About a month ago, Dave Campfield, the director and star of the Caesar & Otto horror films (which I blogged about here) asked me to call in to his web show and talk about Boys, Bears & Scares and a trio of horror films.
I must have said something right that night, because Dave asked me to come on as guest panelist for an entire episode dedicated to sleepaway camp movies!
Our other panelist was Dave’s woman, JoJo. JoJo is hot. She has this wicked sexy goth chick vibe—not to mention she could be Eliza Dushku’s sister. She is SO Eliza that I felt the need to tell her like ten times. Not to mention, while I’m totally not one of those gay dudes who is in to women’s fashion accessories, JoJo had this studded leather S&M bag and I totally want one.
Before the show started, JoJo played musical chairs with me because she wanted to make sure her best side was on camera. Both sides looked pretty fine to me, but I made sure to give her the truth about which seat at the table was most flattering to her rather than sabotage her for the sake of my own vanity. Conveniently, her best side and my best side both ended up on screen.
Before the show, Dave said he always refers to me as David because he thinks of David E. Kelley when he hears Daniel W. Kelly. Not a bad name to be mixed up with, so when we went live and he immediately introduced me as David, I let it slide…after immediately correcting him. That’s letting it slide…right?
Dave introduced the theme of the episode then flashed a huge pic of me in my 80s short shorts and cut off shirt. Damn, I’m sexy. Dave couldn’t resist kissing my green screen belly…with his lady sitting right there!
We first spoke briefly with Harrison Smith, director of the horror flick Camp Dread. The whole time, I was sitting there wondering if Harrison saw my Facebook post promoting my appearance on Nerdgasm in which I made a dirty comment about him in all his hot daddy baldness….
Next, Dave moved us to Sleepaway Camp. Naturally, with Sleepaway Camp comes Felissa Rose! Felissa Skyped in and she is a blast. She’s just bubbly, cheery, darling, and more ADHD than me.
We also talked about the classic Meatballs. And I was quickly aware that I was the only one old enough to have seen it in theaters back in 1979.
And then, surprise guest! Adorable Jonathan Tiersten of Sleepaway Camp Skyped in. And then got disconnected. So we quickly recuperated and talked briefly about Dave’s own Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre. Then we got Jonathan back on Skype and I called him out on growing up to be so hot.
By the time we said goodbye to Jonathan and moved on to our final film, Wet Hot American Summer, the producer ominously whispered “GET OUT” into our earpieces. Actually, what he said was that we had TWO minutes left of the show, but it’s practically the same thing! The movie we’d all been waiting to talk about in depth became a 120-second side note comprised mostly of us tripping over our words in a failed effort to say what we adored about it.
And so, here are a handful of the points that I was hoping to make, and maybe Dave and JoJo would have been in total agreement.
WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER
1) The cast. Wow. It was 2001, so this was a combo of rising stars of the 90s who were about to become huge, and big stars of the 90s who were about to become has-beens.
Janeane Garofalo – This was Janeane’s last gasp at being America’s comedy sweetheart. She began showing in her standup routines that she was funny and intellectual, so fans turned against her.
David Hyde Pierce – In the midst of his Frasier fame, David did this movie and showed us a cooler side.
Michael Showalter – A product of the 90s MTV generation, from the comedy sketch show The State. This was his last gasp at major youth popularity.
Michael Ian Black – I’ll always remember Michael for fudge-packing Bradley Cooper in this movie in sexy 80s tube socks, for being a gay demon on the TV show Reaper, and for making snarky remarks about things like tube socks on the VH1 show I Love the 80s.
Paul Rudd – The cutie who does not age. Adorable in Clueless and The Curse of Michael Myers in the 90s, he’s hysterical in Wet Hot American Summer and still in loads of movies two decades later.
Christopher Meloni – What do I dream about more? Meloni naked in every episode of Oz or talking about rubbing mud all over his ass in Wet Hot American Summer?
Molly Shannon – The SNL pit sniffer’s heyday of moving into movies.
Ken Marino – I’ll always think of Ken as Michael Ian Black’s gay demon lover in Reaper and for having an ass monster crawl up his bunghole in the horror comedy Bad Milo. He’s got major star power in Wet Hot American Summer, but that 80s afro wig is the worst.
Amy Poehler – This was the beginning of Amy’s rise to fame but she sort of faded into the background. Where’s Tina Fey when you need her?
Bradley Cooper – Bradley just gets better looking with time, as proved by his awkward appearance in this film. Although, his sex appeal quadruples when Michael Ian Black bends him over a bunch of garden tools in a shed.
Elizabeth Banks – who knew that the slutty chick in Wet Hot American Summer would go on to bring us Pitch Perfect, the best movie ever???
2) The late 90s/early 2000s was a period of comedy gold that ushered in loads of stupid-funny films. Wet Hot American Summer joins the ranks of movies like Dude, Where’s My Car?, American Pie, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in bringing us perverted, slacker, burn-out, adolescent humor flicks that helped in the dumbing down of an entire American generation.
3) Wet Hot American Summer was an early entry in the retro 80s wave of movies that were produced in the 2000s. And best of all, it takes place in 1981 and doesn’t suffer from any soundtrack anachronisms. The songs used or referenced come from the 1980-1981 time period or before:
Jefferson Starship “Jane”
Rick Springfield “Love Is Alright Tonight”
Loverboy “Turn Me Loose” and “When It’s Over”
Foreigner “Juke Box Hero”
Quarterflash “Harden My Heart”
There’s nothing worse than a movie or TV show that supposedly takes place in the early 80s and then uses a Poison or Whitesnake track from 1987.
4) Chris Meloni talks about rubbing mud on his ass. I would have brought that up several times and there’s not much more I’d have said about Wet Hot American Summer, because I would have gotten stuck on this line of discussion….
See the full NERDGASM “Summercamp” episode here.