Catching up With the Dukes
Above: Tube Talk Girl and John Schneider
by Jennifer Squires Biller
Tube Talk is the place for complete coverage of DukesFest and catching up with the cast of The Dukes of Hazzard. I chased down the actors for some one-on-one interviews, and braved rain, 90-degree heat and frizzy, humidity hair to bring you the scoop. Hey, there's nothing I won't do for you, my TV-loving peeps. After chatting with the Dukes, it’s easy to see why these folks are still beloved by fans 27 years later. Enjoy.
What he’s been up to: Still active in film, television and country music. Wrote, directing and starring in the movie Collier and Company for release in October. He describes the film as “what The Dukes of Hazzard movie should have been.” He just finished a five-year gig portraying Jonathan Kent, father of the future Superman, on the TV series Smallville. He’s kept busy through the years acting on shows such as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, JAG, King of the Hill and Heaven Help Us. He also had a successful career in country music with hits such as I’ve Been Around Long Enough to Know.
Fun facts: According to Ben Jones (Cooter), “John was the best driver. He was also the best—and still is— at jumping in the window of the car.” Despite being from New York, he auditioned for the role of Bo Duke, pretending he was a genuine country boy. He had a week’s growth of beard and held a beer can, claiming he was from Snellville, Georgia.
Web site: http://www.johnschneider.tv/
below: Tube Talk Girl interviews John Schneider
Jennifer: Hi John. I’m Jennifer Biller with Tube Talk.
John: Hi Jennifer! Yeah, I remember you from up there.
Jennifer: I was devastated when they killed your character on Smallville, and so were my readers. I received a ton of mail after that episode aired. Is there any hope for Jonathan Kent? Will we get to see you again in Smallville?”
John: (Giving me a sad smile) As far as I know, no. Not next year. I did a couple of other ones (after the death episode,) but they’ve already aired.
Jennifer: I had so much mail after that episode. Fans were so disappointed.
John: I understand the need for it, because for the boy to become the man he has to fill the void left by the passing of his father. I understand that. I think it was premature.
Jennifer: So do I, and so do my readers.
John: It was important to do something on the 100th episode.
Jennifer: But why did they have to kill you? (Schneider grins and seems to sympathize with my mourning of Jonathan Kent.)
John: I don’t know. Perhaps people could make a change. But, contractually I’m done. It’s entirely up to them.
Jennifer: You should know that your fans were truly upset. You will be missed. Seriously, my mailbox was overflowing with people wanting to know why.
John: Thank you. I appreciate that. And also it could be that I am Jonathan Kent. I do not hide my opinions, and there are a lot of people that can’t handle that.
Jennifer: Maybe they blame you for Lex turning bad.
John: (Laughter) That’s good. I like that!
Jennifer: Thanks John.
John: Thank you!
Below: Tube Talk Girl chats with Tom Wopat
What he’s been up to: Working on Broadway, film, television and music. He was nominated for a Tony in 1999 for his work in Annie Get Your Gun, opposite Bernadette Peters. He’s starred in Cybil, Home Improvement and All My Children. Still singing and acting.
Fun facts: According to Ben Jones (Cooter), “Tom Wopat was the best athlete on our show.” He beat out Dennis Quaid and Gerald McRaney for the role of Luke Duke. Wopat was also a Broadway actor, before his stint as Luke Duke.
Web site: http://www.tomwopat.com/
Jennifer: Hey Tom.
Jennifer: Will you be back on Broadway?
Tom: I expect. If they’ll have me. You never know. It’s one of those that they come and they come.
Jennifer: What projects are you currently working on?
Tom: I’m actually going to be singing June 28 with Dr. John in lower Manhattan Rockefeller Park, and then I’m doing a reading of the new Carole King musical in a couple of weeks. And what else? Oh, I’m working on a new record.
Jennifer: Do you know the drop date?
Tom: Probably the first of the year.
Jennifer: OK, thanks for taking time to talk.
Tom: Thank you!
Below: Tube Talk Girl and Daisy Duke mug for the camera.
What she’s been up to: Launching her own clothing line, working in film and television and raising her daughters. She starred in the 1991 TV series African Skies.
Fun facts: Hand-made many of the costumes she wore as Daisy Duke particularly those seen in early episodes, including tops, her famous 'Daisy Duke' cut-off jeans and the red bikini seen during the first episode that was immortalized in the opening credits.
Web site: http://www.catherinebach.com/
Jennifer: Hi Catherine.
Catherine: Hey there.
Jennifer: The one question everyone wants to know is how uncomfortable were those Daisy Dukes?
Catherine: You know they weren’t.
Jennifer: Were they spandex?
Catherine: Some were spandex. I made my own shorts in the beginning.
Jennifer: You are still making clothes. Tell us about your new line.
Catherine: The fit is the most important thing. I’m wearing my very first skirt and a shirt and a belt I’m doing for everyone who watched the show. These are prototypes. The skirt has a little bit of Lycra in it and it holds you in a little bit.
Jennifer: Where can folks purchase your clothes?
Catherine: The clothes, at the moment, are going to be at http://www.catherinebach.com/, but I’m in talks right now with different companies but just refer people to my web site.”
Jennifer: Thanks Catherine. It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Catherine: Thank you.
Below: Tube Talk Girl gets personal with the General Lee.
What he’s been up to: Burning rubber, jumping cars, making personal appearances and enjoying syndication on CMT.
Fun facts: The Dukes of Hazzard stunt team went through over 200 'General Lee' cars during the show’s run. During the show's entire run, only one episode was filmed without The General Lee playing a part.
Web site: http://www.generalleefanclub.com/
Jennifer: What is your best memory of Hazzard County?
General: Daisy Duke sliding in and out of my window.
Jennifer: A lot of your fans have duplicated your look throughout the years. In fact, more than 100 General Lee look-a-likes participated in DukesFest this year. Are you at all threatened that there are so many imposters?
General: No. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And I always say you can never have too many fast, orange Chargers on the road.
Jennifer: Do you have a favorite song?
General: I’m partial to Dixie or anything by Waylon Jennings.
Jennifer: What do you miss most about Hazzard?
General: Well, I’d have to say hanging out at the garage with Cooter and the boys and “fightin’ the system like a true modern-day Robin Hood.”
Jennifer: Well put, General. Well put.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Catching up With the Dukes