- The Dukes of Hazzard
The Dukes of Hazzard
Genre Action/Family drama/Comedy Written by Gy Waldron
Leonard B. Kaufman
Michael MJohn R. Schneider
Directed by Rod Amateau
Starring Tom Wopat (1979–82; 1983–85)
John Schneider (1979–82; 1983–85)
Rick Hurst (1979; 1980–82)
Sonny Shroyer (1979–80; 1982–85)
Byron Cherry (1982–83)
Christopher Mayer (1982–83)
Narrated by Waylon Jennings Opening theme "Good Ol' Boys" performed by Waylon Jennings Country of origin United States Language(s) English No. of seasons 7 No. of episodes 145 (List of episodes) Production Camera setup Single-camera Running time 45–48 minutes Production company(s) Piggy Productions (season 1)
Lou Step Productions (seasons 2–7)
Warner Bros. Television
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Broadcast Original channel CBS Audio format Mono (1979–84)
Original run January 26, 1979– February 8, 1985 Chronology Followed by The Dukes
The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning
Related shows Moonrunners
External links Website
The Dukes of Hazzard follows Bo and Luke Duke, two cousins living in a rural part of the fictional Hazzard County, Georgia, with their attractive cousin Daisy and their wise old Uncle Jesse, racing around in their customized 1969 Dodge Charger, which they christened The General Lee, evading corrupt county commissioner Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg and his inept county sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. Bo and Luke had previously been sentenced to probation for illegal transportation of moonshine; their uncle Jesse made a plea deal with the U.S. Government to stop brewing moonshine in exchange. As a result, Bo and Luke are not allowed to carry firearms (instead, they often use compound bows, sometimes with arrows tipped with dynamite) or to leave Hazzard County, although the exact details of their probation terms vary from episode to episode: sometimes it is implied that they would be jailed for merely crossing the county line; on other occasions, it is shown that they may leave Hazzard as long as they are back within a certain time limit; several other technicalities of their probation also came into play at various times.
Corrupt politician Boss Hogg, who either runs or has fingers in just about everything in Hazzard County (and whose exact powers, much like the terms of the Duke boys' probation, often vary between episodes) is forever angry with the Dukes, in particular Bo and Luke, for eternally foiling his crooked scams and is always looking for ways to get them out of the picture so that his plots have a chance of succeeding. Many episodes revolve around Hogg trying to engage in an illegal scheme with criminal associates. Some of these are get-rich-quick schemes, though many others affect the financial security of the Duke farm, which Hogg has long wanted to acquire for nefarious reasons. Other times, Hogg hires known criminals from out of town to do his dirty work for him, and often tries to frame Bo and Luke for various crimes such as bank robbery (thus resulting in imprisonment and allowing Hogg easily to acquire the Duke farm). Bo and Luke always seem to stumble over Hogg's latest scheme, sometimes by curiosity, and often by sheer luck, and put it out of business. Despite the Dukes often coming to his rescue (see below), Hogg forever seems to have an irrational dislike of the clan, particularly Bo and Luke, often accusing them of spying on him, robbing or planning to rob him, and other supposedly nefarious actions as he believes they are generally out to get him.
The other main players of the show are Cooter Davenport, who in very early episodes was somewhat of a wild rebel, often breaking or treading on the edge of the law, before settling down and becoming much more laid-back, and who owns the local garage and is the Duke family's best friend (he is often referred to as an "honarary Duke"), and Enos Strate, an honest but naive young Deputy who often finds his morals conflicted as he is reluctantly forced to take part in Hogg and Rosco's crooked schemes. In the third and fourth season, when Enos leaves for his own show, he is replaced by Deputy Cletus Hogg, Boss's cousin, who is slightly more wily than Enos but who is generally also a reluctant player in Hogg's plots.
Owing to their fundamentally good natures, the Dukes often wind up helping Boss Hogg, albeit begrudgingly. More than once Hogg is targeted by former associates who are either seeking revenge or have turned against him after a scheme has unravelled in one way or another. Sheriff Rosco also finds himself in trouble more than once. On such occasions, Bo and Luke usually have to rescue their adversaries as an inevitable precursor to defeating the bad guys. These instances became more frequent as the show progressed, and later seasons saw a number of stories where the Dukes and Hogg (and Rosco) temporarily work together.
As well as its regular car chases, jumps and stunts, the show relied on character familiarity, with Deputy Cletus replacing Deputy Enos in the third and fourth season, and Coy and Vance Duke temporarily replacing Bo and Luke (due to a salary dispute, see later section) in the fifth season, being the only major cast changes through the show's run (Ben Jones and James Best both left temporarily during the second season due to different disputes with producers, but both returned within a couple of episodes). Of the characters, only Uncle Jesse and Boss Hogg appear in every single episode; Daisy appears in all but one, the third season's "To Catch a Duke".
- Lucas K. "Luke" Duke (Tom Wopat) is the dark-haired, slightly older cousin. More mature and rational than his cousin Bo, he is typically the one who thinks of the plan that will get the two out of whatever trouble they have gotten into. Luke wears a checked blue shirt (a plain blue shirt in most, though not all, second season episodes), and a denim jacket over it in first season and a few later second season episodes. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a former boxer. Luke was the first Duke to perform the "hood slide" across The General Lee, which is seen in the opening credits of the show (a shot taken from the second episode, "Daisy's Song") and later told by Tom Wopat to be an accident because his foot got caught on the side of the General Lee when he attempted to jump across the hood; he also caught his thigh on the hood's radio aerial, cutting himself, resulting in such aerials being removed from later versions of the General Lee. However, the "hood slide" quickly proved popular and became a regular feature of episodes. The only episode to directly reference the slight age difference between Luke and Bo is in the seventh season opener, the "flashback" episode "Happy Birthday, General Lee", where it is stated that Luke had already been in the Marines whilst Bo was in his last year at High School.
