Clone High Trailer: Joan, JFK, Abe, And Cleo Are Thawed Out And Back In School

On May 23, 2023, the streaming service Max will debut a reboot of "Clone High," the Canadian animated series created by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Bill Lawrence that initially ran in 2002 and 2003. 

For those unfamiliar with the series, it had something of an odd premise. A shadowy governmental organization called the Secrey Board of Shadowy Figures has found a way to clone notable leaders from throughout human history. Hundreds of them were cloned about 16 years ago, and the teenage versions of the historical figures are now all attending the same all-American high school. The series lead was Abraham Lincoln (Will Forte), who would encounter the usual trials of adolescence. Abe would have an on-again-off-again relationship with Cleopatra (Christa Miller), and was best friends with Joan of Arc (Nicole Sullivan) and Gandhi (Michael McDonald). Abe's primary rival was the womanizing JFK (Chris Miller). Other attendees of Clone High included Martin Luther King, Jr., Buddy Holly, Marie Antoinette, Harriet Tubman, Genghis Khan, and Moses. 

The central joke of the series is that the clones, more or less a glorified science experiment, are just as foolish and horny as average teenagers. They may possess some of the qualities as the providers of their genetic material, but not so much that they behave historically. 

The new Max series will be a continuation of the original show, but sees the clones surviving a 20-year cryogenic slumber only to wake once more in 2023, where they are still teenagers. Now, not only are they descended from history, but their slang is trapped in 2003. Like anything made by Lord & Miller, it's wonderfully high-concept. 

The new series will premiere its first two episodes on May 23, 2023, with two new episodes dropping every Thursday from June 1 through June 22, 2023.


The show's broad, hand-drawn, sharp-angled animation style will be left intact, as will the cast and the series' wild, deliberately crass sense of humor. If the thought of a teenage Confucious snapping embarrassing videos of JFK in shop class is your jam, then "Clone High" is for you. Also, because "Clone High" is a sci-fi show with a mad scientist at its center, it will also incorporate monsters and mutants. The actual story has not yet been released. 

Gandhi will not be a returning character on the series following controversy from its initial run. Although "Clone High" did not broadcast in India, several Indian citizens caught a few episodes and objected to the depiction of Gandhi as a character; notably, there was a scene wherein Gandhi was savagely beaten up. India threatened to pull the broadcasting rights of MTV's parent company, Viacom, if it didn't take "Clone High" off the air, and Lord & Miller were subsequently asked to pitch a version of the show without Gandhi. In one version, Gandhi would merely be gone and no one would address his absence. In another, it would be revealed that Gandhi was, in fact, a clone of the late actor Gary Coleman. The higher-ups opted for the former. 

Playing (clones of) themselves on the rebooted show will be Michael Bolton, Ian Ziering, Mandy Moore, and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr. 

Actor Mitra Jouhari (from "History of the World, Part II") will take over playing Cleopatra while Christa Miller will play the new role of Candide Simpson (perhaps a clone of Voltaire?). Ayo Edebiri will take over playing Harriet Tubman from Debra Wilson. 

"Clone High" is a rare occasion when a property invented after 2001 will be rebooted. Others include "The Last Airbender," "Pretty Little Liars," and the "Percy Jackson" reboot.