Here’s a pretty cool compilation for all you sons and daughters of baby boomers who were their kids in the late 1970s and early 1980s! If you were a hair above a little tyke back then who used to stay home on Friday nights like I did when I was just turning the corner into my teenage hood, then it’s a sure bet you couldn’t wait for the latest episode of The Dukes of Hazzard, the hit CBS show that took the adventures and escapades of two “good ol’ boys” and brought them into the homes of millions.
A person by the name of Treva Graham has made a compilation of every jump of the “The General Lee” during Seasons 1 through 6. The famous vehicle, a 1969 Dodge Charger, was like its own character on the program, which originally ran on the air from 1979 to 1985. Check out the video here below.
Each week, stars John Schneider (who many of you now know as Clark Kent’s father Jonathan on Smallville) and Tom Wopat, who played Bo and Luke Duke respectively, would run from the corrupt commissioner Jefferson Davis “Boss” Hogg (Sorrell Booke), and his sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (James Best) and deputy Enos (Sonny Shroyer), who gave ineptitude a new name. Set in the fictional Hazzard County, and employing rural settings and narratives, The Dukes of Hazzard surprised everyone in its first season, making the top ten in Nielsen ratings for the year. The following year, the show rose to even greater heights as it was the second top show in the country. A blitz of marketing products and merchandise from the show made the producers, licensors and manufactures a fortune. The show hung on for a few years after, and producers ultimately made the fatal gaffe of replacing the two leads with other actors near the end of the show’s run, finally petering out in 1985.
The show had a decent life in syndication afterwards, but is still remembered today as a pop culture artifact of its time, a mindless, brainless, action-packed popcorn TV hour which appealed to young viewers and was gleefully politically incorrect for its time. After all, it’s two original protagonists in Bo and Luke were men who had been convicted of moonshine running and were on probation due to a plea deal arranged by their “Uncle Jesse” (Denver Pyle); they drove recklessly, used bows and arrows because part of that plea deal revoked their gun licenses; their sister, Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach), wore the shortest cut off shorts in arguably television history, no doubt making the CBS censors nervous each week, but catapulted the actress who played her into sex symbol status.
But clearly, the real star of the show was the General Lee. The main focal point of each episode was a chase, and the General Lee delivered up to that task and then some, leaping over grassy hills and up and down ramp like diversions whilst in chase mode, and performed some spectacular Evil Knievel-style stunts each and every episode. The stunt drivers had a field day. The producers, however, had to scramble in the pre-internet world back then to secure 1969 Dodge Chargers for each episode, and somehow, they always succeeded. Now, thanks to this fine compilation below, you can relive each and every jump and hard down to earth bang and bump and physical scuffle the General Lee suffered through the episodes. It’s well noted that every General Lee suffered some vehicular damage each and every take of a jump.
Also, we’ve included another fun gem below — John Schneider and Tom Wopats original screen tests for The Dukes of Hazzard. It’s real low budget, but you can clearly see the chemistry with the two even here in this ancient clip from 1978. And if you listen closely, you can hear the voiceover guy on the screen test before the clapboard is struck for the second scene, mispronouncing John Schneider’s name. A rare piece of pop culture indeed!