- Beauregard "Bo" Duke (John Schneider) is the blond-haired, slightly younger Duke boy. He's the younger, wilder one of the pair. He's more of a "shoot first, ask questions later" type, and is often the one to get the duo into the various scrapes in which they find themselves. Bo usually wears a cream-yellow shirt (though he can be seen wearing a red or blue one in very early episodes), and for most of the first three seasons, a blue t-shirt underneath (brown in the first episode). An ex-stock car driver, Bo is the one who, in the earlier episodes at least, drives The General Lee most of the time (very early episodes suggest that it belongs solely to him; Luke is said have a car that Cooter has wrecked shortly prior to the start of the opening episode, "One Armed Bandits"). Bo is known for his rebel yell, "Yeeeee-Haaa!"
- The Duke boys share the CB call sign or handle "Lost Sheep."
- Daisy May Duke (Catherine Bach) is Bo and Luke's pretty young cousin. She's honest and kind, although she can sometimes be slightly over-trusting and naïve, which leads the Duke family into trouble on a number of occasions. She sometimes aspired to be a songwriter and singer, and at other times a reporter. She raced around Hazzard with her cousins, first in a yellow and black 1974 Plymouth Road Runner (later on it was a Plymouth Satellite) and then, from the mid-second season, in her trademark white 1980 Jeep CJ-7 christened "Dixie" with a Golden Eagle emblem on the hood (and the name "Dixie" on the hood sides). Daisy worked as a waitress at the Boar's Nest, the local bar owned by Boss Hogg, as part of an agreement with Boss Hogg so that he would give Uncle Jesse and the boys a loan for a lower interest rate so the boys could purchase the entry fee for a race that they wished to race General Lee in. The arrangement was supposed to be for an indefinite time, but there were several times throughout the series that Hogg fired her. However, he always ended up rehiring her at the end of each episode because of various circumstances. Daisy often used her looks and her position at the restaurant to get insider information to help the Dukes in foiling Hogg's various schemes. Daisy also has the distinction of having her trademark provocatively high-cut jean short shorts named after her: "Daisy Dukes". Her CB handle was "Bo Peep."
- Jesse L. Duke (Denver Pyle), referred to by just about everyone in Hazzard other than Boss Hogg as "Uncle Jesse", is the patriarch of the Duke clan, and the father-figure to all Dukes who stayed with him on the dilapidated "Duke Farm." Jesse apparently had no children of his own, and happily provided for his nephews and niece in the unexplained absence of all of their parents (Gy Waldron, the creator of the show, states on the DVDs that their parents were killed in a car wreck, but it was never mentioned in the show). In the third broadcast episode, "Mary Kaye's Baby", Jesse says that he has delivered many babies, including Bo and Luke. Jesse Duke, in his youth, had been a ridgerunner in direct competition with J.D. Hogg. However, it should be noted that, while both Boss Hogg and Uncle Jesse would scowl at the mention of the other's name, the two enjoyed a lifelong "friendship" of sorts, with one helping the other when in desperate need. Jesse educated his nephews against Hogg, and often provided the cousins with inspirational sage advice. Uncle Jesse drove a white 1973 Ford F-100 pickup truck. In the barn, he also had his old moonshine-running car, called "Sweet Tillie" in its first appearance (in the first season episode "High Octane"), but referred to as "Black Tillie" in subsequent appearances. In the second season episode "Follow That Still" and the sixth season episode "The Boars Nest Bears", the marriage to and death of his wife is mentioned; he also mentions marrying her in the first season episode "Luke's Love Story". His CB handle was "Shepherd."
- Rosco Purvis Coltrane (James Best) is the bumbling sheriff of Hazzard County and right-hand man and brother-in-law of its corrupt county administrator, Jefferson Davis "J.D." Hogg ("Boss Hogg"), whom Rosco referred to as his "little fat buddy", "Little Chrome Dome", "Little Meadow-Muffin", and several other names. In the very early episodes, it was mentioned that Rosco spent the first 20 years of his career as a mostly honest lawman, but after the county voted away his pension Rosco joined Hogg in an effort to fund his retirement in his last couple of years as Sheriff. As the series settled down and found its footing, this was soon dropped into the background, and by the end of the first season had been virtually forgotten (and his role as Sheriff appeared to be open ended). He is also the younger brother of Lulu Coltrane Hogg, Boss Hogg's wife. Rosco frequently initiated car chases with Bo and Luke Duke (whom Hogg wanted to get rid of due to them constantly exposing his corrupt schemes), but the Duke boys were usually able to easily elude Rosco, who often wound up crashing his patrol car in various ways whether it be pulling a trick or jumping over a creek (always escaping uninjured). These chases were often the result of Rosco setting up illegal speed traps such as a 55 mph speed limit sign that would change to 35 mph at the press of a button when somebody drove by, or a "Hospital Zone" sign in the middle of nowhere. While he enjoyed "hot pursuit" much like a little boy playing with toy cars would, he (and Boss Hogg as well) never intended for anyone to get seriously hurt. His middle initial, 'P', was added at the start of the second season, and only one episode (the third season's "Mrs. Rosco P. Coltrane", in which he is subject to a scam marriage) revealed his middle name, 'Purvis'. Rosco also had a soft spot for his dog Flash, introduced at the start of the third season. His radio codename was "Red Dog". When James Best briefly boycotted the show during the mid-season season, he was temporarily replaced several "one off" Sheriffs, the longest standing being Sheriff Grady Bird, played by Dick Sargent, who appeared in two episodes ("Jude Emery" and "Officer Daisy Duke").
- Boss Jefferson Davis "J.D." Hogg (Sorrell Booke) is the wealthiest man in Hazzard County (except in a 4th season episode, "Ten Million Dollar Sheriff", in which Rosco allegedly inherits $10 million), and owns most of its property and businesses — whether directly or by holding the mortgages over the land. Usually dressed in an all-white suit, he was the fat, greedy, corrupt County Commissioner with visions of grandeur, a voracious appetite for fatty foods, and constantly orders his bumbling sheriff, Rosco, to "Get them Duke Boys!" Boss Hogg was also married to Rosco's fat sister, a point that did not always sit well with either Boss Hogg or Rosco; Hogg often claimed that Rosco was indebted to him because of it. His vehicle was a white 1970 Cadillac Coupe de Ville convertible, with bull horns on the hood. In the first couple of seasons, he was almost always driven around by a chauffeur; from the fourth season onwards, he usually drove himself. His old moonshine-running car was called the "Grey Ghost".
