Previously, On a Very Special Clone High…
Just like the beginning of every Clone High episode when we hear the soothing voice of Will Forte speak the above prelude, allow us to reveal what you might have missed in the first season of the show. Despite having dozens of hilarious supporting characters, the series predominantly focuses on five main clone characters. Our main hero is the lanky and awkward Abe Lincoln (Will Forte), who’s best friends with the goth-booted and artsy Joan of Arc (Nicole Sullivan). There’s also popular girl Cleopatra (Christa Miller), comedic side-kick Gandhi (Michael McDonald), and an over-sexed “bro” version of JFK (Christopher Miller pulls double duty as voice actor as well) to round out our main group. The clones are guided by the “sinister” Principal Scudworth (Phil Lord utilizes his vocal talents as well) and his mechanical man-servant Mr. Butlertron (Also Christopher Miller).
Scudworth and Mr. B are supposed to be shaping the clones so that they can utilize their genetic leadership abilities and powers of charm to eventually rule the world, but through Scudworth’s fumbling and Mr. B’s genuine mechanical heart, they end up teaching our heroes important lessons about love, friendship and the human condition.
Most of the show follows the Dawson Creek-inspired love quadrilateral between Abe, Joan, Cleopatra and JFK as when you have two central and charming men, and two beautiful young women, everyone is going to have eyes for everyone else. Never mind the genetics of cloning, hormones run wild in the genetic code of any teen. Joan constantly wants to share her feelings for Abe, but he is too obsessed with the shallow yet gorgeous Cleo, who constantly fluctuates between honest Abe and the tightly-panted and studly JFK.
If that isn’t complicated enough, in the season finale, during the high school prom, Scudworth learns he is about to lose his pet clones to the Secret Board of Shadowy figures. At the same time, Abe learns that his best friend Joan has feelings for him, and so must make a choice between her and Cleo. Just as he is about to confess his love to one of them, he catches Joan in bed with JFK, and even more suddenly, the entire school is flash frozen so that Scudworth can keep his experiment intact and out of malicious hands.
The Gandhi Incident
The show existed on the edge of the proverbial blade even 20 years ago, and it is easy to consider it one of the final pieces of the jaded ‘90s style of comedy, which often went for “shock value.” The show was absolutely funny as hell, with JFK, Scudworth, Mr. B and Gandhi often pushing the boundaries and stealing the show. Granted, they were decades separated from the real life tragedies that befell some of these real life heroes, but clearly Miller and Lord were testing boundaries with lines like “I’m a Kennedy, I’m not accustomed to tragedy”.
But the short king of comedy persona for Gandhi offended quite a few international viewers. In 2003, an Indian journalist caught wind of the show before it had even aired globally. Due to that exposure, the show would never even get a chance to air worldwide, as when government officials in India took notice of the less than flattering depiction of the Mahatma, over 150 Indian politicians, including Gandhi’s grandson said they would fast until the show was off the air.