My Two Cents: Chatting with Tom Wopat, of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ fame
Welcome to the 19th episode of “My Two Cents” with comedian Bill Engvall, the show designed to make you laugh and think! Scroll to the bottom to listen to this week’s episode.
Guest: Tom Wopat, Luke Duke from the original ‘Dukes of Hazzard’
We go behind the scenes back to the good ol’ days of Hollywood on this week’s episode, as Bill is joined by Tom Wopat, who played Luke Duke in the original “Duke’s of Hazzard.” Among other things, the two chat about what it’s like rising to fame for a specific schtick. Bill, who is now asked to do “Here’s Your Sign” wherever he goes, recalled a tale he was told by George Lindsey, who rose to fame playing Gomer Pyle’s brother Goober on the “Andy Griffith Show.” The Shakespearean-trained actor once told Bill he wished he never took the part, saying it pigeonholed him for the rest of his career. “I thought it would be a one-time role,” he said. “Instead, I spent the rest of my life at auditions doing ‘Judy, Judy, Judy’ for people.”
Tom recalled a similar experience, saying the original order for “Dukes of Hazard” from Warner Brothers was a mere five episodes, as the show was just supposed to be a midseason replacement. So he flew to Georgia from New York, where he was doing an off-Broadway version of Oklahoma, and ended up getting the part of Luke. “I thought I’d fly in, shoot a few episodes, then move back to New York and get a nicer apartment.” Instead, America fell in love with the Duke boys, and the rest is history.
These days, Tom is back to being a Renaissance Man, having recently sang with the Spokane Symphony in Eastern Washington, being in the process of shooting a movie in Madison, Wisconsin and preparing to bring things full circle at a gig in Gulfport, Mississippi with his old co-star John Schneider, who played Bo Duke.
And speaking of Facebook and Twitter, today’s rant centers on social media, as Bill is just about at his wit’s end. In particular, Bill recalls the guy who dogged him week-after-week when he was on “Dancing with the Stars” — with the critic’s main complaint being that Bill was personally responsible for getting all the good celebrity dancers kicked off the show.
Bill also wonders “when did the friend of mine who’d drop his gum in the toilet, pick it out and eat it become a political genius?” Mind you, this is the same friend who changed the auto-correct settings on Bill’s phone so that each time he typed the pronoun “I,” it would auto-correct to “Big Billy.” So if Bill texted, “Can I stop by your house” the text would read “Can Big Billy stop by your house?”
So of course, Bill learned how to change this friend’s auto signature on texts to “while sitting on the toilet.”
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