from the original 2001 release.[14] For their relaunch, Netflix has created an alternate web hub on Netflix.com. In addition, the film has official Twitter and Facebook profiles which appear to be run by promotional teams. [15][16]


Wet Hot American Summer doesn't have a distinct user community or fandom online, but many jokes, GIFs, and other details have obtained widespread popularity. A subreddit exists, but it has only 13 readers; however, there are many posts on reddit about the film that have achieved 1000+ upvotes, including clips, GIFs, and the announcement of the upcoming Netflix relaunch.[6][7]

GIFs and catchphrases from the film are popular on Tumblr, especially on fan blogs devoted to the stars, like Christopher Meloni or Elizabeth Banks.[10][11][12] In addition, a search of Giphy returns 194 different GIFs featuring scenes from Wet Hot American Summer.[13]

I will not "fuck offo I wanna take him, and grab him and just fuck his brains out You have definitely cast a level 5 charm spell on-me

Search Interest

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