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Who Are Claire And Mark In ‘Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later’? That’s The Joke!

Where to Stream

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later

Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later brought back the entire gang. Andy, Katie, Coop, Lindsay, Vic, Susie, Ben, McKinley, Donna, Abby, Mitch, Gene, Claire, Mark, Beth–wait… Claire and Mark? I know every single common first name used in the entire WHAS canon. Who the F are Claire and Mark? And why is everyone acting like they’re a part of the gang?

If you asked yourself those questions during your Wet Hot binge, then you did exactly what you were supposed to do. Mark (Mark Feuerstein) and Claire (Sarah Burns) are indeed new additions to the Camp Firewood mythos. The joke, of course, is that they aren’t treated that way. That’s why even Wet Hot devotees probably did a double take at the top of Ten Years Later. The first episode of the new mini-series opens with the penultimate scene from the original 2001 Wet Hot American Summer wherein the counselors decide to make it their beeswax to reunite ten years later. That scene from the original film features two new characters, Mark and Claire, inserted in hilariously obvious cutaway shots. Shout out to Marguerite Moreau, too, for playing Katie in the new shots right alongside her performance as Katie from 16 years ago.

Saeed Adyani / Netflix

Ten Years Later also inserts Mark and Claire into another vintage Wet Hot scene. In episode two (“Softball”), we get a flashback of Mark and Claire carving their names in a tree on the last day of camp in 1981. The shot seamlessly pans into the counselors returning from their drug-filled trip to Waterville.

But why include two new characters when there are already so many campers and counselors and presidents in the cast? Co-showrunner and director David Wain told Vanity Fair that they knew they needed a “super couple” for Ten Years Later. “We knew that for the ‘reunion’ genre there needed to be the ‘super couple’—so we decided to create two new characters and insert them into the canon as if they’ve been there the whole time,” Wain explained. Claire and Mark fill that void, as they’ve been a couple since that summer in ’81 and are even considering moving in together. Of course Mark’s constant cheating (dude keeps a “Fuck Book” diary!) poses a real problem.

And even though Ten Years Later has a cast of 40, Burns and Feuerstein were probably needed to pad out scenes. As Wain has explained, many of the actors in Ten Years Later were only available for a few days, meaning that the camp set was sometimes packed with body doubles. Throughout the eight episodes, Mark and Claire constantly help fill out scenes and plotlines, like Claire unwillingly teaming up with McKinley (Michael Ian Black) for all that Renata drama. Knowing how scattered everyone’s schedules were, Burns and Feuerstein act as great utility players.

They’re also not the only new additions treated like Camp Firewood institutions. Along with Claire and Mark, the show adds in a bunch of traditions that we’ve never seen before. The King of Camp contest, the call and response chant (“walla walla hey!”), the Spirit of Firewood totem pole–all of that is treated as if it’s been around since the first film even though it’s news to us. But that’s what Wet Hot’s all about, delivering unexpected ridiculousness but making it feel weirdly right.

Where to stream Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later

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