Let’s Rank the Returning Campers in First Day of Camp from Worst to Best

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Fourteen years after the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer, the entire cast returns for a prequel series on Netflix. They’re more than a decade older, playing younger versions of themselves. That’s comedy gold, but how exactly do they stack up against each other? Here are the 20 returning Camp Firewood campers, ranked.

Mild spoilers follow, but you should really watch this thing!

20. Nurse Nancy (Nina Hellman)

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Nurse Nancy didn’t do much in the original movie, and she really only exists for some diaphragm gags in the prequel series.

19. Gary (A.D. Miles)

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Since Wet Hot, A.D. Miles has gone one to become the head writer on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Not bad. Unfortunately, he’s nothing more than Gene’s sidekick here.

18. Professor Henry Nuemann (David Hyde Pierce)

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The professor appears in just two of the eight prequel episodes, one of which shows exactly why he moved into the little house near the camp. Aside from that college scuffle, his story just isn’t that interesting.

17. Abby (Marisa Ryan)

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Another character who exists for one major gag (though her emerging from the stall as a woman is hilarious), Abby doesn’t add much to the First Day of Camp story. At least she has something of an arch.

16. Steve (Kevin Sussman)

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There’s not talent show telekinesis this time around, but Steve is the one who wins the court case by delivering some last minute evidence. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

15. Ron (Judah Friedlander)

Laser Time, wet hot american summer, first day of camp, cast, best of, ranking, characters, nurse nancy, abby, professor nuemann, steve, gary, ron, jj, mckinley, ben, katie, susie, neil, victor, beth, gail, mitch, gene, lindsay, coop, andy, paul rudd, michael showalter, h. jon benjamin, molly shannon, janeane garofalo, ken marino, joe lo truglio, amy poehler, marguerite moreau, nina hellman, a.d. miles, david hyde pierce,  marisa ryan, kevin sussman, judah friedlander, zac orth, michael ian black, bradley cooper

A quick cameo in Wet Hot, Ron’s role is much more substantial this time around. We learn that he’s an adviser to Ronald freakin’ Reagan, and we see how he and Gail met.

14. J.J. (Zak Orth)

Laser Time, wet hot american summer, first day of camp, cast, best of, ranking, characters, nurse nancy, abby, professor nuemann, steve, gary, ron, jj, mckinley, ben, katie, susie, neil, victor, beth, gail, mitch, gene, lindsay, coop, andy, paul rudd, michael showalter, h. jon benjamin, molly shannon, janeane garofalo, ken marino, joe lo truglio, amy poehler, marguerite moreau, nina hellman, a.d. miles, david hyde pierce,  marisa ryan, kevin sussman, judah friedlander, zac orth, michael ian black, bradley cooper

J.J.’s definitely the wild guy, and I always liked that about him. While he gets some good lines in the prequel, his main role is to accompany Lindsay in her rock magazine quest.

13. McKinley (Michael Ian Black)

Laser Time, wet hot american summer, first day of camp, cast, best of, ranking, characters, nurse nancy, abby, professor nuemann, steve, gary, ron, jj, mckinley, ben, katie, susie, neil, victor, beth, gail, mitch, gene, lindsay, coop, andy, paul rudd, michael showalter, h. jon benjamin, molly shannon, janeane garofalo, ken marino, joe lo truglio, amy poehler, marguerite moreau, nina hellman, a.d. miles, david hyde pierce,  marisa ryan, kevin sussman, judah friedlander, zac orth, michael ian black, bradley cooper

We know he and Ben get together, but McKinley’s role in the prequel isn’t too large. “Zoot Suit” is adorably campy, though.

12. Ben (Bradley Cooper)

Laser Time, wet hot american summer, first day of camp, cast, best of, ranking, characters, nurse nancy, abby, professor nuemann, steve, gary, ron, jj, mckinley, ben, katie, susie, neil, victor, beth, gail, mitch, gene, lindsay, coop, andy, paul rudd, michael showalter, h. jon benjamin, molly shannon, janeane garofalo, ken marino, joe lo truglio, amy poehler, marguerite moreau, nina hellman, a.d. miles, david hyde pierce,  marisa ryan, kevin sussman, judah friedlander, zac orth, michael ian black, bradley cooper

The other half of Camp Firewood’s cutest couple (with McKinely or Susie, really), Ben contributes more to the series overall thanks to his work on Electro City.

11. Katie (Marguerite Moreau)

Laser Time, wet hot american summer, first day of camp, cast, best of, ranking, characters, nurse nancy, abby, professor nuemann, steve, gary, ron, jj, mckinley, ben, katie, susie, neil, victor, beth, gail, mitch, gene, lindsay, coop, andy, paul rudd, michael showalter, h. jon benjamin, molly shannon, janeane garofalo, ken marino, joe lo truglio, amy poehler, marguerite moreau, nina hellman, a.d. miles, david hyde pierce,  marisa ryan, kevin sussman, judah friedlander, zac orth, michael ian black, bradley cooper

Poor Katie is nothing more than the “hot girl” everyone wants in the movie… and in the Netflix series. It’s nice to see how she and Andy got together, but she’s not much more than a trophy.

The second half of the Camp Firewood staff is on page two!

2 thoughts on “Let’s Rank the Returning Campers in First Day of Camp from Worst to Best

  1. You neglected to shouout the return of the indoor kids! Also let’s be real here, Gene is easilly the best character here comedically….he even got in a THEY CAME TOGETHER callback

  2. I think Showalter could have done a few crunches before shooting his scenes, he looked very uncomfortable chasing after the little wiener kid.

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