Boy, oh boy, am I excited for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp. It seems that from the minute I heard about this prequel series to the cult movie, I’ve been counting down for it. Now that the hour is finally upon us, it got me wondering — is Camp Firewood a real place? While the wacky antics that take place there might have tipped you off, this summer camp is completely fictional, but it's certainly not the only famous camp from television and film.
It’s hard to believe that Wet Hot American Summer debuted in 2001, years before most of its cast hit the big time. Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Marguerite Moreau, Michael Ian Black, David Wain, Christopher Meloni, and Janeane Garofalo are just a sampling of the names that appeared in the first film. All of those stars are back for the prequel series, plus more faces, like Kristen Wiig, Josh Charles, Jon Hamm, Lake Bell, John Slattery, and Jordan Peele. I mean, how could anyone miss this?
Now, I’m kind of a self-proclaimed expert when it comes to fictional camp settings (I think it’s because I never went to camp as a child and it causes me to project). In Wet Hot American Summer, Camp Firewood is a magical place, but let’s how it stacks up to some other purely fictional camp settings.
Camp Anawanna — Salute Your Shorts
Get it right or pay the price, amirite? If you don’t know that song, I suggest you look up the theme music right now. Salute Your Shorts was a lovely little show that played on Nickelodeon in the 1990s, following around a group of campers and their bumbling leader, Kevin “Ug” Lee. Anawanna seemed like a whole lot of fun, but the pranks and endless ribbing of poor Ug may grate on you after awhile.
Camp Nowhere — Camp Nowhere
One of my favorites, this 1994 movie stars Christopher Lloyd, Jonathan Jackson, and a very young Jessica Alba in her film debut. Annoyed with the camps their parents want to send them to, Jackson and the other campers make up their own, complete with the curriculum they want. Sounds pretty cool, right? It definitely inspired some serious summer camp daydreams.
Camp Crystal Lake — Friday the 13th
It’s all fun and games, right? Splashing in the lake, sunning yourself on the dock, playing tag in the woods. Maybe a late night rendezvous with the boys from Bunk Seven. Until a hockey mask-wearing Jason Voorhees stabs you in the back with a machete. Not as fun now, huh?
Tall Oaks Band Camp — American Pie
We all know the line. I don’t have to say it here. But let’s say there was some serious sexual exploration at Tall Oaks Band Camp. Michelle definitely taught Jim a few things from her time there.
Camp Hope — Heavyweights
With a name like Camp Hope, participants of this camp had no idea what they were getting into, courtesy of Ben Stiller's sadistic Tony Perkis.
Camp Little Wolf — Little Darlings
This 1980 gem starred Kristy McNichol and Tatum O’Neal as two camp foes that create a contest to see who can lose their virginity first that summer. A very young, very hot Matt Dillon plays the guy that McNichol has her mind on. The activities at this camp started out G-rated but progressed to at least PG-13, so not exactly a child-friendly camp. A very pre-Sex and the City Cynthia Nixon is in here, too.
Camp Walden —The Parent Trap
This camp must be a pretty special place to house both a British Lindsay Lohan and an American Lindsay Lohan, right? It had all of the summer rites of passage: pranks, ear piercing, feuds, canoeing, and pure, unadulterated friendship. Too bad everyone can’t meet his or her long-lost twin at summer camp.
It’s not too late for sleep away camp, you guys! Let’s pack up and hit the woods. Just kidding. I’ll be in the air conditioning watching Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp instead. No bug bites for me.
Images: Saeed Adyani/Netflix; Giphy (7)