The 2001 indie comedy 'Wet Hot American Summer' takes place during the last day of summer at Camp Firewood. After the film's release, its ticket sales petered out like lazy, humid summer days. But the movie has since become a cult hit, and it marked the start of bigger things for then little-known actors Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd.

Made by guys from the MTV sketch comedy show 'The State,' the film featured a number of already familiar faces as camp employees: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Michael Ian Black and Christopher Meloni.Yet it was these five actors who used the movie as a launching pad to comedy superstardom. (We can't wait for the camp reunion ... or the sequel.)

The 2001 indie comedy 'Wet Hot American Summer' takes place during the last day of summer at Camp Firewood. After the film's release, its ticket sales petered out like lazy, humid summer days. But the movie has since become a cult hit, and it marked the start of bigger things for then little-known actors Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd.

Made by guys from the MTV sketch comedy show 'The State,' the film featured a number of already familiar faces as camp employees: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Michael Ian Black and Christopher Meloni. Yet it was these five actors who used the movie as a launching pad to comedy superstardom. (We can't wait for the camp reunion ... or the sequel.)

WARNING: Clips below are NSFW.

Paul Rudd
By the time he played Andy, the unfaithful boyfriend prone to tantrums, Rudd was already an established actor. However, this movie demonstrated his ability to play the broader comedic roles that made him a star.
Before 'WHAS': 'Clueless,' 'Cider House Rules'
After 'WHAS': 'Anchorman,' 'The 40 Year Old Virgin,' 'Dinner for Schmucks'



Amy Poehler
The same year Poehler played Susie, the control freak who falls for a gay guy, she joined the cast of 'Saturday Night Live.' Though she was already respected in comedy circles, this film kickstarted her rise to comedy royalty.
Before 'WHAS': 'Upright Citizen's Brigade'
After 'WHAS': 'Mean Girls,' 'Baby Mama,' 'Parks and Recreation'



Bradley Cooper
The dude you can't help but love in 'The Hangover' played Ben, a counselor who realizes he's gay and spends most of the time making out with Michael Ian Black. He's come a long way ... unless you have a huge crush on Michael Ian Black.
Before 'WHAS': One episode of 'Sex in the City'
After 'WHAS': 'Wedding Crashers,' 'The Hangover,' 'The A-Team'



Elizabeth Banks
Today it seems almost impossible to make a studio comedy without thinking of Ms. Banks, but in 2001 she was two years out of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and taking bit parts in episodes of 'Third Watch.' Her role as Lindsay, the promiscuous bombshell counselor, hinted at her future comedy takeover.
Before 'WHAS': One episode of 'Sex in the City,' small role in 'Shaft'
After 'WHAS': 'Spider-Man' series, 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin,' 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno,' 'W.,' '30 Rock'



Judah Friedlander
Throughout the film, Molly Shannon's character complains about her estranged husband. Friedlander surprises everyone towards the end of the film as Ron von Kleinenstein -- her husband. Still just a struggling standup comic back then, Friedlander kicked off his acting career with this role. He may not be on the A-list with the rest of these actors, but he's still one of most recognizable faces in comedy today.
Before 'WHAS': An episode of 'Spin City' and a small role in 'Meet the Parents'
After 'WHAS': 'American Splendor,' 'Zoolander,' 'The Wrestler,' '30 Rock'

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