‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Stars Explained What Helped Them Bond

by Josh Lanier

Before they were runnin’ from the law on The Dukes of Hazzard, Tom Wopat and John Schneider were singing a different tune. A lot of show tunes. Both got their start in community theater where they fell in love with performing live music. It’s something they bonded over and has kept them “joined at the hip” for more than 40 years.

Wopat and Schneider were friends before they were Bo and Luke Duke thanks to a chance meeting in a bathroom. The two reminisced about the early days of the show with TV sister Catherine Bach for The Dukes of Hazzard Season 3 DVD.

“I went in to use the restroom, and I saw a pair of boots and a guitar in a case underneath the door,” Schneider recalled.

They were both in Los Angeles for their Dukes of Hazzard auditions, but Schneider had left his guitar at home. So, he spent that week hanging out in Wopat’s hotel room trading stories and singing songs.

“I played Jim Croce, and he’d play John Denver. And I’d play Cat Stevens, and he’d play Harry Chapin. And we just … got along from the very beginning so very well, but we couldn’t be more different in every regard,” he said.

Not much has changed 46 years later.

“He’s been one of my best friends since the moment we met, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon,” Schneider said. “We’re both theater brats. He came from the community theater. So did I. We have a common love of theater, the roar of the crowd, and all that. We’re joined at the hip forever.”

‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Stars Release Album Together

After The Dukes of Hazzard ended in 1985, music became a bigger part of their careers. Tom Wopat was a Broadway star before climbing into the passenger seat of the General Lee. He first appeared on The Great White Way in 1977’s I Love My Wife. He earned a Tony nomination for the revival of Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters.

John Schneider started his solo singing career while still a resident of Hazzard County. He had three top 40 hits in the 80s and has put out a string of country albums since.

But they didn’t work together on a musical project until 2014’s Home for Christmas. The 18-track album includes some familiar Christmas classics and some original tunes. It also some comedy, like their tongue-in-cheek take on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” called “Johnny, It’s Cold Outside.”

“Tom and I really bring out the best in each other,” Schneider told Broadway World. “We may not sound alike when we talk, but when we sing, sometimes you can’t tell us apart. In the studio, I put him first, and he puts me first. If that’s not friendship, I don’t know what is.”