Most fans remember a few key things about The Dukes of Hazzard. There’s the theme song by outlaw country legend Waylon Jennings. Then there are cousin Daisy’s shorts. She started a trend that endures to this day. Above all else, there is the General Lee and the epic way that the Duke boys got in and out of souped-up Charger. Countless people have attempted the iconic hood slide maneuver. There’s a solid chance that if you watched the Dukes growing up, you’ve tried it. You may have also dented the hood of your car. After all, it’s not an easy thing to pull off. However, the Dukes make it look easy.
It would be safe to assume that sliding across the hood of the General Lee was something that Dukes of Hazzard stunt coordinators cooked up behind the scenes. You could almost imagine John Schneider and Tom Wopat practicing the move over and over again to get it right for the show. However, you’d be wrong.
In fact, the original hood slide was a complete accident. On top of that, one Dukes of Hazzard star injured himself while doing it.
A Goof on the Dukes of Hazzard Set Becomes an Iconic Part of the Show
The first hood slide happened on the second episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. So, that’s why it was able to become an integral part of the series. Watch the video below to see Tom Wopat making history.
That slide has inspired countless people to try to get into their car Dukes of Hazzard style. Action movie stars and everyday folks alike have tried the hood slide with varying degrees of success. However, Tom Wopat was trying to do something else entirely.
According to Autos 101, Wopat was attempting to jump over the hood. However, he botched the jump. His foot got caught on the way over. So, he ended up making history instead. He actually hit the antenna of the car on his way over and injured himself. Watch the video again after knowing that. You can actually see where Wopat loses his footing. Listen closely and you’ll hear a grunt of pain as he hits the antenna.
Instead of doing another take, the Dukes of Hazzard team decided that the slide looked so cool they would keep it in. Then, they worked it into the rest of the show. However, they removed the antennas from the General Lee after the first slide.