I May Be Blind, But…
Every episode had its lessons. Marilyn Manson gave us proper nutrition guidelines, Jack Black tried to make everyone creatively ingest dried fruit, and there were a few that had nothing to do with food items at all. Obviously a second season would have had to carry on that tradition.
Miller: I can’t decide if they should be issues from the current day like cyberbullying or if it should be…
Lord: Issues of the early 2000s?
Miller: Right. Which is like…modem crashing? Or something like that?
FSR: What to do with all the AOL discs.
Lord: The environment.
Miller: We pretty much mined Dawson’s Creek and 90210 for all their lessons,… and the year after Clone High came out, The O.C. came out, which was trading on all the same tropes we were. In that first season, they had, like, four episodes that had the same storyline structure as ours, and people kept emailing me saying, “Oh my god! Can you believe this? It’s the same thing as Clone High!” But they were ripping off stuff from the same source that we were ripping stuff off, so of course it was the same story.
FSR: But isn’t that the sign of successful satire?
Lord: [Laughs] Yeah.
Miller: So we probably would have started ripping off The O.C. which was ripping off the stuff we were ripping off, and it would turn into a wormhole that would eat itself.
Lord: That means we would need a guy from the wrong side of the tracks to roll up and really shake things up with his blue collar ways. Like John Henry or something.
Miller: I like John Henry. He’s a good one.
FSR: Well you tackled a lot of lessons for high schoolers. You did multiple lessons per episodes, but race relations weren’t something that was completely touched on.
Miller: There was a very brief thing between Moses and Martin Luther King, Jr. that happened in one scene about conflict mediation. But it was more about eating ham sandwiches.
Lord: But maybe there would have been something between Medgar Evers and somebody else? I think what we would have tried was some sort of very, very narrow distinction between two close cultures. Like one person from Rhode Island and someone from Delaware that have a very serious rivalry.
FSR: Since the show tackled issues indirectly?
Lord: Yeah, exactly.
FSR: So you’d tackle race relations, but maybe it was because JFK started dating a mailbox or something, and people don’t approve of it.
Miller: [Laughs] “You guys, mailboxes are people too.” “No they aren’t!”
Lord: Maybe they pass a rule where no one can vote in student elections unless they have a frontal lobe and the ability to speak. And that’s really considered very racist because it’s suppressing the inanimate objects’ vote.
Miller: I do think that maybe Jackie Robinson really cares about letting dolphins have the right to drive cars.
FSR: [Laughs] What?
Miller: Because they are the smartest mammal, and if you give them a way to steer with their flippers, if they can pass the driving exam, they should be allowed. That’s what I think. That’s just what I think. I know the rest of the world is behind the times from me.
Lord: I think if a person has made love to it, that animal should be able to vote.
Giant Guest Stars
Lord and Miller didn’t get to the icing part of the baking process that is development on a second season, so it’s understandable that they didn’t daydream of what guest stars they might attract. Trying to remember who was famous (especially in the MTV set) a decade ago also proved pretty challenging. “At the time, Tom Green was a huge get,” said Lord. “Now it seems like getting Tom Green would be achievable.”
Instead of causing an aneurysm attempting to dreamcast the biggest pop icons of 2003 (sorry, Ja Rule), they decided to imagine what it would be like to make the show here in 2013.
“Right now it would just be really fun to bring in more of our buddies that we’ve been able to work with since then,” said Lord. “Obviously having The Lonely Island be a part of that in some way, to have people like [Bill] Hader, Anna Faris and [Chris] Pratt, and all those awesome people we’ve gotten to work with, it would be so fun to have them come in and do, like, one insane thing.”
Even though that set up will never happen (no matter how fervently we prawn), there was also one potential guest star that they regretted not being able to get.
“Johnny Cash,” said Miller. “We wanted him to be the trucker [John C. McGinley ultimately did it], and he said he’d do it, but only if we didn’t portray the trucker as having anything to do with the police officer dying, It was a reasonable point of view.”
“Somehow that was a deal breaker for us. I don’t know why,” said Lord.
“Because we were idiot little kids.”
Fortunately, Ashley Angel from O-Town is probably still available.
Everything’s Normal, Nobody’s Mopin’
Never having a second season of Clone High means we’ll miss out on a lot as fans. We’ll never know for sure what happened after the horrific best night of their lives in the meat locker, or figure out if Scudworth gets away with freezing the Board of Shadowy Figures. We’ll also never see some of the episode concepts Lord, Miller and fellow co-creator Bill Lawrence had planned (the random everyman clone of someone who “gets famous 100 years in the future,” or a body-switching story arc for Scudworth and Butlertron).
But that’s okay, you guys. We can still cherish the full season and revisit it whenever we want — reliving with dolphin squeal-filled joys all our favorite moments. You guys, the point is that a second season will never be born, but the first will also never die, you guys. As the old saying goes, “Every cliffhanger ending is really just an ending that doesn’t feel ended yet.”
Still, maybe we should say goodbye to the frozen friend we can see whenever we want. Watch the video, replace the word “Ponce” with “Clone High” and let Genghis take us out.
Thanks, Clone High. You were a regular character.