Sure the rest of the Internet is still counting down the days to the social media meltdown that will happen on October 21, 2015, when everyone will whine about still not having hoverboards on the date Marty McFly visited in Back to the Future II. But today is another fictional milestone holiday that doesn't get enough attention every year - August 18, 1981 is the day that all of the action in Wet Hot American Summer takes place, the last day of summer at Camp Firewood!
The Action Pack has been celebrating David Wain's masterfully bizarre comedy with special Quote-Along screenings at Alamo Drafthouse theaters all month, and the good people at Rusted Wave were awesome enough to send us free T-shirts for a lot of our hosts to wear at all of those events. On this historic day, August 18, 2014, we wanted to reach out to the Rusted Wave team to talk about their newly released Wet Hot American Summer shirt collection and respecting David Wain's awesomeoness.
Tell us about the beginning of Rusted Wave. Why'd you want to get into making Wet Hot American Summer tees?
Rusted Wave was created specifically to showcase Wet Hot merch. We plan to expand to other offerings in the future, but for now we are all about Camp Firewood!
This is actually the second time we've made and sold Wet Hot t-shirts. Back in 2003, when most people hadn't even heard of the film, my friends and I loved it so much that we reached out to the film's producer, Howard Bernstein, and got permission to make a hundred or so t-shirts to sell on eBay. We believed in the film's comedic genius and were hoping that others did as well. Ten years later, we reconnected with Howard and collaborated with him, David Wain and Michael Showalter on the current designs. Those dudes are a pleasure to work with! We are very happy with how things turned out.
We got Marguerite Moreau to model two of the shirts for us, and we are trying to pin down a few other cast members to help as well. Stay tuned!
I feel like 2003 was still the wild west of selling on Ebay, and even today a lot of fans just start making things and selling them on Etsy without getting the actual rights. What made you reach out to the producers to actually clear it back then? Had you been doing any other T-shirts or merch before that?
Yeah, I understand that there are other shirts out there by fans, but none are official and none can use the films logo or character likenesses. We believe in the rights that all artists have, whether they be filmmakers, musicians or illustrators. Reaching out for permission was just the right thing to do.
We've always dabbled in shirts in the past, but nothing on this scale. It's been an exciting journey!
When did you first see the movie, and what drew you to it?
First saw the movie in 2002 right after it went to DVD. I was introduced by a friend who just said that it was the craziest, funniest movie he'd ever seen. After watching then, and dozens of times since, I agree! The humor in that movie is unmatched by anything I have ever seen. It is a perfect comedy.
Okay, possibly tough question for you - we're doing these Quote-Along screenings at Alamo Drafthouse theaters this month, so I've gotta ask - what's your all-time favorite quote from the film?
I can't possibly answer that without hours of self-reflection! I'd say it's a tie between:
1. "See you in macrame!"
2. "Wait for me Abby Bernstein" and
3. " I don't care that you're bowlegged and I don't care that you're bilingual."
And...if I could translate Andy's (Paul Rudd) behavior while picking up his dishes into a quote--it would be that. My wife and I simply call it "Paul-Rudding" when one of us acts like that.
Cool. I can't wait to see what you're up to ten years from now. Why don't we say we'll meet up again at 9:30 and then just make it your beeswax to be here at 9:30?
Grab your own Wet Hot American Summer gear at www.rustedwave.com.