Wet hot American spoilers will follow, for those who haven’t watched the entire series yet.
Like Sisyphus trying to push a square boulder up a down escalator while wearing roller skates, trying to figure out the funniest part of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is seemingly an impossible task. The entire cast is impeccable, the jokes are almost too numerous to count, and the fast-paced situations are sublimely absurd. But if I had to pick one scene that spoke to my sense of humor above all others, it was the kitchen fight between Gene and The Falcon in the final episode. Gene-ius from the first second to the last.
The scene takes place after Christopher Meloni has foregone his private citizen alter ego Jonas and fully adapted to his soldier from The ‘Nam, and as Jon Hamm’s government assassin The Falcon has breached the campgrounds in order to retrieve Mitch, the toxic waste-created talking can of vegetables. The set-up is incredibly weird enough, and you just knew that the confrontation that followed would be as bonkers as every other extended sequence, such as the chase scene after Victor’s prank phone call about dickfarts and soup-related murder.
After a darkness-set annihilation of black-clad soldiers, Gene and the Falcon begin their face-off, which is set into motion by a kitchen knife coming very close to cutting off Gene’s jo-nads. I could have done with another five minutes of them throwing knives back and forth and catching them in in strange ways, but then things wouldn’t have escalated to the cookery-banging madness that followed.
The level of slapstick in this fight was top-notch, as the two men used all of their surroundings to beat the shit out of each other without anyone getting seriously injured. Pots, pans, spoons, a phone, a refrigerator door, a baking sheet and more were used, but somehow no pottery. The two best moments were Gene flipping over and under the table to kick Falcon in the stomach, and then him crashing into the rack and having a pot fall perfectly onto his head. This is as close to Looney Tunes as Wet Hot American Summer can get, and its simplistic stupidity had me rolling.
Alas, it isn’t even just the fight itself that makes this scene so memorable and awesome. As the pot-headed Gene is blindly swinging his fists and feet, he runs into the fridge, and you KNOW how Gene feels about fridges. Though it’s only for a brief second before the Falcon knocks him out, we get to see one of this series’ most romantic moments as Gene starts to get his hump on. And it looks like Falcon is well aware of Gene’s particular fetish, too, making me wonder how many times Gene has given his big speech from the movie. Can we get a spinoff about this guy at some point?
All in all, while not as technically sound or as lengthy as the amazing hallway fight in Daredevil, this Wet Hot American Summer brawl may be my favorite confrontation of any current Netflix series. Of course, then there’s the punch-off between Paul Rudd’s Andy and Josh Charles’ Blake during the battle between the camps later in the same episode. But this one is better, especially since both Gene and the Falcon were actually on the same side, making the entire fight moot. I should probably watch it all again just to make sure though.
Hunker down for doinkage, as all 8 episodes of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp are there for your peepers to peep on.