‘Dukes of Hazzard,’ star Tom Wopat talks Nickel City Comic Con

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As Nickel City Comic Con gets underway for the weekend at the Buffalo Convention Center, “Dukes of Hazzard” star Tom Wopat spoke with WIVB about the show, his experiences with fans and “Upstate NY’s Largest Pop Culture and Comic Book Convention.”

The “Dukes of Hazzard” cast — Tom Wopat, John Schneider and Catherine Bach (Luke, Bo, and Daisy) — will be reuniting at the convention this weekend.

‘American Pie’ star Thomas Ian Nicholas discusses Comic Con, film’s 25th anniversary

Wopat talked about meeting with fans and how fans of “Dukes” in particular are always very respectful. He said he couldn’t speak more highly of the fans.

“I love interacting with the fans, especially young fans,” Wopat said. “The youngsters are the most fun, always. They’re so accepting of the characters that we played and I can tease them and we fist bump and it’s all about making them as comfortable as they can be around this bunch of people they’ve been watching their whole lives.”

Part of what made the show more accessible to kids was the change in tone after the first five episodes, making the show family-friendly than the grittier, more adult opening to the show.

“It was all geared toward having a good time and making sure the audience had a good time,” Wopat said. “With me and John and Cathy and Denver [Pyle], you had that concentrated family group, that central bunch of characters — there’s just a good feeling about it. It’s family entertainment, there’s no sex, there’s no blood, there’s no cussing. It’s pretty family-friendly.”

He said it never ceases to amaze him when three or four generations of “Dukes” fans come to a table at an event.

Though the cast mostly sees each other at comic cons and similar events nowadays, Wopat said they’ll always be the Dukes.

“John, I consider him one of my best friends, and it’ll be great to see him and Cathy,” he said. “We all get along well and it’s always a joy to see each other.”

Unlike the hordes of fans who will be getting merchandise, props and more signed this weekend, Wopat said he doesn’t own much from the set of the show. He did have an oil painting someone made for the cast as a thank you, but he gave it to Ben Jones’ wife Alma. Jones played Cooter in “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Cooter’s Place — the “Dukes” museum in Nashville — is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

As far as the show goes, Wopat credited his stage career for his development of the Luke Duke character and for his ability to develop relationships with other characters.

Though he was not a fan of the 2005 “Dukes” movie remake per se, he was not entirely opposed to another re-imagination of the franchise.

“I think the only thing that would have real value would be to include a couple of us like they did in the reboot of Star Trek with Leonard Nimoy,” he said. “If they wanted to use me and John as a couple of old, recluse uncles who are still drinking moonshine and would help out in an adventure, that would be one thing. As far as being the central characters to a story, I find that pretty far-fetched.”

As for what he’s working on now, Wopat began a career in music in the years following “Dukes.” In 2014, he and Schneider put together a Christmas album, “Home for Christmas,” which was produced by Wopat. His latest release, “Simple Man,” came out in 2022.

“I’m very proud of [‘Simple Man’],” he said. “It’s a bunch of songs I’d been doing for a while with the band and we never recorded them, so I brought the band in the studio and we rehearsed for a couple days and then we laid down all the tracks in two days. It was so much fun.”

He spoke to the talent of his band and his music director, and said he plans to release more music later this year.

Tickets to Nickel City Comic Con are available at the door all three days and “The Dukes of Hazzard” cast will be appearing at the convention on Saturday.

Adam Duke is a digital contributor who joined the News 4 team in 2021. See more of his work here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *