Fun Flashback Friday: The debut of CBS’ ‘Dukes of Hazzard’

Never meanin’ no harm, those good ‘ole boys known as “The Dukes of Hazzard” began fighting the system on Friday, January 26, 1979.  Based on the 1975 film “Moonrunners”, the series was created by the film’s writer/director Gy Waldron.

For seven seasons, fans tuned in to see “One-Armed Bandits” Bo (John Schneider) and Luke (Tom Wopat) Duke as a two modern-day Robin Hood against greedy Hazzard County commissioner Jefferson Davis ‘J.D.’ Hogg (Sorrell Booke), who is forever trying to get his grubby fat hands on their family farm as well as trying to pin every shady thing he has ever done on them.  Not only that, those Duke boys are also trying to avoid the “speed traps” of corrupt yet bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best), who is forever in “hot pursuit” of cuffing and stuffing them.  But, as always, the Duke boys are too fast and too furious thanks to their race car nicknamed “The General Lee”, an orange 1969 Dodge Charger (“01”).

They may be considered to be outlaws in the tradition of Jesse and Frank James, but Bo and Luke Duke are true-blue good-guy outlaws who fight for justice on behalf of those who needs help fighting the establishment of J.D. Hogg.  Aiding Bo and Luke are their sexy cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach), their wise old Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle), and their mechanic friend Cooter Davenport (Ben Jones).

Airing until 1985, “The Dukes of Hazzard” is the precursor to NBC’s “Knight Rider” (1982-86) and “The A-Team” (1983-87), and ABC’s “Hardcastle & McCormick” (1983-86).

The series also spawned a big-screen adaptation that was released in the summer of 2005 with Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville as Bo and Luke, Jessica Simpson as Daisy, and Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse.  The movie also starred TV’s “Wonder Woman” Lynda Carter and Burt Reynolds, aka The Bandit of “Smokey and the Bandit” films, as Boss Hogg.  The film, which can be found on Netflix, is everything you ever love about the original series, for the plot is classic “Dukes”: Boss Hogg schemes to take the Duke farm in order to make way for strip mining in Hazzard.

“The Dukes of Hazzard” continues to show that the good guys will always win in the end.




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