Facts You Didn’t Know about The Original Dukes of Hazzard

Published on September 26, 2017
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Fast Cars, Moonshiners and a bunch of wacky adventures- Dukes of Hazzard became a pop-culture icon almost immediately, who’s popularity continued to grow exponentially throughout the years. As kids we dreamed of jumping the General Lee over hay bales and barns, running from the law and just causing a good old ruckus which translated instead into bike jumps, wheelies and lots of skimmed knees and bruises. This piece of our childhood, that ran for 7 seasons, was never meant to go past one season but as we take a look back, we can remember why it was so awesome in the first place and maybe learn some new things you didn’t know about the Duke boys shenanigans.

It Was Based on a Movie

Did you know this epic show was inspired by a second rate movie called Moonrunners? Many of the themes, characters and details made their way from the original concept into the show.

Moonrunners

Moonrunners

Overlooked Backstory

From day one, the boys were saved by Uncle Jesse after being caught running shine in the first few episodes. From here, Jesse had made a deal for the boy’s freedom and agreed not to produce shine anymore. The boy’s arrest conditions stated they couldn’t leave the county or own firearms- but we clearly saw how they made life work just fine!

Bow And Arrow

Bows And Arrows

It Was Just Filler

If you can believe, the Duke boys were originally meant to be a short filler with only 9 episodes.

Filler

Filler

That Wasn’t The Show You Remember

While most of us remember this family humor show to be light on the inappropriateness, the first few episodes actually had Sheriff Coltrane spewing some rather adult themes and profane language.

Inappropriate

Inappropriate

Originally Shot on Location

It wasn’t just Hollywood that made these epic episodes so authentic, the first few episodes were actually shot in the backwoods of Georgia before they moved the show out west.

DHC 98 6A

Georgia Set

It Was Quickly Moved to California

As much as we wanted to say the whole show was shot on location, they moved out west to California to keep costs down. The little town of Hazzard wasn’t the Georgian town we imagined it to be after all.

California Set

California Set

It Was a Different Show After That

After a major overhaul of the show’s content and humor following the move to California, the theme was redirected toward a more family friendly tone.

A Different Show

A Different Show

We Mean REALLY Popular

At one point ranking in the #2 position of national shows, this show skyrocketed it’s way into super popularity.

REALLY Popular

REALLY Popular

Only Two People Appeared in Every Episode

Even though they made for most of the substance in the show, the Duke boys were not in every episode. It was Uncle Jesse and the Hogg that made their appearances in every single episode.

Jesse And Hogg

Jesse And Hogg

Here’s What Happened to the Stars

Being from a bush town in Georgia, the producers just thought up some cousins they could introduce when Bo(John Schneider) and Luke(Tom Wopat) made fusses about money and merch. In season 5, Bo and Luke ‘plan to go off and join NASCAR’, so the producers just brought in carbon copies of the two that hung around for 17 episodes. These unpopular fellows were finally replaced with the original pair after the producers gave in to the stars demands.

Cousins

Cousins

The General Lee

The iconic third member of the team was the General, but little did you know,  the boys originally were scripted to drive a Plymouth, and a Fury of all Plymouths!

The Fury

The Fury

The Real Star of the Show

When we think of The Dukes, it’s fair to say that we remember the iconic vehicle more rather than the guys themselves. In it’s inception, the car from Moonrunners, known as the “Traveler”, was named after the trusty steed of General Lee. The producers wanted to go a step further and name the orange speed demon directly after the General himself.

The Steed

The Steed

There Were a Lot of Crashes

Out of more than 300 Chargers used in the filming, it’s quite sad to say that less than 17 originals remain from the show.

Crashes

Crashes

That’s Because…

Per episode, the show was averaging about two cars completely destroyed or wrecked. Yes, two of these beauties almost every show.

2 Every Episode

2 Every Episode

What About the Horn?

Besides not originally being part of the script, the classic Dixie playing horn was introduced after the producers were filming on set in Georgia and heard a muscle car drive by honking the iconic horn. They chased him down to ask where he got the epic honker.

Chasing The Horn

Chasing The Horn

Things You Didn’t Know About Luke Duke

Besides the epic hood slide he did that was unscripted at first, the show makes gentle references to Luke’s quiet past as a boxer and a Marine.

Boxer And A Marine

Boxer And A Marine

That Slide Was an Accident

We also found out that the hood slide, which Wopat just threw in there, was completely unscripted and resulted in an injury from the car’s antenna.

Hood Slide

Hood Slide

Get to Know Bo

Although we always wondered where the color scheme of the The General came from, there are references to Bo’s past as a stock car driver that give hints to what its design was inspired by.

Bo Stock Car Past

Bo Stock Car Past

Boss’ Many Hats

Seemingly in control of the whole town, Boss Hogg actually held almost 10 positions in the County of Hazzard:
Lawyer
Police Commissioner
County Commissioner
Land Commissioner
Fire Chief
Boar’s Nest owner
Country Store owner
and Justice of the Peace

Boss Hoggs Hats

Boss Hogg’s Hats

Jumping The General

Although it seemed so natural when the General took flight, the stunt managers actually fashioned a steel compartment into the trunk in which they would stuff weights of up to 400 pounds to keep her level while in flight.

The Generals Jumps

The Generals Jumps

We Want Waylon

The iconic voice that narrated our journey through the lives of the Hazzard County residents was actually the same voice as the original inspiration, Waylon Jennings from Moonrunners. Fans were so in love with his raspy, country voice that they finally scripted his appearance into the seventh season.

Waylon Jennings1

Waylon Jennings1

Beware of Speed Traps

No one can forget the Sheriff’s speed traps that oddly seemed to only catch country music stars. The hit list of offenders included names like Freddy Fender, The Oak Ridge Boys, Roy Orbison, Johnny Paycheck and of course, Waylon Jennings who never failed to sing a song or two to get out of their tickets.

SPeed Traps

Speed Traps

Dukes on the Radio

That good old tune that kept us humming along every time actually made it’s way to the top of the country music charts and all the way to #21 on the overall  billboards.

On The Radio

On The Radio

Cooter’s Place

Exactly what we hoped they would’ve built in our neighborhoods, the actor who played Cooter (Ben Jones) later opened up “Cooter’s Place” in Tennessee, a place that embodies the spirit of the show. With go-karting, memorabilia and mini golf, this is the paradise we hoped to eat lunch at one Saturday and practice all the moves we learned from Bo over the years on the track.

Cooters Place

Cooter’s Place

Remembering James Best

Roscoe, no matter how hard you tried to make us not, we loved you. James Best was a pinnacle character the show just wouldn’t have worked without. But this man’s true greatness was barely grazed over by his role. Born in Kentucky and orphaned at the little age of 3, he went on to serve as a B-17 tail gunner in WWII before the series and after, became a professor of drama at the University of Mississippi Oxford. Although Hogg seemed to lead him astray most of the time, his heart remained warm and touched all of us fans in a special way.

James Best

James Best

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