Maybe it made sense that Ronald Reagan appeared in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp, since that series took place on June 24, 1981, when Reagan was the actual president. But why in the name of Camp Firewood is Reagan in Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later? OK, to be fair, not much of anything that occurs in Michael Showalter and David Wain's wacky franchise makes a whole lot of sense. However, this time around, Reagan may not be president anymore, but he actually has a reason for antagonizing the (now former) counselors of Camp Firewood again. And the fact that he has more time on his hands after transitioning the White House to George H. W. Bush (who also gets in on the action, played by Michael Ian Black) means that President Reagan has an even bigger role in Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.
Showalter added to his already full Wet Hot American plate in the Netflix prequel series by not only reprising his role of Coop, but by also portraying President Reagan in two episodes. While explaining the nonsensical plot ruins some of the series' zaniness, let's just say that Reagan got involved in First Day Of Camp because he wanted to destroy Camp Firewood to cover up the fact that the company Xenstar was dumping toxic sludge, the very substance that transformed H. Jon Benjamin's Camp Director Mitch into a talking can of vegetables, on the grounds and it was contaminating the water. So, yeah, standard Wet Hot American Summer fare.
When the military rolled into Camp Firewood, Elizabeth Bank's Lindsay was able to convince Reagan to stop by revealing herself to be a journalist and threatening to expose this government conspiracy theory in Rock & Roll World magazine. Reagan backed down without much of a fight and Camp Firewood was saved — for now.
But the Gipper apparently holds a grudge and in Ten Years Later, he is joined in a new evil plan against Camp Firewood by the current president (well, current in 1991) George H. W. Bush. Like Showalter, Michael Ian Black pulls double duty since he portrays both Bush and McKinley for the Wet Hot American Summer sequel. And the two presidents are assisted by another familiar face — Chris Pine's rock legend Eric — in their scheming. Future president Bill Clinton will enter the fray too with director David Wain portraying the saxophone-playing governor, as well as his First Day Of Camp character Yaron.
With Reagan being a larger character in Ten Years Later than he was in First Day Of Camp, the series is really putting the "American" in Wet Hot American Summer. And you can see if the counselors of Camp Firewood can succeed in defeating the 40th President of the United States again when Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later premieres on Netflix on Aug. 4.