Inspired By ‘Wet Hot’: Cult Comedies You Should Watch

Above: Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper star in 'Wet Hot American Summer'
Above: Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper star in 'Wet Hot American Summer'

Last night, Netflix premiered Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp. The new mini-series is a prequel to the motion picture and cult favorite, originally released 14 years ago. The first incarnation featured a cast of relative unknowns, who were then just starting to make their mark in Hollywood. Those previous “unknowns” are now part of an impressive list, including Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, and Elizabeth Banks. After critical and financial failure, Wet Hot steadily picked up steam from comedy fans and has since reached cult status.

If you’re a fan of Wet Hot, we know you’re going to finish those eight episodes pretty darned fast. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of other cult favorites, in order to help fill the comedic void.

Picnicface

No matter how undoubtedly talented Canadian actors, writers, and directors are; the size of their domestic market, leaves everyone at a disadvantage. Picnicface was one of Canada’s best new shows, yet it was presented by a broadcaster who became more and more reluctant to give it a real shot. While the show was abruptly cancelled after one season, we still have 13 episodes of glorious sketch comedy to enjoy.

Stella

Wet Hot alums David Wain, Michael Showalter, and Michael Ian Black, make up Stella: another absurdist offering that never fails to deliver the laughs. With the blossoming of comedy’s alternative scene, the influence of Stella’s “so dumb it’s funny” technique, is becoming increasingly apparent. If you’re looking to test your appreciation of silliness, give Stella a go.

Upright Citizens Brigade

The UCB is synonymous with American comedy. Aside from giving us improv gurus like Matt Besser, and SNL’s stars like Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz, the UCB’s school and theatre laid a foundation for generations of new talent. Their first and only television show was smart, innovative and always hilarious. It’s no surprise as to why the legacy is lasting.

Slings and Arrows

A mockumentary-style take on Stratford’s iconic Shakespeare Festival, Slings and Arrows starred Kids In The Hall alum Mark Mckinney and featured a young Rachel McAdams as, ironically enough, an aspiring actress. As clever as it was relatable and cringe-worthy, Slings and Arrows burst the bubble for some would be theatre divas. The show is a slow burn, but the results of narrative build up are totally satisfying. It’s more “Six Feet Under”, then anything on the list, but it’s still whacky at times.

Birthday Boys

Bob Odenkirk was a fan of The Birthday Boys, so much, that he produced a network show for them. The group churned out some great material, and the exposure of their short-lived show gave them a new and loyal fanbase. Their subtle parodies and absurdist scenarios are fresh takes on an often tiring format.

Aidan D'Aoust

Aidan is a writer from Toronto. His favourite things in the world are music, movies, and mini dachshunds. Give him a follow on Twitter at @aidandaoust, where he’ll also accept your mixtape submissions.

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