Wet Hot American Summer | Chicago Reader

Wet Hot American Summer

The title of this inventive absurdist comedy (2001) is meant to mislead—it's not a sex movie but a parody, and the loose feel is part of its genius. On the final day of summer camp in Maine in 1981 the counselors and the campers—adolescents all—are desperate to make the most of the attachments they've formed or to form some at the last minute. The camp director nervously pursues a local astrophysicist with whom she has nothing in common, a distraught art teacher becomes a class project for some precocious campers, and a lovesick counselor spends a not entirely platonic day with someone else's convenience girlfriend. Michael Showalter—who wrote the screenplay with director and fellow TV sketch comedian David Wain—gives perhaps the most nuanced performance, though he hardly steals the show. In an arch dual role, he sets and anchors the tone—a precarious balance of broad comedy and ersatz drama that's never off pitch. With Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, and Molly Shannon.



  • David Wain


  • Janeane Garofalo
  • David Hyde Pierce
  • Michael Showalter
  • Marguerite Moreau
  • Paul Rudd
  • Zak Orth
  • Christopher Meloni
  • A.D. Miles
  • Molly Shannon
  • Gideon Jacobs
  • Ken Marino
  • Joe Lo Truglio
  • Michael Ian Black
  • Liam Norton
  • Amy Poehler
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Marisa Ryan
  • Elizabeth Banks
  • Gabriel Millman
  • Kevin Sussman


  • Michael Showalter
  • David Wain


  • Howard Bernstein
  • Michael Showalter
  • David Wain
  • Jill Rubin
  • Howard Gertler

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