- Cooter Davenport (Ben Jones) is the Hazzard County mechanic, nicknamed "Crazy Cooter". In the very early episodes, he was a wild man, often breaking the law (such as stealing the Sheriff's patrol car in "One Armed Bandits", reportedly wrecking Luke's car prior to the same episode, running moonshine for Boss Hogg in "Mary Kaye's Baby", seemingly breaking into Boss Hogg's home to retrieve a trophy for an upcoming race in "Luke's Love Story", and 'borrowing' the President's Limousine for a joy-ride in "Limo One Is Missing"). By the end of the first season, he had settled down and become an easy going good ol' boy. Although not mentioned in the first couple of episodes, by the mid-first season, he owned "Cooter's Garage" in Hazzard County Square, directly across from the Sheriff's Department. Cooter was an "Honorary Duke", as he shared the same values and often assisted the Dukes in escaping Rosco's clutches, or helped them to foil Boss Hogg's schemes. During the second season, Ben Jones left the series for a few episodes due to a dispute over whether the character should be clean shaven or have a full beard. In his absence, Cooter's place was filled by several of Cooter's supposed cousins who were never mentioned before or since. Jones returned when the dispute was solved—Cooter would be clean shaven (although, for continuity reasons, with the episodes being broadcast in a different order to that which they were filmed, he was not clean shaven until the third season onwards). Cooter drove a variety of trucks, including Fords, Chevys, & GMCs. His CB handle was "Crazy Cooter" and he often started his CB transmissions with "Breaker one, Breaker one, I might be crazy but I ain't dumb, Craaaazy Cooter comin' atcha, come on."
- Deputy Enos Strate (Sonny Shroyer) (1979–80; 1982–85) is generally a friend of the Dukes, but, working under Rosco and Boss was often forced into pursuing the Dukes and/or arresting them on trumped up charges. In the very early episodes, Enos was shown to be a rather good driver (and respected as such by Bo and Luke), but by the end of the first season, he was shown to be as an incompetent driver as Rosco (and later Cletus). When he returned from his stint in Los Angeles, he seemed to be able to stand up to Boss and Rosco slightly more, and sometimes refused. In the very early episodes, Rosco frequently called him "Jackass", which soon evolved into the more family friendly "dipstick" as the show become a hit with younger viewers. Enos had a crush on Daisy Duke that she often used to the Dukes' advantage in unraveling Hogg and Rosco's schemes. Enos is very much in love with Daisy, and although Daisy is indicated to love him back, it is only as a close friend. In the last-but-one episode, "Enos and Daisy's Wedding", the two plan on getting married, only to have Enos call it off at the last minute due to an attack of hives, brought on by the excitement of possibly being married to Daisy. Later, in the first Reunion movie, Enos and Daisy become a pair again and plan to get married — but this time Daisy backs out at the last minute, upon the unexpected sight of her ex-husband. Enos' radio code name was "Blue Fox". However, he frequently got both his own and Rosco's codes confused — saying instead "Hound Dog", "Red Fox" or other variations.
- Deputy Cletus Hogg (Rick Hurst) (1979–82), Boss Hogg's second cousin twice removed, is also generally friendly and dim-witted. Like Enos, Cletus would often be forced by Rosco and Hogg to chase the Dukes on trumped up charges. While Cletus was generally good-hearted, and sometimes resentful of having to treat the Dukes in such way, he was generally more willing to go along with Hogg and Rosco than Enos. Cletus had a crush on Daisy and was even convinced she wanted to marry him. Like Enos, Cletus often ended up landing in water when pursuing the Duke boys in a car chase. Cletus made his first appearance as the driver of a bank truck, part of Hogg's latest get-rich-scheme, in the first season episode "Money To Burn", and became temporary deputy while Enos was away in the second season episodes "The Meeting" and "Road Pirates". Leaving a job at the local junkyard, he became permanent deputy in the third season's "Enos Strate To The Top" when Enos left for California. When Enos returned at the start of the fifth season the pair both served as deputies and shared the same patrol car for five episodes before Cletus disappeared (his last appearance being in the episode "Big Daddy"), said to have gone on vacation, never to return (until 1997's Reunion movie after Enos' apparent return to California after the series). Each of the Hazzard County Sheriff's Department officers drove various mid to late '70s Chrysler mid-size B body patrol cars, most often a Dodge Monaco or Plymouth Fury.
- Coy Duke (Byron Cherry) (1982–83), the replacement for Bo, is another blond-haired cousin who moved to Uncle Jesse's farm along with cousin Vance after Bo and Luke left Hazzard to join the NASCAR circuit. Supposedly, with cousin Vance, Coy had previously lived on the Duke farm until 1976, before the series had started.
- Vance Duke (Christopher Mayer) (1982–83), an obvious replacement for Luke, filled the void of a dark-haired Duke on the show. Like Luke, Vance was more the thinker and the planner of the duo.
- The Balladeer (voice of Waylon Jennings) sang and played the Dukes of Hazzard theme song, "Good Ol' Boys", and also served as the show's narrator. During each episode, he provided an omniscient viewpoint of the situations presented, and regularly interjected comical asides during crucial plot points (often, during a freeze frame of a cliffhanger scene right before a commercial break) and "down home" aphorisms. (Note that these freeze frame cliffhangers were often abridged in showings in some countries, such as the commercial-free BBC in the United Kingdom). After numerous requests from fans to see the Balladeer on-screen, Waylon finally appeared in one episode, the seventh season's aptly titled "Welcome, Waylon Jennings", in which he was presented as an old friend of the Dukes.
- Flash (Sandy and others) is a slow-paced Basset Hound and Rosco's loyal companion, who hated Hogg but loved the Dukes. She first appeared in the first official third season episode "Enos Strate To The Top" (season opener "Carnival of Thrills was held over from the previous season), although was not formally "introduced" in that episode. Initially referred to as a boy, Flash was later regularly a girl (despite an occasional male reference afterwards). Flash was added at the start of the third season, after James Best suggested to the producers that Rosco have a dog. Flash was portrayed by several Basset Hounds (distinguishable by different facial colors), the most regular being "Sandy".
