Jason Reitman on screening his short film at Sundance in 2001 with “Wet Hot American Summer”

Ten years ago, the kids from The State had grown up enough to get nostalgic about their childhood days attending summer camp, and Michael Showalter and David Wain wrote a movie about it, with Wain directing, called Wet Hot American Summer.

Released in two theaters on July 27, 2001, the film didn’t break big at the box office. But over the past decade, it has earned an allegiance of loyal and adoring fans (some of whom showed up to a NYC screening last night in costumes dressed as the film’s characters, with one even standing in front of the screen, Rocky Horror-style, to mimic a character’s big monologue moment) and offered early glimpses at the humorous potential of Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Christopher Meloni, Elizabeth Banks and Bradley Cooper. Not to mention Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon and several members of The State.

As part of last night’s anniversary screening in Manhattan, Wain and Showalter were joined in a discussion by Jake Fogelnest and director Jason Reitman, who was paired up with Wet Hot American Summer ten years ago at the Sundance Film Festival for his short film, Gulp.

In this clip, Reitman gushes about realizing as a young filmmaker that he was screening alongside the comedians from The State, and how audiences in Park City, Utah, reacted to seeing Wet Hot for the first time.

Not much later, Showalter and Wain credited Reitman’s father, Ivan Reitman, for inspiring them with his 1979 summer camp movie, Meatballs.

The Wet Hot¬†anniversary celebration continues Aug. 2, 2011, with a sold-out bash at the Music Hall of Williamsburg hosted by Stella and featuring several surprise guests. There’s also talk of a sequel or prequel, which Wain and Showalter continued to speculate about last night.

Oh, and if you need to be reminded what Wet Hot American Summer was, relive this movie trailer from 2001. Roll it!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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