Way way back in the 1980s
Secret government employees
Dug up famous guys and ladies
And made amusing genetic copies
Now their clones are sexy teens
Now they're going to make it if they tried
Loving, learning, sharing, judging
Time to laugh, and shiver and cry
That's right, this is a cartoon about clones of historical figures in high school because WHY NOT. Abe Lincoln, unlike his real-life counterpart, is insecure and awkward, not a natural leader at all. Gandhi is a fast-talking jerk about as far away from original Gandhi as you can get. Joan of Arc is a Jane-from-Daria-esque redhead madly in love with Abe. Cleopatra is the popular Mean Girl, completely full of herself, and JFK is a womanizing lunkhead. These sexy teens have teen angst; meanwhile, in the Principal's office, Principal Scudworth has his own plans for the clones (warning: they are stupid plans). The Scudworth stories are generally the weakest element of the show, as they usually exist independently of the main storylines, but they are worth it for Mr. Butlertron, a sweater-wearing robot who only speaks in two tones and calls everyone Wesley.
As one would expect from the genre-savvy, trope-subverting humor of Lord and Miller's films (as well as Bill Lawrence's TV shows), Clone High revels in skewering the tropes of high school TV shows. Every episode is a "Very Special Episode" of Clone High, and the Previouslies and Next Time Ons are friggin' hilarious. The show takes on hard-hitting topics like ADD, drugs, littering, and makeovers.
Also, it's incredibly quotable:
"I can't stand to not see you not make the biggest mistake of one of our lives!"
"Do you know what hurts the most, Joan? This nail I just stepped on."
"I'm a Kennedy! I'm not accustomed to tragedy!"
"It can’t be true. But then again, it rhymed, so it must be."
The show is just off-the-wall bonkers, with plenty of running gags (for some reason there's a dolphin in every episode) but also some heart! I'll admit it's almost needlessly cruel how much the show torments Joan in playing up Abe's complete and utter cluelessness with regards to her feelings for him, but it's satirizing that whole relationship dynamic in high school shows and leads to some wonderfully self-aware jokes in the finale. Clone High turns everything up to 11 with no regrets, and that's admirable.
Clone High also has a slew of great guest stars (most of the cast of Scrubs, for instance), some dated and some timeless, such as "Michael J. Fox as Gandhi's remaining kidney," which tells you everything you need to know about this show, probably. It has a fairly sincere indie rock soundtrack, which is cute, and the theme song is super catchy. There's plenty of cloned historical figure humor.
Honestly, I don't think I have to write a review to sell Clone High. It's fucking called Clone High. Watch it!