00:00:00 | 3:02:50




Where does Ant-Man meet the American Sniper? At camp! The new Netflix series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a prequel to the 2001 film that flopped even though the cast was packed with then unknown stars. Director David Wain tells how he got Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo and many others to reprise their roles as 1980’s counselors at Camp Firewood.

Photo: (L-R) Zak Orth, Michael Showalter, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio and Nina Hellman in the Netflix original series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. (Saeed Adyani/Netflix)

Hollywood News Banter 6 MIN, 12 SEC

Matt Belloni, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter, joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • Following the smashing success of Jurassic World, Universal announced Jurassic World 2, coming to theaters in June of 2018. But other recent franchise reboots like Terminator have not seen the same success. Because these giant films cost so much to make and market, studios are now weighing which ones are worth the effort to continue.
  • Bill Simmons, formerly of ESPN, has landed a megadeal at HBO. ESPN has been shedding talent as a way of cutting costs recently, a surprising turn for the network that was once the darling of the cable industry. Simmons has a massive following and will likely create several different types of content for HBO and HBONow.
  • Stars like Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman have pulled their endorsements from Mark Whitaker's biography of Bill Cosby because his book did not address any of the allegations of sexual assault. The book will also not come out in paperback.
'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp' 21 MIN, 11 SEC

Remember Wet Hot American Summer? Maybe not. As director David Wain tells us, "This is a movie that most people in America have probably never heard of, but for what it's worth, most people in Hollywood probably have."

Critics had no love for the summer camp spoof Wet Hot American Summer when it had its very limited theatrical release 14 years ago. But over time, the movie has become legend in the comedy world, especially as many of its cast members went on to big careers -- think Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks and Paul Rudd.

Now, David Wain, who directed the film and co-wrote it with his comedy partner Michael Showalter, has pulled off the ultimate coup: he's reunited the entire cast for a Wet Hot American Summer series on Netflix -- and tossed in a bunch of new players including Jon Hamm, Jason Schwartzman and Kristen Wiig. Part of the joke is that almost all the cast members are in their 40's but they're still playing teens in the eight episodes that will start streaming on July 31. As in the original movie, the series is set in 1981. It follows the campers and counselors on the first day of camp, filling in their origin stories.

(L-R) Amy Poehler and David Wain on the set of Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer
Photo: Saeed Adyani for Netflix

Wain was a part of the sketch comedy group The State, which had a show on MTV in the mid-90's. When they started to think about casting their first film, Wain and Showalter recruited several other members of The State, including Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino and Joe Lo Truglio. From there, Wain says they reached out to other people they were friends with as well as the most famous person they knew at the time: Janeane Garofalo.

Proving that summer camp friendships are deep and long lasting, everyone was on board to come back for the prequel, which was shot at a ranch in Malibu, but through a little movie magic, made to look exactly like the camp in Pennsylvania where they originally filmed.

David Wain, filmmaker (@davidwain)

Watch the original 'Wet Hot American Summer' on Netflix
Watch 'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp' on Netflix (starting July 31)


Kim Masters
Matthew Belloni

Kaitlin Parker

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From The Business


Latest From KCRW

View Schedule


View All Events


Player Embed Code