- A clone of President John F. Kennedy — typically referred to as "JFK" — is one of the main characters of early-2000s animated series "Clone High."
- JFK, and "Clone High," have recently gotten their moment in the TikTok spotlight, with the show rising to meme fame.
- People are making content about JFK in particular, with some of his most memorable lines from the show turning into popular TikTok audios.
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TikTok has its newest it boy: a cartoon depiction of a clone of President John F. Kennedy from early aughts adult animated series "Clone High."
Cartoon JFK is relatively unassuming. He has voluminous hair, goofy eyes, a long-sleeve red polo, and khakis. He speaks with an overexaggerated accent and relentlessly pursues women, who he frequently calls "broads." He is, as some would put it, "dummy thicc," and says things like, "My abs are so firm you can grate cheese on 'em!"
Know Your Meme reports that interest in "Clone High" grew online after it was announced in July 2020 that "Clone High" was getting rebooted, with memes about the character spreading on Instagram. A viral tweet from Twitter user @FLAPJACKIE in late August included a clip of JFK, and meme interest in the character began to build in September 2020, per Know Your Meme.
Now, "Clone High" — and JFK in particular — are blowing up on TikTok, drawing new audiences to the show.
🧍🏽♂️ what am i supposed to do now. i love him. ##clonehigh ##jfkclonehigh ##himbosrights ##greenscreen ##greenscreenvideo
'Clone High' was an early 2000s cartoon that ran for one season
"Clone High" was a 13-episode cartoon series created by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Bill Lawrence that premiered on MTV back in 2002. In the series, clones of famous historical figures — think JFK, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra — are high school students going through the trials and tribulations of adolescence.
The show only ran for one season and was eventually canceled after, as The Guardian reported, nearly 150 Indian MPs and activists pledged to fast in protest of the Gandhi clone character on "Clone High," who differs significantly from his historical counterpart. In an interview tied to the show's 15th anniversary, producer Bill Lawrence told Entertainment Weekly that given the Gandhi character's obsessions with "dry-humping and getting loaded… it might have been in our best interests to have [that character] be someone other than Gandhi."
Even after the cancellation, the show, as Entertainment Weekly reported, survived online with a storied meme legacy. That legacy now continues on TikTok.
The JFK character is a TikTok audio gold mine
Bombastic dialogue and catchy, if not bizarre musical bites, thrive on TikTok. "Clone High's" JFK, voiced by series creator Christopher Miller, provides both.
The most popular sound from "Clone High" is a snippet of JFK yelling, "Nothing bad ever happens to the Kennedys!" before screaming.
On TikTok, the sound has been remixed and repurposed. One of the early iterations of the audio appears to have been uploaded in mid-August by TikTok user @carterthedoge. At that point, the sound became associated with a trend based on expectations vs. reality, and how certain scenarios can lead to surprise or tragedy.
Other iterations of that sound popped up on the app, including one in which @robertbullin slapped a whole lot of reverb on JFK's scream, and another one uploaded by @postedinthedvrk in which the JFK audio cuts to Kendrick Lamar's "Humble."
Another popular JFK sound features a short jingle that he sings in the show's rock opera episode. "Watch me, hold me, sign my cast for me, wheeeeeeeel meeeeeeeee!" he sings.
Wheel me! ##fyp ##clonehigh ##jfk
has anyone else done this yet? if so, im sorry. it not, im still sorry##catsmusical ##jfk ##clonehigh
"Clone High" JFK has started to reach idol status on TikTok
Among the growing use of JFK audios on TikTok, the character has become a meme in and of itself. Now, creators are starting to partially build brands around JFK cosplay, which only really requires khakis and a long-sleeve red polo to be recognizable.
i had to put t shirts in my pants to give myself the JFK dumpy dump truck 😫 ##clonehigh ##clonehighjfk ##jfk
Others also cosplay as characters from the series like Joan of Arc, reenacting dialogue and scenes from the show.
##duet with @bennygecko i love doing these so much bruh ##clonehigh ##clonehighjfk ##clonehighjoan
JFK's voice has also become a meme in and of itself, with people imitating JFK's voice over popular TikTok audios and memes.
##fyp ##WhatsPoppin ##ThrowbackSongs ##QuickRecipes ##clonehigh
ITS NOT EVEN GOOD I SOUND LIKE BERNIE SANDERS HELP ##clonehigh
TikTok's obsession with "Clone High" makes sense
It's a bit funny that "Clone High" – which aired in the early 2000s when some of the oldest members of Gen Z were toddlers or infants — is experiencing a massive surge on TikTok. However, the show's sense of wit and take on the high school experience make for perfect meme fodder on the platform. As TV critic Caroline Framke wrote in a 2014 "Clone High" review for the AV Club, "at the same time that 'Clone High' is a hyperbolic parody of teen shows, it can also be one of the most secretly accurate teen shows out there."
JFK's clone character is shameless, witty, hot, and seems to have approximately one brain cell. Many characterize him as a "himbo," or a conventionally attractive, muscle-bound man with a heart of gold. While the JFK character doesn't have the same "heart of gold" sense as classic himbos like Kronk of "The Emperor's New Groove," his loveable panache, ignorance, and his memorable character design help him fit the characterization.
not that I'm complaining bc I'm now obsessed with the show ##WhatsPoppin ##ThrowbackSongs ##QuickRecipes ##fyp ##clonehigh ##foryou ##foryoupage ##jfk
Ultimately, it's easy to fall a little bit in love with JFK just from the memes, which frequently focus on his ridiculous one-liners and overdrawn accent.
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