The series had run in its entirety in Canada on Teletoon before premiering in the United States on MTV. The last five episodes were never broadcast in the United States, while many have already seen them from online downloads. The Clone High theme song is by alternative rock band Abandoned Pools who also provided much of the series' background music.
The main protagonists of Clone High are the clones of Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, and Mahatma Gandhi. Much of the plot of the show revolves around the attempts of Abe to woo the vain and promiscuous clone of Cleopatra. He is entirely ignorant of the fact that Joan of Arc is attracted to him. Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy's clone (referred to as "JFK"), a macho, narcissistic womanizer, is also attempting to win over Cleopatra and has a long-standing rivalry with Abe.
Many celebrities, including Tom Green, Andy Dick, Mandy Moore, John Stamos, Marilyn Manson, Michael J. Fox and Jack Black, make guest appearances on the show (sometimes as themselves). In addition, there are many portrayals of famous historical figures, such as Julius Caesar, Catherine the Great, Genghis Khan, Vincent van Gogh, George Washington Carver, Helen of Troy, Gautama Buddha, Juan Ponce de León, Marie Curie (who is deformed, due to radiation damage to her DNA), and even Jesus Christ (who is portrayed as a latino named Jesús Cristo always shown in shop class doing carpentry).
Much of the humor in the show comes from the large contrast between the personality of the clones and the actual values and legacy of the historical figures they are descended from. For instance, Gandhi is portrayed as a hyperactive jerk-with-a-heart-of-gold whose biggest dream is to be accepted by those around him, in contrast to his historical legacy of calm nonviolence. Abe Lincoln is similarly portrayed as weak and indecisive, completely lacking the resolve of the President whose DNA he shares. All of the clones are also given mis-matched foster parents who have little in common with them. Gandhi's parents are a stereotypical Jewish-American couple, while JFK is raised by a gay interracial couple; Joan's "foster grandpa" is an elderly blind musician similar to Ray Charles named Toots, who fills the stereotypical wise old man role (and the magical negro role) found in most teen shows, and who begins many of his declarative sentences with the words, "Now, I may be blind, but I can see..." followed by a wise-sounding observation that has little-to-nothing to do with anything.
The show also includes humor based on the historical figures themselves. For example, the diner the clones frequent is called The Grassy Knoll, a nod to the JFK assassination conspiracy theory about a second shooter, dubbed "The Man on the Grassy Knoll". Other references seen are the flag at The Grassy Knoll being permanently at half mast and the car on the roof of the diner containing the original JFK's body leaning over the edge. There are pictures of assassinations hanging on the walls of the restaurant, such as the famous The Assassination of President Lincoln - Currier and Ives.png of the Lincoln assassination. Other historical figure-based humor includes offhand coincidental remarks to other students, such as Abe mentioning that the clone of Napoleon is so annoying because of "some kind of complex", or Gandhi telling a rude Catherine the Great to "get off her high horse".
The show is also a parody of "issue" episodes of high-school themed comedies; in fact, every episode opens with a voice-over parodying the "very special episodes" of TV shows. Episodes center on various social issues, including Gandhi being shunned by his school for having ADD (because of misinformation about the disorder), parodying shows which tackle AIDS awareness (it even included a special guest celebrity who tries to educate the students). Other episodes tackle drugs (smoking raisins), the environment, and underage drinking in a similarly ridiculous fashion. In a clear sign that it is parodying the high school genre, it even ends at prom — a stereotypical "high school show" ending. Even the prom is a joke however, as we learn it is only the Winter Prom.
There was a running gag that creators Phil Lord and Christopher Miller wanted to include in the show “where Clone High – being an exaggeration of typical high schools in teen dramas – would have many proms throughout the year.” Planned proms included “an Early Winter Prom, a Late Winter/Early Spring Prom, a Mid-Semester Prom, a Post-Prom Clean Up Prom, etc.” The only surviving references to this joke are the Homecoming Prom in Episode 6, Homecoming: A Shot in D'Arc, and the winter prom in Episode 13, Changes: The Big Prom: The Sex Romp: The Season Finale. Another reference to the gag was deleted from Episode 8, A Room of One's Clone: Pie of the Storm.
During the process of writing an episode, the writers would all get together to pitch jokes. Often, a writer would pitch an extension onto a joke, then another writer would pitch another extension, and so on, until it became what the writers called a wacky stack, a joke so bloated and over-written it was no longer funny.(see Episode 2, Election Blu-Galoo)
The season finale is a cliffhanger episode, ending with the entire cast, aside from Scudworth and Mr.Butlertron, deep-frozen.
|DVD Cover||Title||Release date||Episodes|
|"Season 1"||September 20, 2005||13|
|The DVD was released in Canada by Nelvana with the help of Teletoon. The DVD contains the complete first season, including the 2 episodes which did not originally air in the United States. Universal Pictures holds the rights to distributing the series on DVD if it is ever released in the US.|