“One Camper” from The State, Season 4, Episode 6
This sketch from the mid-’90s MTV sketch comedy show is probably the one from the show that most foreshadows Wet Hot American Summer, the 2001 movie almost everyone involved in this sketch was in. The sketch is about an unnamed summer camp that’s hit tough times with enrollment, so tough in fact that when the campers get off the bus on opening day there is only one camper.
The camper, Aaron Fishman (Michael Ian Black) goes about his routine at camp with a 30-1 staff-to-camper ratio, encountering difficulties at every turn. He can’t swim because he doesn’t have a buddy, isn’t able to land the lead role in Grease and has no one to give his friendship bracelet to. But when the craft counselor challenges him to make friends with himself, things turn around for Fishman. The sketch was filmed on location at Camp Eagle Hill in Elizaville, N.Y.
“Monk Academy” – from Mr. Show, Season 4, Episode 5
The monks from Monk Academy battle the fat kids from Camp Podawadamie in their 501st Summer Olympican at Lake Wannahabe in this sketch from the late ’90s HBO show. The monks, losers for 500 years running, get a little help from a homicidal stoner (David Cross) in a contest that ends with a monk dropping rhymes (sort of) in a rap-off.
“Camp Ujaama” from Saturday Night Live, Season 20, Episode 17
Kids at a city day camp are named after some peculiar things in this sketch from Saturday Night Live’s Season 20. Among the names are Quesadilla, Uretha, Spatula, Mylanta, Conundrum, Spina Bifida, Trifecta, Quinella, Rubix Cube and Placebo.
“Bad News Bees”
“Bad News Bees” from Saturday Night Live, Season 4, Episode 7
This classic sketch from the early day of SNL is a parody of the Bad News Bears with stars Billy Murray, James Belushi and Dan Akroyd wearing their bee costumes in a summer camp bunk. As happens in camp cabins full of boys, one of them shows off his Playbee magazine and that eventually leads to a sexual innuendo-filled sketch with guest star Walter Mathau playing the coach/counselor giving a version of the birds and bees stories.
“Camp Beau Soleil”
“Camp Beau Soleil” from Saturday Night Live, Season 5, Episode 17
Camp Beau Soleil is supposed to be about getting fresh air and learning French, but it turns out to resemble prison more than summer camp – speaking English will get you thrown into the box – so one of the campers (Bill Murray) tries to run away to Camp Mowaga and doesn’t get very far.
“Bug Juice” from Upright Citizens Brigade, Season 1, Episode 9
It’s pretty obvious who stole the bug juice at Camp Kalterman but the counselors go through great lengths to try to get the culprit to confess his sins to Jesus. Amy Poehler plays the part of the nerdy camper in a role that predates her turn as a camp counselor on Wet Hot American Summer.
“Camp Winnipesaukee 1983”
“Camp Winnipesaukee 1983” from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, March 2013
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake “reminisce” about the time they bunked together at Camp Winnipesaukee and kept their counselor up late at night singing “Africa” by Toto. They revisited the sketch with a Hootie & the Blowfish song a couple months later.
“Gay Camp” from Saturday Night Live, Season 38, Episode 21
Ben Affleck stars as a camp counselor at New Beginnings, a camp where “the staff has a hard time accomplishing its main goal: turning homosexual teens straight” in this sketch from the season finale of Season 38 in May 2013.
“Camp Granada” from Sha Na Na TV show
The Sha Na Na gang bring Allan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” to life in this sketch from their early ’80s variety show.
“Camp Alcatraz” from the show Whatever Turns You On
Campers find out Camp Alcatraz isn’t quite what the brochure says it is in this series of shorts from the You Can’t Do That On Television spin-off.
You Can’t Do That On Television
Summer Camp Sketches from the show You Can’t Do That On Television
The set here is very similar and some of the jokes are recycled from the short sketches in Whatever Turns You On but the same principle applies of kids stuck at a summer camp that’s more like a prison than a camp.