Character Actor Info Lulu Coltrane Hogg Peggy Rea Boss Hogg's wife, and Rosco's "fat sister". Lulu constantly challenged her husband for authority and rallied for the equality of women in Hazzard, and was one of the few people in Hazzard that Hogg was actually scared of, though he seemed to genuinely love and care for her. Myrtle / Mabel Tillingham Lindsay Bloom Mabel is Hogg's cousin who runs the Hazzard Phone Company, who often sneak listens to calls and lets Hogg know what's going on. Her name mysteriously changed from Myrtle to Mabel between the second and third season. Longstreet B. Davenport Ernie Lively (credited as Ernie W. Brown) L.B. was Cooter's cousin. He also filled for Cooter when he was away from the garage in several second season episodes (in reality, this was to cover for Ben Jones' absence, after a disagreement with producers as to whether Cooter should have a beard or not). L.B. first appeared in "Duke of Duke" and appeared in several other episodes; a couple of other second season episodes also feature similar "Cooter replacements" while Jones was away. Ernie Lively also played a different character named "Dobro Doolan", a friend of Bo and Luke, in the first episode of the series, "One Armed Bandits" (where he was credited as Ernie Brown). Hughie Hogg Jeff Altman Boss Hogg's young nephew, said to be as crooked — maybe even more crooked — as Hogg himself. He drove a white VW Beetle with bull horns on the hood, similar to Boss Hogg's Caddy. The character was first introduced in the episode "Uncle Boss", produced as the second episode of the second season, but this episode was not broadcast until the third season (for unknown reasons, and just several episodes prior to "The Return of Hughie Hogg"), and by which time, Hughie had already been seen as Temporary Sheriff in the second season episode "Arrest Jesse Duke" (in which he was written into, in a secondary role, at the last minute, to cover Sheriff Rosco's absence during James Best's temporary boycott of the show). Typically, Hogg would call in Hughie once per season to come up with a particularly dastardly scheme to get rid of the Dukes, before Hughie would turn on Hogg and out-smart him. Hogg would end up throwing him out of Hazzard at the end of the episode. Despite this, Hogg would always give Hughie "one last chance" on his next appearance. Wayne / Norris Roger Torrey One of Hughie's loyal duo of henchman. Played by the same actor but with different names on different occasions. Floyd / Barclay Pat Studstill The other of Hughie's duo of henchman. He and Norris were both bigger than Bo and Luke, but nonetheless struggled in fights against them. Again played by the same actor, but with different names on different occasions. Emery Potter Charlie Dell Emery Potter is the part-time Hazzard County registrar and chief teller of the Hazzard Bank. Emery is a soft-spoken man with a low tolerance for anything exciting. He is a friend of the Dukes, and sometimes falls under Hogg's crooked schemes simply because he is too timid to stand up for himself. He has also served as Temporary Deputy on occasion. Dr. Henry "Doc" Petticord Patrick Cranshaw Hazzard County's ancient, long-serving physician. Miz (Emma) Tisdale Nedra Volz The postmistress of the Hazzard Post Office, Miz Tisdale ("Emma" to Jesse Duke) was an elderly woman who drove a motorcycle and had a huge crush on Uncle Jesse. She was also a reporter for the Hazzard Gazzette. Sheriff Edward Thomas "Big Ed" Little Don Pedro Colley The chief law enforcement officer (driving a 1975 Plymouth Fury patrol car) for neighboring Chickasaw County, he had a tendency to knock fenders off of cars when he wrecked. He was also not afraid to pull out his trusty 12-gauge shotgun and open fire. The ill-tempered sheriff hated Bo and Luke immensely and they were well aware that they were not allowed to enter his county. Sheriff Little was also constantly frustrated by the bumbling performance of Hogg and Rosco, although he thought highly of Enos. His unseen wife's name was Rachel. Before Sheriff Little was introduced, in the third season episode "My Son, Bo Hogg", several first and second season episodes saw several similar tough-as-nails Sheriffs from adjoining counties. Mr. Rhuebottom John Wheeler A local store owner, seen occasionally from the fourth season episode "Pin the Tail on the Dukes" onwards. (The Rhuebottom General Store shopfront is seen as early as the first season episode "Luke's Love Story") Dr. "Doc" Appleby Elmore Vincent, later Parley Baer Elderly successor to Doc Petticord. Played by Elmore Vincent on the character's first appearance, in the fourth season episode "Dear Diary", before Parley Baer took over the role in subsequent appearances.
Notable guest appearances
Throughout its network television run, The Dukes of Hazzard had a consistent mix of up-and-comers and established stars make guest appearances.
- Cale Yarborough
- Robert Alda
- Carlos Brown/Alan Autry
- James Avery
- Pat Buttram
- Conlan Carter
- Ben Davidson
- Elinor Donahue
- Jonathan Winters
- Jonathan Frakes
- Janie Fricke
- Mel Tillis
- David Graf
- Henry Gibson
- Dennis Haskins
- Ernie Hudson
- Stepfanie Kramer
- Lance LeGault
- Loretta Lynn
- Dottie West
- Arte Johnson
- John Matuszak
- Richard Moll
- Charles Napier
- Roy Orbison
- Avery Schreiber
- Judson Scott
- Reid Smith
- William Smith
- Hal Williams
- Gerald McRaney
- Tammy Wynette
- Johnny Paycheck
- Kim Richards
- Wallace Wilkinson, who played an FBI Agent in the second episode, would go on to become Governor of Kentucky.
- NASCAR driver Terry Labonte makes a brief, uncredited appearance as a crew man in the episode Undercover Dukes Part 1. The race cars supplied for both part 1 and part 2 of Undercover Dukes were supplied by Labonte's race owner, Billy Hagan. However, the sponsors of the cars (at that time Labonte was sponsored by Budweiser) were covered to avoid paying royalties.
