Friday, June 7, 2013

Season 1, Episode 1: "One Armed Bandits" -- Originally aired 01-26-1979

In which we are introduced to the Dukes, the law, and brewing illegal alcohol for profit is less objectionable than gambling...

Welcome to Hazzard County, says the narrator (Waylon Jennings, credited here and ever after as The Balladeer.) He introduces us to Luke and Bo Duke (Tom Wopat and John Schneider), who are cousins, and claims that they fight the system.

Luke (left) and Bo Duke.
 All that is gleaned from them at this point is that they tool around in their car and bicker like an old married couple. Luke says Bo drives as well as “my fanny whips apple butter.” So, either really badly, or incredibly well, depending on the culinary skills of said butt. I don’t know that I’d want to eat it, no matter how expertly it was prepared. Sorry, Luke’s ass.
I'll pass, thanks.

Cooter (Ben Jones), the Dukes’ friend and the local mechanic, tells the boys that the sheriff is bringing in a load of illegal slot machines. We are then introduced to the Sheriff, Rosco Coltrane (James Best), a veteran lawman who’s up for reelection. He goes into the local watering hole, known as the Boar’s Nest, to see the County Commissioner, Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke). Boss is eating raw liver and drinking coffee, which is the most revolting food combo I’ve ever heard of (“At least he don’t dunk it,” says the Balladeer. True that, Waylon.)

Next, we meet Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle) at the Duke farm. A knock on the door reveals a girl named Jill Dodson (Tisch Ray), who’s returned to Hazzard to save her the local orphanage, which is also her childhood home.  Bo gets a huge boner for her and volunteers both Luke and himself to help. Luke’s all like “Fuck you, I don’t care about you or your stupid orphanage.”  Bo points out that two of the kids (AT LEAST!) who live at said orphanage might be the result of Luke’s various one-night stands. Appropriately shamed, Luke agrees to help.

Bo and Luke arrive at the Boar’s Nest, where their cousin Daisy works as a waitress/eye candy. She is sexually harassed by Mr. Belding from Saved By the Bell (seriously!), who has a giant 70’s mustache. Daisy reveals that Mr. Belding is the one that’s arranging for the slot machines to be brought in, on a fertilizer truck, later in the day. The boys decide to hijack the slot machines off the truck (which they seem to think is hilarious), and recruit Cooter and a couple more of their friends to help.
"Hey, hey, hey, HEY, HEY! What is going on here?"

The guys all set up check points at various roads and the first to see the truck will let the others know. This is great plan, except I bet there are more than four roads in Hazzard County. Cooter spots the truck, radios Bo and Luke, who tell Daisy. You don’t know she’s helping until she’s standing in the  middle of the road in a bikini. In November. With a basket full of chitlin sandwiches.” Despite the obvious red flag, the truck drivers fall for this ploy, and Bo and Luke steal the truck.
I'm pretty sure I've seen a porn that starts like this.
Bo and Luke hide the slot machines in the chicken coop back at the farm, and Uncle Jesse finds them. He is PISSED.The boys seem surprised that Jesse found the slot machines, even though they did a really shitty job of hiding them; they’re just nestled among the chickens. Maybe they figured he wouldn’t notice, or that they could pass them off as some sort of robot chickens?  
"I'll lay my eggs later! I'm on a hot streak!"
Jesse then goes off on this awesome rant about how brewing and selling alcohol illegally was a family tradition, so it was okay. Bo tries to call bullshit on that, but Jesse firmly states that since they paid taxes on the corn, it was fine, but gambling is a vice, and thus cannot be taxed . He tells them to get the slot machines the fuck off his property, saying “I don’t want to see nothing but hind ends and elbows as you boys are loading them there machines onto that there truckcha!” He’s not really saying “truckcha!” which is not a word, but it certainly sounds like what he said. When I first saw this episode with my brother, we thought it was pretty fucking hilarious, and so, to this day, we will occasionally yell “TRUCKCHA!” at each other. It wasn’t until I bought the DVD set of the first season that I found out Jesse is actually saying “truck yonder.” Not nearly as cool or memorable.

Luke says that he's tired of always having to get Bo out of trouble, and Bo, rather than trying to help, waits for Luke to come up with a solution yet again. This is why Luke was the cooler cousin; he got shit done. Luke convinces Jesse to let them donate the slots to charity.They do so, taking 30% of the profits brought in. Bo takes that money and gives it to Jill at the orphanage. Jill asks where all the money is coming from and why the fuck it’s all in quarters, and he says it's coming from an anonymous source.

Rosco takes the two truck drivers from earlier on a stakeout at the Boar's Nest where they confirm Daisy was the woman in the bikini. Rosco tries to arrest her. She kicks him in the butt and steals his car, driving around the parking lot instead of leaving, like any sane person would do. Rosco commandeers a truck in the parking lot and gives chase, eventually crashing into the police car. The only black guy we know of in Hazzard County is hanging out in the back of this truck and cuts loose a piano that's in there, just to cause trouble, I guess? It doesn't do anything except make a mess. Daisy is finally arrested after trying to run the Indy 500 in a barbecue joint’s parking lot. Bo and Luke get her out with the help of a blowup doll, and Uncle Jesse in drag, and they are somehow not all arrested for breaking a prisoner out of jail.

"I'm every woman, it's all in meeee!"
The boys let slip to Enos that they're going to pick up some broken slot machines for repairs. The General Lee jumps over some stuff, the cops continue to chase them, until they are led to a stop at the orphanage. It turns out that Bo and Luke had been donating that 30% to the orphanage fund in Rosco's name, and there's a big party to thank him. All this goodwill helps Rosco get reelected, and the Dukes are unsung heroes.
Boss Hogg looks so upset!
That’s the first episode, folks! Hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back again next Friday for episode two!

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