The Return of the Cult Classic Clone High on Max

Way way back in the 2000s, three guys decided it would be a good idea to make a show about clones of historical figures. The result was Clone High, a sci-fi sitcom airing on MTV for less than a year before getting canceled due to low ratings. Also, it angered India due to its depiction of a clone Gandhi. The show fell by the wayside and remained there for years, while two of its producers, Chris Miller and Phil Lord found greater success and became two of the best writers/directors/producers in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Clone High found a greater audience on the Internet, prompting people to start asking for a revival. 

The fans finally got their wish. The new semester of Clone High arrives in two weeks.

What is Clone High?

Clone High was the brainchild of Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Bill Lawerence and aired for less than a year on MTV, between 2002 and 2003. The whole premise to the show can be summed up in the show’s opening theme song:

That’s the whole concept behind Clone High. Taking the clones of important historical figures, ranging from Abe Lincoln and Joan of Arc to Cleopatra, JFK, Caesar, and even a clone of Jesus are all attending high school together. The show’s humor stems from the fact that, despite being clones of people who shaped history, they either struggle to live up to their templates…or act too much like them for their own good. Case in point, we have Abe and JFK. Abe is weak-willed and prone to peer pressure despite his template known for being the opposite. And JFK…he’s got his template’s good looks and womanizing ways. 

The show was an interesting concept, but during its time on the air, it underperformed in the ratings. Not helping matters was it attracting controversy from India for portrarying the clone of Mahatma Gandhi as a goofy party animal. As a result, MTV decided to axe the series, and the whole thing ended on a cliffhanger with the clones being frozen alive. 

Phil and Chris Become Big Shots and Get to Come Back to Clone High

With Clone High dead, Phil Lord and Chris Miller went on to new projects, and they found a lot of success doing so. Firstly, they humored audiences with their film adaptation of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (I loved that.) They managed to show that everything is awesome with 2014’s The LEGO Movie. Then, in 2018, they rocked the world with Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, one of the greatest superhero films ever made. In other words, they became two of the big names in Hollywood, and with that clout came opportunities.

Clone High may have ended, but with the rise of the Internet, it started to find a new audience. More and more people learned about this show, realized how good it was, and how it got cut short before its time. So, people started spreading word about it further, and soon they started talking about getting a revival. 

Then, in 2020, the fans got what they wantedClone High was coming back for two new seasons, now on Max (formerly known as HBO Max.) The one difference is that Gandhi was no longer a character.

Should Be an Interesting Watch

I was too young to know about Clone High when it first aired on MTV, and even if I wasn’t, I doubt I would’ve watched it. However, given how I’ve loved almost everything that Phil and Chris have made since then, I think it’s safe to say that’s changed. I’m going to give this revival series a look at in two weeks time. The premise itself is interesting and the perfect fuel for comedic writing. What will be even more interesting, though, is seeing how the show will pick up where it left off twenty years ago. With most of the original cast returning with two decades of experience, we’re likely to see some improvement to the show overall. I think this could be a big show to watch during the summer. 

Ironic, isn’t it? Summer’s starting, and these poor people are going to school.