The celebrity speed trap
During the show's second season, the show's writers began flirting with the idea of incorporating a "celebrity speed trap" into some of the episodes, as a means to feature top country stars of the day performing their hits. On its first couple of instances, the "Speed Trap" was featured early in the story, but for most of the cases, it was featured in the last few minutes of an episode, often used when the main story was running too short to fill episode time.
The "celebrity speed trap" feature was essentially similar: Aware that a big-name country star was passing through the area, Boss Hogg would order Rosco to lower the speed limit on a particular road to an unreasonable level, so that the targeted singer would be in violation of the law. The singer would be required to perform at the Boar's Nest in exchange for having their citations forgiven; the performer would then perform one of their best-known hits or other popular country music standard, while the Dukes, Boss, Rosco, Cletus, Cooter, and other patrons whooped and hollered in enjoyment of the performance. More often than not, the performer would give a parting shot to Boss and Rosco. Singers who were featured in the "speed trap" segments were:
Gilley's and Lynn's appearances were not solely for the celebrity speed trap. After performing a concert in Hazzard, Gilley was nabbed while leaving and forced to do a second show to nullify his citation. Lynn was kidnapped by criminals wanting to break into the music business.
Coy and Vance
The Dukes of Hazzard was consistently among the top-rated television series (at one point, ranking second only to Dallas, which immediately followed the show on CBS' Friday night schedule). Then, in the spring of 1982, as filming was due to begin on the fifth season, series stars Tom Wopat and John Schneider did not report to the set due to a contract dispute over their salaries and merchandising royalties owed to them. Catherine Bach also considered walking out due to similar concerns, but Wopat and Schneider convinced her to stay, insisting that settling the dispute was "man's work".
Production was pushed back by a few weeks as two lookalike replacements were subsequently, hastily hired: Byron Cherry as Coy Duke and Christopher Mayer as Vance Duke. Bo and Luke were said to have gone to race on the NASCAR circuit; how they managed to do this, bearing in mind their probation conditions, was never explained. Cherry and Mayer were originally contracted at just ten episodes as stand-ins, still with hope that a settlement might be reached with Wopat and Schneider (in total, they made 17 episodes). The scripts for Coy and Vance were originally written for Bo and Luke but with their names quite literally crossed out and Coy and Vance penned in. The new Dukes — previously-unmentioned nephews of Uncle Jesse, who were said to have left the farm in 1976, before the show had started — were unpopular with the great majority of viewers, and the ratings immediately sank. Much of the criticism was that Coy and Vance were nothing but direct clones of Bo and Luke, something that show creator Gy Waldron himself has said was wrong, and that he insisted, unsuccessfully, that audiences would not accept direct character clones and the two replacements should be taken in a different direction characterwise. Waldron also commented that if Bach too had walked, the show would have most probably been cancelled. Hit hard by the significant drop in ratings, Warner Brothers renegotiated with Wopat and Schneider, and eventually a settlement was reached, and the original Duke boys returned to the series in early 1983, four episodes from the conclusion of the fifth season. Initially, part of the press release announcing Wopat and Schneider's return mentioned that Cherry and Mayer would remain as part of the cast, but it was quickly realised that "four Duke boys" would not work within the context of the series, and due to the unpopularity associated with their time on the show, were quickly written out of the same episode in which Bo and Luke returned.
Bo and Luke return
Although Coy and Vance were never popular with the majority, many viewers were disappointed by their departure episode, "Welcome Back, Bo 'N' Luke", which was very much a standard episode, with the return of Bo and Luke and the departure of Coy and Vance tacked onto the beginning (Bo and Luke return from their NASCAR tour just as Coy and Vance leave Hazzard to tend to a sick relative). Many viewers commented that they were disappointed by this, and that they would have liked to have seen both pairs of Duke boys team up to tackle a particularly dastardly plot by Boss Hogg but as it turned out, Coy and Vance had very little dialogue and were gone by the first commercial break, never to be mentioned again.
While the return of Bo and Luke was welcomed by ardent and casual viewers alike, and as a result saw ratings recover slightly, the show never completely regained its former popularity. One of Wopat and Schneider's disputes even before they left was what they considered to be increasingly weak and formulaic scripts. With Wopat and Schneider's return, the producers agreed to try a wider scope of storylines, even including some science fiction elements in certain episodes. However, although it continued for two more seasons, the show never fully returned to its former glory. As well as what was widely recognised to be increasingly inferior scripts, many fans, or indeed cast members, did not take to the miniature car effects used to make it appear as if the General Lee was performing even more breathtaking feats (in part to compete with TV's newer supercar, Knight Rider). Finally, at the end of its seventh season, in early February 1985, The Dukes of Hazzard quietly ended its run.
- The General Lee was Bo and Luke Duke's 1969 Dodge Charger. It was orange with a Confederate battle flag painted on the roof, and the words "GENERAL LEE" over each door and the number "01" on each door. In the first episode ("One-Armed Bandits"), a Confederate flag along with a checkered racing flag in a criss-cross pattern could be seen behind the rear window. The name refers to the American Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The television show was based on the movie Moonrunners, itself based on actual moonshine runners who used a 1958 Chrysler named Traveler, after General Lee's horse. Traveler was originally intended to be the name of the Duke boys' stock car too, until producers agreed that General Lee had more punch to it.
Since it was built as a race car, the windows were - bar a couple of shots in very early episodes — always open, a rollbar was installed, and the doors were welded shut. Through the history of the show, an estimated 309 (the "LEE 1" website says 321; John Schneider says 329) General Lees were used; twenty-three are still known to exist in various states of repair. A replica was owned by John Schneider (Bo), known as "Bo's General Lee". In 2008 Schneider sold "Bo's General Lee" at the Barrett-Jackson automobile auction for $450,000; the underside of the hood has the signatures of the cast from the 1997 TV movie. The show also used 1968 Chargers (which shared the same sheet metal) by changing the grille and taillight panel to the 1969 style, and removing the round side marker lights. These Chargers performed many record-breaking jumps throughout the show, almost all of them resulting in a completely destroyed car.
