‘Dukes of Hazzard’: John Schneider Called Willie Nelson’s Portrayal of Uncle Jesse in 2005 Film a ‘Disgrace’

by Charles Craighill

Back at the Salt Lake City Comic Con celebration in 2016, the original cast members of the 1980’s television show Dukes of Hazzard had a reunion panel. At this reunion, John Schneider, Tom Wopat, and Catherine Bach recalled their time on the show between 1979 and 1985. Everyone had fond memories, however, the whole cast had harsh opinions of the 2005 remake.

“I didn’t watch it because I told people it would be like watching my ex-wife go on a date,” Tom Wopat said of the Dukes of Hazzard 2005 film. “I think they missed the point of what we did. Ours was a Robin Hood kind of thing, and that was a slacker movie. For those guys, there were no higher motives to anything they were doing.”

Catherine Bach, however, decided to take the high road and say “it’s an honor when someone tries to copy you,” she said in defense of the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard film featuring Johnny Knoxville, Sean William-Scott, and Willie Nelson. “Maybe it didn’t turn out the same way it would have if we did it,” she admitted.

John Schneider Tears Apart 2005 Dukes of Hazzard Movie

John Schneider on the other hand was not so nice.

“I think it would have had to get considerably better to suck,” he said of the reboot.

The film featured the Jackass star, Johnny Knoxville, and funny-man Sean William-Scott of the American Pie movies.

“That was just watching Jackass in an orange car,” Schneider joked.

His biggest issue with the film, however, was Willie Nelson’s portrayal of Uncle Jesse. Denver Pyle played Uncle Jesse in the original series. “I love Willie Nelson, always have loved Willie Nelson, but the way he, Willie Nelson, depicted Uncle Jesse, especially with the pot-smoking, was I think a disgrace to Denver Pyle’s depiction of Uncle Jesse.”

To be fair, Schneider did say that Willie Nelson’s performance in the Dukes of Hazzard 2005 remake wasn’t his fault. He also followed up with a hilarious impersonation of Willie in the film.

Most fans would agree that the remake couldn’t hold a finger to the original series, however, it was somewhat financially successful, making over $109 million.