Sheriff Rosco Coltrane of Hazzard County figures to use illegal slot machines to fund his reelection. But when cousins Bo and Luke Duke steal them with the help of their pretty cousin Daisy, they give them to the civic organizations and take the proceeds and donate them to the orphanage. Rosco figures to nail the boys and Daisy for stealing the slots, until he learns that the donations to the orphanage were made in his name, thus securing his reelection.
“Welcome, to Hazzard County.” And what a welcome! Balladeer Waylon Jennings made it clear that things were done different in Hazzard, and he wasn’t kidding. The episode opens with a patrol car flying into the air, followed by the General Lee. At the end of the chase we find out it’s Cooter Davenport who took the Sheriff’s car “because he impounded mine. Thought it was only fair to take his.”
This, the first of the five episodes filmed in Covington, Georgia, introduced us to the Duke family, Jesse, Bo, Luke and Daisy, Boss Jefferson Davis Hogg, Sheriff Rosco Coltrane, Deputy Enos Strate and town mechanic Cooter Davenport, and of course The General Lee, characters who would remain with the show through out it’s entire 7 year run. However, the family oriented tone had not been established yet. In fact, the first episode was quite risqué in some aspects. Bo’s comment to Daisy about if they weren’t cousins, he’d marry her. To which she replied, “That never stopped anybody in this family before!” certainly would raise an eyebrow or two. Rosco called Enos “jackass” and said “Damn!” as freely as he would later say “Judas Priest on a Pony!” Another scene shows Jill, the young girl Bo has taken an interest in, visiting the farm in her quest to get donations for the orphanage. Luke shows no interest in helping out the cause, to which Bo says, “What do you mean nope? It’s your civic duty. Why, atleast two of them kids at that orphanage could be yours.”
Many new fans to the show, who never saw the original run of the series, have to make due with the ‘chopped’ episodes as they run on TNN. Several scenes are cut from this pilot (and plenty other episodes to make room for more commercials) enough that watching the TNN version, it doesn’t make any sense! By watching the TNN version all we know is that Rosco brings in the slots, thinking he’s going to fund his reelection. The boys steal them, give them to the civic clubs and all and take 30% of the proceeds, which they turn around and give to the orphanage. Sure, you figure “Okay, they’re messin’ up Rosco’s chance for reelection.” Well, not quite, the donations are done in Rosco’s name (which wins him a lot of brownie points with the voting public. So much so, he gets reelected). Boss has a fit because the slot machines were really his and he wanted the orphage shut down so he could put in a shopping center! Thus, the Dukes spoil Boss’s plan.
–The red Ford Torino that Cooter drives in the race through the junk yard looks a lot like the Starsky and Hutch car don’t it?
–Pay attention to the chase scene through town near the end of the episode. There’s another orange Dodge Charger parked in front of one of the stores. No ‘01’ on the door but some of the early publicity shots for the show showed a General with no ‘01’ on the door. Perhaps this was it?
–Yes, Sorrell Booke really ate that raw liver. Blech!!
–Daisy’s red bikini, along with the first pair of daisy dukes were sewn by Catherine Bach.
–synopsis by MaryAnne (with info from The Dukes of Hazzard Unofficial Companion). Vidcaps by Hoss.
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