See The Cast of ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Then and Now
While ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ might sound like some sort of pornographic movie, we assure you it’s not. It’s actually a cult classic comedy with a cast of people who were mostly unknowns at the time. Today, some of them have gone on to receive Emmy and Academy Award nomination.
Let’s see what the cast looks like today.
Beth, Janeane Garofalo
Then: In the ’90s, Garofalo was one of the biggest comedians around, appearing in films left and right, but it was her role as Beth in ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ that we really loved. Playing the camp’s director, Garofalo eventually fell for an astrophysicist (played by David Hyde Pierce) while trying to keep her counselors in order.
Now: Since then, Garofalo has focused more on stand-up and radio. In 2004, she began hosting a show for Air America Radio, which allowed the comic to express her (radical to some) views. She was a regular on ’24’ and ‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior’ and has the film ‘For or for Worse’ coming.
Henry Newman, David Hyde Pierce
Then: David Hyde Pierce took some time off from ‘Frasier’ to play Janeane Garofalo’s love interest in ‘Wet Hot American Summer.’ When he wasn’t awkwardly attempting to woo the aforementioned Garofalo, he was busy “saving the camp” from the falling piece of NASA’s Skylab.
Now: Pierce continued working on ‘Fraiser’ until the show ended in 2004 after an astonishing 11 seasons, and has appeared multiple times in Broadway plays. (He can currently be seen opposite Sigourney Weaver in ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.’) He has often offered his voice up for roles in animated films, and is the voice of Ikea in Canada
Gerald ‘Coop’ Cooperberg, Michael Showalter
Then: In addition to playing Coop, Michael Showalter also co-wrote ‘Wet Hot American Summer.’ A cast member of the MTV comedy sketch series ‘The State,’ Showalter met ‘Wet Hot’ collaborator David Wain while at NYU.
Now: Since ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ wrapped, Showalter has had a rather steady career in television and film — a stage/video show called ‘Stella’ performed with State members Michael Ian Black and David Wain was commissioned as a series for Comedy Central. After that, he and Michael Ian Black worked together on ‘Michael and Michael Have Issues.’ Today, Showalter continues to work in show business (he cowrote the upcoming Paul Rudd comedy ‘They Came Together’ with David Wain) and is an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Kanbar Institute of Film & Television.
Katie, Marguerite Moreau
Then: Before Moreau played Coop’s hopeful love interest in ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ she was in ‘The Mighty Ducks‘. In between, she had roles in ‘Boy Meets World,’ ‘Blossom’ and ‘Free Willy 2.’
Now: Moreau has found some major success in television, appearing on ‘LOST,’ ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Parenthood.’ More recently, she appeared on Showtime’s ‘Shameless.’ No word on whether or not she’s still all about sex, specifically with Andy and not Coop.
Gary, A.D. Miles
Then: Miles, who began working in comedy in the late-90s, played Gary, Gene’s kitchen co-worker.
Now: Today Miles is the head writer for ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.’ Aside from that, he is best known for playing Marty Shonson on Comedy Central’s ‘Dog Bites Man.’
Gene, Christopher Meloni
Then: Meloni had just finished a stint on HBO’s ‘Oz’ and started working on the best ‘Law & Order’ — ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.’ Now we can’t look at Elliot Stabler without remembering the time he said he was going to go fondle his sweaters.
Now: Meloni continued to play Elliot Stabler up until the end of ‘SVU’s’ 2011 season, becoming one of the highest paid actors on television at the time. Luckily, he was also Freakshow in ‘Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.’ Since leaving SVU, Meloni has most recently been seen on HBO’s ‘True Blood.’
Andy, Paul Rudd
Then: Paul Rudd might have been a total tool in ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ but he was a hilarious tool. At the time, he was best known for playing the ex-step-brother in ‘Clueless.’
Now: Since ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ Rudd has become one of America’s leading comedic actors. He recently teamed up with Tina Fey for ‘Admission,’ and is currently reprising his ‘Anchorman’ role of Brian Fantana in ‘Anchorman 2.’
Gail von Kleinenstein, Molly Shannon
Then: At the time that ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ hit the theaters, Molly Shannon was just ending a triumphant stint at ‘Saturday Night Live.’
Now: Shannon’s career post-‘Wet Hot American Summer’ has been a good one, with work in film, television and even Broadway. (You may have recently seen her on ‘The Middle’ or ‘Enlightened.’) In 2011, Shannon became a children’s author with her book ‘Tilly the Trickster.’ And just last year she took over as the spokesperson for Expedia.com.
Victor Kulak, Ken Marino
Then: As one of the many State members to appear in ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ Ken Marino’s character was out for one thing: to get some.
Now: After ‘Wet Hot’ wrapped, Marino continued acting, writing and producing. He eventually landed on the Starz series ‘Party Down.’ The show was cancelled way too early, but Marino would go on to write 2008’s ‘Role Models’ and 2012’s ‘Wanderlust.’ He now produces and stars in the web series, ‘Burning Love,’ (which was recently picked up by the E! network) and is a cast member and producer on Adult Swim’s ‘Children’s Hospital.’ We also hope he’ll turn up in the ‘Veronica Mars’ movie as his sleazy P.I. character Vinnie Van Lowe.
Susie, Amy Poehler
Then: Around the time of the film’s release, Poehler was just starting on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Before that, she was a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy team, TV show and theater, and performer on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien.’ And after that…she did okay.
Now: Thanks to ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Poehler became one of the most famous female comedians in America, and now has one of NBC’s top-rated current shows with ‘Parks and Recreation.’
Ben, Bradley Cooper
Then: The then-unknown Bradley Cooper played Ben, Michael Ian Black’s lover and co-director of the camp talent show. The movie gave Cooper his first big role.
Now: After appearing in films such as ‘Wedding Crashers” and ‘He’s Just Not That Into You,’ Cooper became a household name when ‘The Hangover’ hit theaters in 2009. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ and is about to release the third and final installment in ‘The Hangover’ franchise.
Lindsay, Elizabeth Banks
Then: Elizabeth Banks might not have been a household name at the time, but you probably recognize her by now. ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ was just her third film credit, having previously worked more in television.
Now: Banks entered the mainstream when she played a freaky bookstore employee in ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin.’ She has worked on several successful comedies since and had a stint on the fourth season of ’30 Rock.’
McKinley, Michael Ian Black
Then: Another member of The State, Michael Ian Black played counselor McKinley. Between The State and ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ Black appeared on ‘Viva Variety” and ‘ Random Play.’
Now: After ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ Black appeared on ‘Ed,’ co-created ‘Stella’ and ‘Michael and Michael Have Issues’ and currently plays Chris Harrison on ‘Burning Love.’ He is also the author of several books for adults and children, the most recent of which is titled ‘I’m Bored.’
Can of Vegetables, Jon Benjamin
Then: Yes, that can of vegetables has a face! And it is the face of Jon Benjamin (aka H. Jon Benjamin). Benjamin’s career has been sprinkled with success since the late ’90s, so it doesn’t surprise us that his role in ‘Wet Hot’ is a memorable one. Before the film, Benjamin was a writer and performer for ‘Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.’
Now: After the film, Benjamin worked on ‘Home Movies,’ ‘Human Giant’ and ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force.’ He hosted his own Comedy Central show for one season, ‘Jon Benjamin Has A Van.’ Today, not only does he star on ‘Archer’ but he also lends his voice to the lead in ‘Bob’s Burgers.’