The Duke boys added a custom air horn to the General which played the first twelve notes of the song Dixie. The Dixie horn was not originally planned, until, during one of the first days of shooting in Georgia, a local hot rod racer drove by and sounded his car's Dixie horn. The producers immediately rushed after him asking where he had bought the horn. Warner Brothers purchased several Chargers for stunts, as they generally destroyed at least one or two cars per episode. By the end of the show's sixth season, the Chargers were becoming harder to find, and more expensive — not to mention that TV had another supercar in Knight Rider to rival the General Lee's stunts — so the producers used 1/8 scale miniatures, filmed by Jack Sessums' crew, or recycled stock jump footage, which had always been used to a degree in episodes in previous seasons.
The show's third broadcast episode, "Mary Kaye's Baby", is the only episode of the entire run that the General Lee does not appear in. In that episode Bo and Luke drove around in a blue 1975 Plymouth Fury they borrowed from Cooter (which unbenownst to them he'd loaded with moonshine to deliver for Boss Hogg, a slip-up that could've wrecked their probation) that Luke later blew up with a stick of dynamite during a duel with some mobsters.
- The 1974 AMC Matador was one of many different Hazzard County police cars used on the series, mostly in the first season; they had light bars and working radios. A 1970 Dodge Polara and a 1975 Dodge Monaco were used during the pilot episode "One Armed Bandits", these were also seen in the shows title sequence. From the second season, the 1977 Dodge Monaco was mostly used. From mid season four the similar looking 1978 Plymouth Fury was used instead.
- A 1971 Plymouth Roadrunner (yellow with a black stripe) was used by Daisy Duke in the first five episodes of the first season. For the last episodes of the first season and the second season, a similarly painted 1972 Plymouth Satellite with a matching "Road Runner" stripe was used until Bo and Luke sent it off a cliff in "The Runaway" after the brakes failed. At the end of that episode, she is given her Golden Eagle Jeep "Dixie" (Due to the episodes being broadcast in a different order from that in which they were filmed, the Plymouth made several returns after it was supposedly destroyed).
- Dixie was the name given to Daisy Duke's trademark white 1980 Jeep CJ-7 "Golden Eagle" which had a Golden Eagle emblem on the hood and the name "Dixie" on the sides. Like other vehicles in the show, there was actually more than one Jeep used throughout the series. Sometimes it would have an automatic transmission, and other times it would be a manual. The design of the roll-cage also varied across the seasons. When the Jeep was introduced at the end of the second season's "The Runaway", it was seen to have doors and a slightly different paint-job, but from thereafter the doors were removed and the paint-job was made all-white, with 'Dixie' painted on the sides of the hood. These Jeeps were leased to the producers of the show by American Motors Corporation in exchange for a brief mention in the closing credits of the show.
- Uncle Jesse's Truck, a white Ford Pickup truck, most commonly a Sixth generation (1973–1977) F100 Styleside. However, in the earliest episodes it had a Flareside bed, and varied between F100 and F250 models throughout the show's run. Daisy also drove Jesse's truck on occasion.
- Boss Hogg's Cadillac, a white 1970 Cadillac De Ville convertible, with large bull horns for a hood ornament. While in earlier seasons a chauffeur (normally nameless, but identified on occasion as being called "Alex"; and played by several different uncredited actors, including stuntman Gary Baxley) drove it, in later years, Hogg became the car's principal driver and frequently challenged others by invoking his driving expertise from his days as a ridge-runner. Unlike other vehicles in the series, Boss Hogg's Cadillac is typically treated with kid gloves.
Although Hazzard County, Georgia, was a fictional location (the early episodes of the show were filmed in Atlanta Covington, Georgia), the real-life town of Hazard, Kentucky, was a beneficiary of the show's popularity. Members of the cast were frequent visitors to the town's annual Black Gold Festival. There are still gatherings of Dukes of Hazzard fans, the largest of which is DukesFest, which is now held at the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tennessee, and organized by Ben Jones (Cooter Davenport) and his wife. More than 800,000 fans attended the two day event in 2006; it was the largest gathering of fans for a TV show in history. DukesFest was previously held at Ben Jones' "Cooter's Place" which had been located in Sperryville, Virginia, for many years. However, since Sperryville is a small town with a very slight population and could not handle the thousands of fans that would arrive each year, Jones eventually chose to close the location and open new locations in Tennessee. In 2011, a reunion called "Hazzard Homecoming" for the Sperryville "Cooter's Place" was held to pay homage to the former location.
In 2008, it moved to the Atlanta Motor Speedway and was organized by John Schneider (Bo Duke) and his wife. In 2009 and 2010, there was no DukesFest held, although several smaller Dukes-related events were held.
Jones has opened two "Cooter's Place" attractions in Tennessee (one in Nashville, one in Gatlinburg) which feature artifacts from the television show, as well as souvenirs and frequent "meet and greet" sessions with the cast. The Gatlinburg location also features an indoor miniature golf course (called the "Hazzard Country Club") and an indoor go-kart track ("Hazzard Speedway").
- Main article: "Theme from 'The Dukes of Hazzard' (Good Ol' Boys)"
The theme song "The Good Ol' Boys" was written and performed by Waylon Jennings. He was also "The Balladeer" (as credited), and served as narrator of the show. However, the Jennings theme song that is currently available for purchase is not the same version that was used in the show's opening credits. The differences are that the show version featured a different verse ["...Fightin' the system like two modern-day Robin Hoods"], an enhanced bass line, a shorter length, and the famous "Yee-haw" yell at the end.
- The series was originally broadcast in America by CBS on Friday nights, at 8:00 p.m., preceding Dallas.
- Until TNN (The Nashville Network) was purchased by Viacom, it aired reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard. Some months after the creation of "The National Network" (shortly before its change to "Spike TV"), the program was absent from much of television for quite some time. Viacom's country music-themed cable network CMT (the former sister network to TNN) aired the show from 2005 to 2007 at 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. eastern time every weekday. CMT began airing the series in late February 2005. It also aired Monday–Thursday on ABC Family.
