Wet Hot American Summer

April 11th, 2002


Wet Hot American Summer

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Still of Janeane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce in Wet Hot American SummerWet Hot American SummerStill of Janeane Garofalo and Bradley Cooper in Wet Hot American SummerStill of Janeane Garofalo in Wet Hot American SummerStill of Christopher Meloni in Wet Hot American SummerStill of David Hyde Pierce in Wet Hot American Summer

Summer camp hijinks, set in 1981.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 6.5/10 (14,057 voted)

Critic's Score: 42/100

Director: David Wain

Stars: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter

The setting is Camp Firewood, the year 1981. It's the last day before everyone goes back to the real world, but there's still a summer's worth of unfinished business to resolve. At the center of the action is camp director Beth, who struggles to keep order while she falls in love with the local astrophysics professor. He is busy trying to save the camp from a deadly piece of NASA's Skylab which is hurtling toward earth. All that, plus: a dangerous waterfall rescue, love triangles, misfits, cool kids, and talking vegetable cans. The questions will all be resolved, of course, at the big talent show at the end of the day.

Writers: Michael Showalter, David Wain

Janeane Garofalo - Beth
David Hyde Pierce - Henry Newman
Michael Showalter - Gerald 'Coop' Cooperberg / Alan Shemper
Marguerite Moreau - Katie
Michael Ian Black - McKinley
Zak Orth - J.J.
A.D. Miles - Gary
Paul Rudd - Andy
Christopher Meloni - Gene
Molly Shannon - Gail von Kleinenstein
Ken Marino - Victor Kulak
Joe Lo Truglio - Neil
Amy Poehler - Susie
Bradley Cooper - Ben
Gideon Jacobs - Aaron

Taglines: It was the last day of summer camp. It was the first day of the third week in August.


Official Website: Eureka Pictures |

Release Date: 11 April 2002

Filming Locations: Honesdale, Pennsylvania, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $17,481 (USA) (29 July 2001) (2 Screens)

Gross: $292,102 (USA) (7 October 2001)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Although called wet hot, the credits thank the crew for surviving a cold, wet Pennsylvania spring. You can also see the actors' breaths at points during the movie.

Anachronisms: During the baseball speech, one of the campers is wearing a New Jersey Nets hat. The logo on his hat wasn't adopted until the 1990-1991 season, while the film is set in 1981.

Susie: Before we start, I'd just like to say the campers you're about to see suck dick! But nevertheless, please welcome them.

User Review

A Cult Classic of Epic Proportions

Rating: 9/10

"Wet Hot American Summer" is an overlooked comic gem and an absurdest spoof of those god-awful summer camp movies from the 1980's. If you enjoy "Monty Python" style sketch humor or were a fan of "The State" (many of the players are employed here) or "Kids in the Hall," then this is the ticket for you. People who enjoy humor more in line with the Farelly Brothers or the "American Pie" films probably just won't "get this." It's all a matter of taste and your sense of humor. But seriously, how can you go wrong with a movie that has a pep talk from a talking can of vegetables or an overly dramatic chase scene where the person doing the chasing is thwarted by a single barrel of hay in the middle of a wide open road? My personal favorite is when the guy is driving the van singing along to "Danny's Song" and then out of nowhere screams bloody murder as he slams into a tree. Oh, and who can forget the hilariously rapid decent into the underworld of drugs and despair by the kids spending an hour away from camp in town? This is also a must see for people who appreciate Janeane Garafalo's comic timing and Molly Shannon's bizarre brand of humor. This film was grossly overlooked when it hit theaters, but I think there is a cult following waiting for this movie. I hope these people are allowed to collaborate on another comedy. If they are, then we may have a new dawn of "Monty Python" style humor infecting the barbarian hordes.


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