Wet Hot American Actors: What’s The Cast Been Up To The Past 15 Years?
Since we last shared a stick of gum at Camp Firewood, “Wet Hot American Summer” has gone from a 90-minute misadventure to an eight-episode encore 15 years later, now reconnecting with that nostalgic space in our summer hungry hearts and sweaty Underoos. With its Netflix TV reunion — “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” — underway, we’d like to get reacquainted with our favorite summer of ’81 sweethearts, camp counselors and goony fridge-humping kitchen cooks. In addition to rumors of Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, John Slattery and Jason Schwartzman joining the cast, here’s a look at the original 2001 camp comedy comrades and where they’ve been since we last seen them at Camp Firewood. Let’s just hope H. Jon Benjamin reprises his role as Can of Vegetables.
Showalter (Coop) was co-writer and star of “Wet Hot American Summer,” and went on to co-star alongside his former castmate Michael Ian Black in FX’s short-lived and underrated comedy “Michael & Michael Have Issues” in 2009. He has also written a couple scripts for multiple shows like “Stella” in 2005 (which he also starred in), “Childrens Hospital” and “Newsreaders” in 2013. He wrote for his own show, “The Michael Showalter Showalter,” in 2007 as well.
You may know her as Katie from “Wet Hot American Summer,” but more than likely you knew her before that as Connie from “The Mighty Ducks” trilogy. Moreau has since moved on to guest star on shows like “The OC,” “What About Brian” and more recently, Showtime’s “Shameless.” She’s also had roles on hit shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Parenthood.” It’s good to have you back Connie, you gentlemanizer.
Her role as Susie blossomed into a similarly outdoorsy comedy character in 2009 with her lead in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” as the type-A perky parks head, Leslie Knope. Now Poehler is back at the first day of camp for all eight episodes as the nosy camp talent show director. She’ll be bitching all day, for certain.
Shortly after his hard-ass role as denim-rocking Andy, Rudd guest starred as Phoebe’s boyfriend on “Friends,” just before landing a huge role as one of the four newsmen in 2003’s “Anchorman,” as well as its 2013 sequel. Rudd also took the lead in films like “Our Idiot Brother” and “I Love You Man,” while becoming a recurring fixture of Apatow comedies like “40-Year-Old Virgin” in 2005 and “This Is 40” in 2012. He also starred in “Role Models,” another work by David Wain, and can be seen in the upcoming summer blockbuster “Ant Man.”
Gene, the fridge-humping kitchen cook, might be our favorite character. Chris Meloni has had a lot of roles since his day as a former vet chef, most notably on “Law and Order,” “True Blood” and the hit summer show “Veep.” He was also in the 2013 Superman film, “Man of Steel.” Here’s hoping he has time to wipe mud on his ass for Netflix.
After his flamboyant fling as Ben, co-producer of the camp talent show, Bradley Cooper went on to get noticed as the asshole in the 2005 buddy comedy “Wedding Crashers” before breaking through as part of the lovable comedy trio in Todd Phillips’ “The Hangover” trilogy. The same year as David Wain’s wet, hot reunion, Cooper made a run for the Academy Award as the revered marksman, Chris Kyle, in the Clint Eastwood film “American Sniper.” He was also nominated for his roles in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle.”
Garofalo is back as Camp Director. And since the show is referring back to the first day of camp, we can expect to see Beth before she falls head-over-camp-shirt in love with David Hyde Pierce’s character. Janeane has since given guest performances up until 2005 when she landed recurring roles on “The West Wing,” “24” and, currently, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.”
David Hyde Pierce
He was pretty much exclusive to the role of Miles Crane on “Frasier” until 2004 and the voices of Cecil and Felix on “The Simpsons” until 2014, then Pierce moved on with “The Good Wife” in 2014 for two seasons. We’ll see the nerdy astrophysicist return to hang back in the offseason of school during the summer that makes his career.
Michael Ian Black
McKinley, played by Michael Ian Black, will likely be an interesting role as he comes comfortably to terms with his closeted homosexuality. I mean, who wouldn’t, if Bradley Cooper were involved, am I right?! Seriously though, Black starred opposite his co-Michael buddy in their co-created “Michael and Michael Have Issues” in 2009 and since then has carried roles in TV on “Backwash,” “Reaper” and “Burning Love.” Let’s not forget his recurring role as Kevin the sex offender on “Reno 911!”
Lindsay might’ve been the make-out queen of David Wain’s summer masterpiece, but since then Elizabeth Banks picked up the role of Miss Brant in all three of the “Spider-Man” movies, a hilarious small role on “40-Year-Old Virgin” across from her “Wet Hot” co-stars and some TV roles on major shows “Modern Family,” “30 Rock” and “Scrubs.” She also is part of a little film franchise known as “The Hunger Games,” and she recently directed “Pitch Perfect 2.”
Abby, the camp slut, hasn’t been too busy since we last saw her slutting it up, but she has appeared in “Riding in Cars With Boys,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Puberty: The Movie.” So yeah, it sounds like she’s still playing the slutty role.
J.J., the fat laughing kid from “Wet Hot American Summer,” went into small roles after 2001, popping in with former cast mates, the Michaels, on “Stella” and “Michael and Michael Have Issues” before getting some solid work on “Revolution” in 2012 and some spots on newer cable series “Veep” and Showtime’s “Happyish.”
“Does she want to fuck me? Of course she does. Why else would she be talking to you?” might be one of the best lines of the movie, by virgin womanizer Victor. Marino has since become the king of guest star roles on big hits “Dawson’s Creek” right after the original film, then moved to “What I Like About You,” “Veronica Mars,” “Reaper” and “Californication.” Then he picked up even bigger comedic guest roles on the underrated “Party Down,” “Eastbound & Down” and “Childrens Hospital.” You may also recognize him as the parody “Bachelor” character from the hilarious web series “Burning Love” or from the NBC sitcom “Marry Me.”
Joe Lo Truglio
Truglio went from camp buddy film as Neil, head of recreational boating activities, to high school buddy film with the “Superbad” boys in 2007. Just before that, he was starring alongside his “Wet Hot” co-stars in small roles and playing Deputy Frank Rizzo on “Reno 911!” until 2009 while getting into “Horrible People” in 2008. He continued small roles on big shows while picking up bigger roles on small shows like “Backwash,” “Free Agents” and “Burning Love.” In 2013, he became known as Charles Boyle, starring in more than 50 episodes to date of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” alongside Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher.
The former “Saturday Night Live” great Mary Catherine Gallagher will return as a recently divorced Gail in the new series. In between the original film and the new show, Shannon continued guest starring on “Will & Grace” before moving onto small roles on “Cracking Up,” “Kath & Kim” and “Neighbors From Hell.” The former armpit-sniffing private school student is also currently in pre-production for her role on “Divorce,” alongside Talia Balsam and Sarah Jessica Parker.