What on earth is going on with Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp?

An 80s comedy prequel starring Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd and Kristen Wiig as teenagers? Here's everything you need to know about Netflix's new series...

So I’ve seen the trailer and frankly I’m confused by all the pigtails and long socks. Not to mention the incredibly long title… 

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Never fear, RadioTimes.com is here. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a prequel to Wet Hot American Summer, a cult film from 2001. The film takes place two months before the events of the movie, which was set on the last day of camp. 

It’s certainly star-studded.

Yes. Yes, it is. Wet Hot American Summer stars pretty much every funny actor you’ve ever seen: Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, David Hyde Pierce, H Jon Benjamin, Michael Ian Black, Judah Friedlander, Joe Lo Truglio, Christopher Meloni, Marguerite Moreau and more. If you don’t recognise their names, you’ll know their faces. Trust us. 

Were they all in the original? 

The entire original cast of the film have reprised their roles in this Netflix series, in addition to an all-star line-up of new cast members. Joining them are the likes of Kristen Wiig, Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, Lake Bell, Michael Cera, John Slattery, Josh Charles, Randall Park, Jordan Peele, Jason Schwartzman, Michaela Watkins and “Weird Al” Yankovic. Phew! 

So the original film was 15 years ago and this is a prequel. Surely they’re all a bit old to be playing teenagers? 

You might think so but showrunners David Wain and Michael Showalter didn’t. “It just seemed so ballsy and absurd to make the characters even younger than they are,” said Wain. 

Amy Poehler agreed with you, pointing out that “Everyone looks like they’re playing their own parents.” While Paul Rudd explained that it’s never addressed: “I think that’s the only way you can do it – to just embrace its lunacy.”

So what’s the story? 

Let us set the scene. It’s 1981 and we’re at Camp Firewood, a summer camp in Maine “where friendships are formed, relationships bloom and hormones rage against a backdrop of athletics, arts and crafts, theatre, secret identities, sexual discovery and diabolical government conspiracies.”

Eh?

It’s basically all your favourite actors, but with 80s mullets, mucking around in cut-off shorts and super-tight vests. 

Now you’re talking. How many episodes are there? 

There are eight 30-minute episodes, all available in one go. 

And where can I watch it? 

It’s a Netflix original series so you’ll need to be a subscriber. 

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Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is available to stream now on Netflix 


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