Clone High

“Hey, let’s all go swimming in my pool, and by ‘pool’ I mean bath tub, and by ‘swimming’ I mean SEX!”

The Scoop: 2002, created by Bill Lawrence, Phil Lord, and Chris Miller, starring Will Forte, Nicole Sullivan, Michael McDonald, and Christa Miller.

Summary Capsule: Way, way back in the 1980s, clones of great historic figures were created by the Secret Board of Shadowy Figures. Now teens, the clones deal with the combined pressures of high school and living up to the outstanding legacies they’ve been left.

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Courtney’s Rating: 4 Stars, and numbers don’t lie! (The Number 4: I’m the Number 5!)

Courtney’s Review: I’m really, really bad at watching awesome shows when they’re actually on air. Sometimes it’s not exactly my fault – I don’t think my parents even knew each other at the time The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, and Batman were on TV, and shows like Dead Like Me used to just kinda fly under my radar because I didn’t know what channels they were even on for the longest time. But there are still quite a few shows I never watched until they hit syndication that I’m not exactly proud to have missed out on. I only just started watching Buffy in 2008, some 5 years after it ended and I didn’t catch on to Arrested Development until last year. This is part of the reason I’m hoping the shows I do watch habitually (including Community, Parks and Recreation, and Chuck) now are gonna be TV cult classics after they end so that I have the bragging rights of being a fan since their respective premieres.

Anyhow, one of the incredible shows I missed out on during its original run but have since caught up on (aren’t reruns and the Internet just miracles?) is Clone High, co-created by Bill Lawrence of Scrubs fame. First airing on Teletoon in Canada and MTV in the US, this parody of high school soaps was so funny that it could only be doomed to a quick cancellation. And sure enough, after producing a mere 13 episodes (two of which didn’t even air in the States.) But like other “too good to last” shows, it left a strong impression on dedicated viewers and continues to gain popularity through the web.The premise is pretty clever in itself – let’s just clone various important people from throughout history and stick them in high school. What stereotypes would they fit into? Who’d have a crush on whom? How would they deal with the fact that their DNA originally came from such great and famous people?  What plans would the government have for them? And, most importantly, how would the school handle their hilarious rivalry, Genetically Engineered Superhuman High? Clone High manages to answer all these questions and more.  Though we end up seeing many clones as students, the main action follows these seven characters:

  • Abe – the 16-year-old clone of Abraham Lincoln. Being smart, tall, skinny, and a great speaker with a lot of heart, he obviously fits the nerdy hero role. As such, he’s incredibly awkward and shies away from leadership positions (though he’s not quite sure why.) His best friends are Joan and Gandhi, his crush is Cleo, and his rival is JFK.
  • Joan – Joan of Arc’s clone and the school’s resident angsty chick. Tired of waiting around for the voices to come and guide her as they did with the real Joan of Arc, she’s become a wry Goth girl with a sarcastic sense of humor and a cynical view on life. Her best friends are Abe, who she’s (not so) secretly in love with, and Gandhi, even though his antics often annoy her.
  • Gandhi – Mahatma Gandhi’s rebellious and hyperactive clone. He fulfills the nerd-hero-sidekick trope with typical comic relief and

Intermission!

  • The eighth episode “Raisin the Stakes: a Rock Opera in Three Acts” contains several subliminal messages including “Let’s Go to the Dark Side,” “Scudworth is your Favorite Character,” “I buried Ponce,” and “For more information about raisins, consult your local library.”
  • The same dolphin shows up in every episode, sometimes in the background, and sometimes as a plot point.
  • Teen Wolf makes a cameo in each episode.
  • This is one of three productions in which Genghis Khan and Abraham Lincoln appear together as characters, in spite of the fact that Lincoln was born 582 years after the Khan’s death. The others are an episode of Star Trek and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Groovy Quotes:

JFK: Do you mind? Some of us are trying to nail Catherine the Great here! Or should I say Catherine the So-So?

JFK: Hey, let’s all go swimming in my pool, and by “pool” I mean bath tub, and by “swimming” I mean SEX!

Toots: Folks, you all know me. I’m Toots, Joan of Arc’s foster grandpa. Now I may be blind, but I can see certain things loud and clear. This is a room full of scared people making a decision based on fear and ignorance. Now when I left the house this evening I intended to go to Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant. I can tell I’m in the wrong place. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll leave and let you get on with your meeting.

Shadowy Figure: Listen, we’ve all done things we’re not proud of after a good cross country meet, but that riot was unacceptable.
Scudworth: Unacceptable? Did you see the pool? They flipped the bitch!

Mr. Butlertron: Are you A: handsome; B: smart; C: scrap metal; or D: all of the above?
Scangrade: That’s easy! I’m A and B, but not C. So I can’t be all of the above, but… you can’t fill in two ovals… Noooooooo!
[explodes]
Mr. Butlertron: The answer is C, you *beep*wad.

Abe: Look, Kennedy, we kissed. And I don’t want to exaggerate the importance of it, but we’re going to be together forever.

JFK: Are, uh, you drunk enough to sleep with me?
[Joan of Arc kicks JFK in the face]
JFK: Answer the question!

Gandhi: [trying to be more like JFK] Fowah suppah I would like the pawty plattah.
JFK: Wait a minute! Throw some ‘er’s and ‘uh’s in there. What’s your hurry?

Abe: I’ll sleep when I die.
Joan of Arc: You’ll die if you don’t sleep!
Gandhi: Abe, remember how excited I was to see the movie “American Pie” that I didn’t sleep the night before? And remember that scene where the guy has sex with the pie? Well, I don’t. Because I fell asleep in the theatre.
[beat]
Abe: Why don’t you just rent it?

JFK: I’m a Kennedy. I’m not accustomed to tragedy.

Gandhi: If there’s one thing Mahatma Gandhi stand for, its revenge

Mr. Butlertron: Perhaps you could get Clone High a corporate sponsor. Those Pumas were rather fresh.

Glenn the Jan: Hi, I’m Glenn. I’m the school janitor. Ponce was like a son to me, probably because he was my foster son. My dead foster son. [sob] Son, I just want you to know…
Scudworth: Oh janitor, some kid vomited in the hallway. Could you make with the sawdust and clean it up?
Glenn the Janitor: Ah, yeah, but I’m kinda giving my son’s eulogy right now.
Scudworth:
Doo yeah. If you could just do it now. Your son will still be dead when you get back.

Martin Luther King Jr.: I had a dream, a dream we had ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. But Moses, you are shattering my dream.
Moses: But Martin Luther King Jr., you know I’m a Jew, and also lactose intolerant.

If You Liked This, Try:

  • Scrubs
  • Clerks: the Animated Series
  • Arrested Development

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