- The series was broadcast by BBC One in the United Kingdom, debuting on Saturday 3 March 1979 at 9 pm (just several months after it began in the US). Popular with all ages (and as some of the more adult elements of very early episodes faded out of the series), it quickly moved from its post-watershed position to a more family-friendly Monday evening slot at 7:20 pm. Soon a massive hit, it moved from Monday evenings to prime time Saturday evening (times varied, but typically around 5:25 pm), where it stayed for a number of years. Later when ratings began to dip (partly caused by the change to Coy and Vance, and partly to do with competition from ITV, with new hit shows such as The A-Team), it moved back to Mondays, making the odd return for short runs on Saturdays. Late episodes also popped up occasionally on Sunday afternoons, and the remaining episodes of the final season were broadcast on weekday mornings during school holidays in the late 1980s.
- In 1992, UK satellite channel Sky1 bought a package of the program, owning the rights to the first 60 episodes produced (running up to "The Fugitive"), showing the series on Saturday afternoons at 4 p.m. They later showed the episodes they owned again, including a stint showing it in a weekday 3 p.m. slot, running for fifty minutes (including commercials) with the episodes heavily edited for time as a result, often leaving gaps in the plot. Despite requests from fans, they did not secure the rights to later episodes. The series was later run on the satellite channels Granada Plus and TNT. UK satellite channel Bravo began airing reruns in August 2005.
- The series was also shown in the Netherlands by Dutch broadcasting organization AVRO, with Dutch subtitles, rather than being dubbed.
- It was shown on the 0-10 Network (now Network Ten) in Australia from September 1979 until the end of the series, and repeated throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It was briefly rerun on Pay TV channel TV1 in the 2000s, but is now shown on Nine Network's subchannel, Go!.
- The series was popular in Colombia, dubbed to Spanish. Some late-night reruns continue to the present time.
- In Italy the series started to air in September 1981 on Canale 5, under the title Hazzard and quickly became very popular with the viewers.
- CMT aired "The Dukes Ride Again", a special marathon which featured episodes from the first two seasons, on the weekend of September 10, 2010 and have begun airing episodes weeknights at 7 pm and 11 pm Eastern time starting September 13, 2010.
- The series is currently airing episodes weekdays on New Zealand's channel The Box.
- CMT is currently airing reruns of the show on weekdays,as noted below.
Soon before the series ended its original run on CBS, The Dukes of Hazzard went into off-network syndication. Although not as widely run as it was back in the 1980s and the years since, reruns of the program do continue to air in various parts of the United States.
Notably, television stations that aired the show in syndication include KCOP Los Angeles, WGN-TV Chicago, KBHK San Francisco, WKBD Detroit, KTXL Sacramento, WVTV Milwaukee, KMSP Minneapolis–Saint Paul, among others. It has also aired on ABC Family (2000–2001, 2004) and CMT (2005–2007, 2010–present). WMAZ-TV in Macon, Georgia 1979–1985. WGXA-TV Macon, Georgia 1984–1990.
Year Viewers (Millions) Rating 1979–1980 18.38 #9 1980–1981 21.81 #2 1981–1982 18.41 #6 1982–1983 Not in top 30 1983–1984 Not in top 30 1984–1985 Not in top 30
Season one managed to average 18.39 million viewers in 1979. Season 2 grew 15.6% to 21.81 million viewers while Season 3 dropped 15.5% to 18.41 million viewers in 1980 - 1981. Season 4 dropped extensively to below 14.327 million viewers but as ratings below the top 30, Seasons 4 - 7 ratings are unknown.
- The character of Deputy Sheriff Enos Strate was spun off into his own short-lived detective show called Enos, which ran from 1980 to 1981. As a result, Enos was written out of The Dukes of Hazzard at the start of the third season in the episode "Enos Strate to the Top." After Enos was cancelled, the character returned to Hazzard at the beginning of the fifth season.
- An animated version of the show called The Dukes aired in 1983. The first season fell under the Coy and Vance era of the live-action show and thus they were adapted into animated form. By the second season, Bo and Luke had returned, and they replaced Coy and Vance in the cartoon.
- Several video games based on the show were created:
- The Dukes of Hazzard for ColecoVision using Expansion Module #2 (1984)
- The Dukes of Hazzard for the Sinclair Spectrum (1985)
- The Dukes of Hazzard (unreleased Atari 2600 prototype by Coleco)
- The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home (1999)
- The Dukes of Hazzard 2: Daisy Dukes It Out (2000)
- The Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee (2004)
- In 2005, the Humana Festival of New American Plays premiered a full-length comedy-drama entitled Hazzard County by Allison Moore. The story centers on a young widowed mother and a visit she receives from a big city television producer. Interspersed with recollections of Bo, Luke, and Daisy, the play takes a deep look at southern "good ol' boy" culture and its popularization through the lens of American mass media.
The second season episodes "Jude Emery", about a Texas Ranger, and "Mason Dixon's Girls", about a travelling private investigator and his female associates, were both pilots written by Dukes creator Gy Waldron for proposed new shows. Both failed to sell.
There were two made-for-TV reunion movies that aired on CBS, The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! (1997) and The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood! (2000). These reunion films were made from the ratings success of the show's reruns on The Nashville Network in 1996.
A feature film remake of the series, The Dukes of Hazzard premiered on August 5, 2005. It earned over $113 million dollars worldwide, although it was critically panned. A second Dukes of Hazzard film, The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning, a prequel to the original (and the first film) was a TV movie and also went straight to DVD release.
Warner Home Video has released all seven seasons of The Dukes of Hazzard on DVD in regions 1 and 2. The two TV-movies that followed the series were released on DVD in Region 1 on June 10, 2008. In Region 4, Warner has released only the first six season on DVD.
DVD Name Ep # Release dates Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 The Complete 1st Season 13 June 1, 2004 August 15, 2005 August 17, 2005 The Complete 2nd Season 23 January 25, 2005 September 26, 2005 August 17, 2005 The Complete 3rd Season 22 May 31, 2005 November 21, 2005 March 1, 2006 The Complete 4th Season 26 August 2, 2005 February 13, 2006 March 1, 2006 The Complete 5th Season 22 December 13, 2005 April 10, 2006 August 9, 2006 The Complete 6th Season 22 May 30, 2006 July 24, 2006 August 9, 2006 The Complete 7th Season 17 December 5, 2006 September 22, 2008 N/A Two Movie Collection 2 June 10, 2008 N/A N/A
Legacy and influence in popular culture
A huge hit when it originally aired, in the decades since The Dukes of Hazzard has remained as something of a staple in popular culture, in both the US and overseas. Character names such as "Boss Hogg" and various other elements from the series are still well recognised and often referenced in daily conversation. Getting into a car "Dukes of Hazzard style" is a recognised term for entering a car through the windows, and "Daisy Dukes" is a recognised term for very short jeans.
