Wet Hot American Summer

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is funnier, if not better, than the movie

When Wet Hot American Summer was released in 2001, it was poorly received by critics and flopped at the box office, but thanks to DVD rentals it garnered a huge cult following in the wake of its failure. The affectionate send-up of ’80s summer camp romps like Meatballs and Porky’s was the brainchild of David Wain, who first cut his teeth on The State, a scattershot mid-90’s sketch show that lasted 26 episodes on MTV. It was Wain’s first film, and it featured an excellent cast of relatively unknown actors at the time, which included Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Poehler, to name a few. Considered by many to be the first “great” American comedy of the 21st century, it’s hard to understand why it wasn’t well received at the time. Wet Hot American Summer may be idiotic and ridiculous, but it’s also completely brilliant in how it deconstructs popular storytelling in Hollywood teen movies while embracing the stereotypical atmosphere and daily routines of sleep-away summer camps.

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