See the Cast of ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Then and Now
Back in 2001, writer, director and actor David Wain recruited a few of his former collaborators from MTV’s ‘The State,’ along with several other very talented and hilarious friends, to head off to camp for the satirical comedy ‘Wet Hot American Summer.’ Rather than have teenagers play the parts of the camp counselors, Wain had people like then unknown actors Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks play them. He also introduced audiences to Bradley Cooper, who made his acting debut alongside Amy Poehler.
It’s been 12 years since our first trip to Camp Firewood, so today we revisit the awesome ensemble cast of this hilarious cult classic and see what they’re up to these days.
Janeane Garofalo, Beth
Then: Comedienne Janeane Garofalo played Beth, the highly neurotic head camp counselor who develops a crush on professor Henry Newman, the camp’s next-door neighbor, while trying to keep the camp in line.
Now: Garofalo lent her voice talents to Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille,’ and has guest starred on Adult Swim’s ‘Delocated’ and ‘Metalocalypse.’ She’s also a series regular on ‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.’
David Hyde Pierce, Professor Henry Newman
Then: Former ‘Frasier’ star David Hyde Pierce played Professor Henry Newman, who is desperately hoping to get tenure. In an attempt to impress Beth, he teaches the nerdy kids at camp about astronomy.
Now: Pierce voiced Abe Sapien in the first ‘Hellboy’ film but hasn’t done much in recent years. He appeared in the 2010 film ‘The Perfect Host’ and has spent a lot of time doing theatre, most recently appearing in a 2013 production of ‘The Landing.’
Molly Shannon, Gail von Kleinenstein
Then: Molly Shannon played Gail, the arts and crafts counselor who is awkwardly struggling through a divorce. Shannon was best known at the time for her work on ‘SNL’ and ‘Superstar.’
Now: Shannon starred in the short-lived sitcom ‘Kath and Kim,’ and has since guest starred on a number of shows like ‘Scrubs,’ ‘Glee,’ ’30 Rock’ and most recently on an episode of ‘Hannibal’ that was notably pulled from the air in the wake of a school shooting. She can be seen next alongside Aubrey Plaza in the indie comedy ‘Life After Beth.’
Paul Rudd, Andy
Then: Paul Rudd played Andy, the obnoxious counselor who cheats on his girlfriend and writes in a journal, which he calls a “gurnal.” At the time, Rudd was known mostly for starring in ‘Clueless.’
Now: Rudd recently starred in David Wain’s ‘Wanderlust’ with several of his ‘Wet Hot’ co-stars, and appeared in ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ with Elizabeth Banks. He can be seen next in ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,’ and reunites with Wain, co-star Amy Poehler, and several of his other old ‘Wet Hot’ friends in the upcoming rom-com satire ‘They Came Together.’
Christopher Meloni, Gene
Then: Christopher Meloni was known more for playing serious roles on shows like ‘Oz’ and ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.’ In ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ he went against type, playing Gene, the kitchen cook with PTSD, who talks to a can of vegetables.
Now: Meloni recently had an expanded role on HBO’s ‘True Blood’ after ending his run on ‘SVU’ in 2011. He’s appeared in ‘Man of Steel’ and ’42,’ and stars in the upcoming films ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ and David Wain’s ‘They Came Together.’
Michael Showalter, Gerald “Coop” Cooperberg
Then: Michael Showalter played Gerald “Coop” Cooperberg, an awkward, gawky counselor with a hopeless crush on Katie, one of the more popular, laid-back girls. Showalter previously starred on ‘The State.’
Now: Showalter went on to have a couple of short-lived shows with Wain and Michael Ian Black, and he now currently works with Wain on Adult Swim’s ‘Children’s Hospital.’ He’s appeared in Wain’s ‘Wanderlust,’ and is currently a writer for Rebel Wilson’s ABC sitcom ‘Super Fun Night.’
Marguerite Moreau, Katie
Then: Marguerite Moreau played Katie, Andy’s put upon, oblivious girlfriend who uses Coop for comfort. Moreau had previously appeared in all three ‘Mighty Ducks’ films and guested on ‘Boy Meets World.’
Now: Moreau went on to star in ‘Queen of the Damned’ before making a string of appearances on shows like ‘The O.C.,’ ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Ghost Whisperer.’ She currently stars on the Showtime series ‘Shameless.’
Michael Ian Black, McKinley Dozen
Then: Michael Ian Black played McKinley, a gay counselor who has a relationship with Ben. The two later get married in the woods. Black was also a veteran of ‘The State.’
Now: Though he had a couple of failed series with Wain and Showalter, Black has found plenty of success: he plays the host of the web series ‘Burning Love’; he hosts the new game show ‘Trust Me, I’m a Game Show Host’ with D.L. Hughley; and he collaborates with Showalter for a late-night Adult Swim infomercial parody series called ‘You’re Whole.’ He appeared in ‘Wanderlust’ and will also appear in Wain’s ‘They Came Together’ — obviously.
Elizabeth Banks, Lindsay
Then: Elizabeth Banks’ first major film role was in ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ as Lindsay. Andy cheats on Katie with her, and she’s fond of being messy with her food.
Now: Banks has starred in several films with Paul Rudd, including ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’ ‘Role Models,’ ‘The Baxter’ (directed by Michael Showalter) and ‘Our Idiot Brother.’ She recently appeared in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ and ‘Pitch Perfect,’ and can be seen — or heard — next in ‘The Lego Movie.’
Ken Marino, Victor Pulak
Then: Ken Marino, another ‘State’ veteran, played Victor Pulak, a guy who spends the entire movie trying desperately to hook up with a hot girl.
Now: Marino starred on the short-lived series ‘Party Down’ and on the web series ‘Burning Love’ with Michael Ian Black. He stars on David Wain’s ‘Children’s Hospital’ and appeared in ‘Wanderlust,’ and recently appeared in the final season of ‘Eastbound and Down.’
Amy Poehler, Susie
Then: Amy Poehler made her debut on ‘SNL’ the same year ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ was released. In the film, she played Susie, the hotheaded and stuck-up theater counselor, intent on having the best talent show.
Now: Poehler went on to appear in films like ‘Mean Girls’ and ‘Baby Mama’ and is close friends with her former ‘SNL’ co-star Tina Fey — together they are co-hosting the next two Golden Globes after their first successful run in 2013. Poehler also stars with Paul Rudd in David Wain’s upcoming rom-com satire ‘They Came Together,’ and of course you know her best as Leslie Knope on the NBC sitcom ‘Parks and Recreation.’
Bradley Cooper, Ben
Then: Bradley Cooper made his acting debut in ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ as Ben, Susie’s co-counselor in the theater department of the camp, and McKinley’s boyfriend. Cooper and Michael Ian Black share a sex scene in the film.
Now: Cooper has become a huge Hollywood star in the last 12 years, and has appeared in recent films like ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ ‘The Place Beyond the Pines,’ and ‘American Hustle.’