The series has been referenced in many modern shows, including, amongst many others, The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Martians stop to watch the The Dukes of Hazzard in midst of invading Earth in the 1996 movie Mars Attacks!.
The series is also held up by many for being a wholesome family show with strong morals, something that is championed by its various stars, including Ben Jones (Cooter) and John Schneider (Bo).
In 2005, Tom Wopat and John Schneider were reunited during "Exposed", a fifth season episode of the Superman-inspired television series Smallville. Wopat guest-starred as Kansas State Senator Jack Jennings, an old friend of Clark Kent's adoptive father Jonathan Kent (portrayed by Schneider). In the episode, Jennings drives a 1968 Dodge Charger—the same body style as The General Lee which was a 1969 Dodge Charger.
- ^ a b Hofstede, David (1998). The Dukes Of Hazzard — The Unofficial Companion. Renaissance Books. p. 96.
- ^ Hofstede, David (1998). The Dukes Of Hazzard — The Unofficial Companion. Renaissance Books. p. 92.
- ^ The Dukes Of Hazzard — The Complete Fourth Season (The Dukes Story: Building the Legend extra). Warner Brothers.
- ^ Hofstede, David (1998). The Dukes Of Hazzard — The Unofficial Companion. Renaissance Books. p. 97.
- ^ Hofstede, David (1998). The Dukes Of Hazzard — The Unofficial Companion. Renaissance Books. p. 249.
- ^ Hofstede, David (1998). The Dukes Of Hazzard — The Unofficial Companion. Renaissance Books. p. 86.
- ^ Hofstede, David (1998). The Dukes Of Hazzard — The Unofficial Companion. Renaissance Books. p. 100.
- ^ "1974 AMC Matador in "The Dukes of Hazzard, 1979–1985"". IMCDb. http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_16856-AMC-Matador-1978.html. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- ^ "1970 Dodge Polara in "The Dukes of Hazzard, 1979–1985"". IMCDb. http://imcdb.org/vehicle_15914-Dodge-Polara-1970.html. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- ^ "1975 Dodge Monaco in "The Dukes of Hazzard, 1979–1985"". IMCDb. http://imcdb.org/vehicle_15916-Dodge-Monaco-1975.html. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "1977 Dodge Monaco in "The Dukes of Hazzard, 1979-1985"". IMCDb.org. http://imcdb.org/vehicle_14437-Dodge-Monaco-1977.html. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "1977 Plymouth Fury in "The Dukes of Hazzard, 1979-1985"". IMCDb.org. http://imcdb.org/vehicle_4847-Plymouth-Fury-1978.html. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "1974 Plymouth Roadrunner — White — Front Angle". Seriouswheels.com. http://seriouswheels.com/1970-1979/1974-Plymouth-Roadrunner-White-FA.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ 03:24 PM (2006-07-18). "jesse's truck - HazzardNet Gallery". Hazzardnet.com. http://hazzardnet.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=623. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "Dukes of Hazzard". Atlanta Time Machine. http://www.atlantatimemachine.com/dukes/intro.htm. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- ^ Hensley, Steve (2009-09-17). "A look back at the 1981 Black Gold Festival". WYMT-TV. http://www.wkyt.com/wymtnews/headlines/59675622.html. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 hits (8 ed.). Billboard Books. p. 321. ISBN 0-8230-7499-4.
- ^ "TV Ratings > 1970s". ClassicTVHits.com. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1979.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "TV Ratings > 1970s". ClassicTVHits.com. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1979.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1980.htm
- ^ "TV Ratings > 1980s". ClassicTVHits.com. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1980.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1981.htm
- ^ "TV Ratings > 1980s". ClassicTVHits.com. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1981.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "TV Ratings > 1980s". ClassicTVHits.com. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1982.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "TV Ratings > 1980s". ClassicTVHits.com. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1983.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "TV Ratings > 1980s". ClassicTVHits.com. http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/1984.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "The Dukes of Hazzard DVD news: Announcement for The Dukes of Hazzard - 2 TV Movie Collection". TVShowsOnDVD.com. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Dukes-Hazzard-2-TV-Movie-Collection/9038. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- ^ "Exposed". Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson (writers); Jeannot Szwarc (director). Smallville. The WB. November 3, 2005. No. 6, season 5.
- ^ Sloan, Sam (November 3, 2005). "'The Dukes' of Smallville are on Tonight". Slice of SciFi. http://www.sliceofscifi.com/2005/11/03/the-dukes-of-smallville-are-on-tonight/. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
In saints row: the third there is a trophy called Bo-duken which the player can unlock by hijacking a certain amount of cars dukes style.
- Best in Hollywood: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful, by James Best with Jim Clark. Albany, 2009. BearManor Media. ISBN # 1-59393-460-2.
- Redneck Boy in the Promised Land: The Confessions of "Crazy Cooter", by Ben "Cooter" Jones, 2008. Crown. ISBN # 0307395278
- The Dukes of Hazzard - The Unofficial Companion, by David Hofstede, forward by Catherine Bach. 1998. Renaissance Books. ISBN # 1-58063-038-3
- Dukes of Hazzard Official site
- Dukes of Hazzard at the Internet Movie Database
- The Dukes of Hazzard at TV.com
- Dukes of Hazzard Information & Hazzard County Car Club
- The Dukes of Hazzard at CMT.com
- Dukes Online
- Dukes of Hazzard horn
- Dutch Dukes of Hazzard website
- "The Dukes of Hazzard, Television's Simple South, and Resurrecting the Outlaw Hero" — An academic analysis of The Dukes of Hazzard
- Dukes of Hazzard DVD website
The Dukes of Hazzard Characters Cast Spin-offs Other
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