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|Dukes of Hazzard character|
Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard
|Portrayed by||John Schneider - 1979|
|Relatives||Daisy Duke (cousin)
Luke Duke (cousin)
Beauregard "Bo" Duke is a fictional character in the American television series The Dukes of Hazzard, which ran from 1979 to 1985. He was played by John Schneider. The name of Beauregard may have been chosen after the famous Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard.
Bo and his cousin Luke Duke (Tom Wopat) live in an unincorporated area of the fictional Hazzard County, in Georgia. Bo and Luke own a 1969 Dodge Charger, named The General Lee, which is painted orange, with the Confederate flag on top, and 01 painted on the sides with the name "General Lee" inscribed above the doors that were welded shut for safety. Bo and Luke evade the corrupt officials of Hazzard County, Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane and usually end up putting an end to Hogg's latest crooked scheme.
The Dukes (including cousin Daisy Duke and Uncle Jesse Duke) were well known for their role in the moonshine business among other interests. Bo and Luke had both been sentenced to probation for illegal transportation of moonshine. As a result, neither was permitted to use firearms, instead preferring to use bow and arrows, which they sometimes tipped with dynamite. The terms of Bo and Luke's probation included staying within the boundaries of Hazzard County (unless given special permission by their Probation Officer, J.D. Hogg).
Bo was the blond, slightly younger of the two Duke boys, and the more impulsive one of the pair. He often reacted to situations on impulse without thinking, sometimes with an "act/speak now, think later" attitude (although his character was seen to mature slightly over the seasons of the show). Although both Duke boys had a knack of landing themselves in trouble, it was more typically Bo's impulsive nature that often got them into various scrapes, and the slightly more mature Luke, the "thinker" of the duo, to find a solution. Bo's eye for the ladies and tendency to fall in love easily, also causes him to sometimes be easily led and affect his judgement and leads to trouble for the Dukes on a number of occasions (most prominently in the feature-length/two-part story "Carnival of Thrills", produced at the end of the second season and broadcast at the start of the third).
The character was nearly always seen wearing the same style of clothes, with a yellow shirt (with a blue t-shirt underneath for the first two seasons and some of third; this t-shirt is brown in the pilot episode), and light blue jeans. The exact hue of the shirt varied across the seasons - early on it was a deeper yellow; mid-run it was more of a cream colour, and late examples saw it being more of a grey tone. The second episode produced and broadcast, "Daisy's Song", is notable for Bo instead wearing a red shirt for much of the story. A sequence in the fifth episode, "High Octane", sees Bo dressed in a light blue shirt, and many early publicity shots see the character dressed in a darker blue denim shirt.
The character of Bo was best known for his rebel yell exclamation of the catchphrase, "Yee-Haa!"; cousin Luke sometimes also performed such a yell, but on a less regular basis. (Actor Tom Wopat had trouble mastering the high-pitched yell early on, and on the opening credits and many examples within the episodes, it is actually a recording of John Schneider's version used twice to represent both Duke boys' yell).
Most of the time, it was Bo who drove The General Lee, while his cousin Luke rode shotgun (although these roles were swapped more regularly in later seasons); very early episodes suggested that the General belonged solely to Bo (Luke is said to have had a car that was wrecked very shortly before the start of the first episode, "One Armed Bandits"), but by mid-first season, it was more implied that both Bo and Luke owned the General Lee evenly between them.
Bo was an ex-stock car driver, and he was typically the one known for taking the General off most of its legendary jumps. Because its doors were welded shut, Bo and Luke always had to climb in and out of the car through the windows. Actors John Schneider and Tom Wopat have admitted that, on occasions that the roles were reversed and Luke drove, they found it much more difficult to climb in and out of the opposite window to which they were accustomed.
Bo later left Hazzard County, along with his cousin Luke, to join the NASCAR circuit (coinciding with Schneider's and Wopat's decision to walk out of the show during the fifth season over a dispute over royalties owed), although how they managed to do this with the probation conditions in place, was never revealed; Bo's cousin Coy (Byron Cherry), who was very similar in both appearance and nature to Bo, replaced Bo until he returned to the show a few months later.
According to the 1997 Reunion movie, Bo left Hazzard again to pursue a successful NASCAR career, this time without Luke. Shortly before his return to Hazzard, he crashed his car, and is still in Hazzard in the 2000 Hazzard in Hollywood film. Although he was a lifelong bachelor, in the 2000 movie he met a woman named Gabrielle (nicknamed Gabby) in Los Angeles, and convinced her to go to Hazzard to be with him.
- Mansour, David (2005). "Dukes of Hazard". From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-7407-9307-3.