Dukes bring Hazzard County Stunt Show to fairgrounds
Raymond Kohn of Champion has jumped his General Lee at the Detroit Autorama and at fairs and events throughout Ohio and several other states.
The one place his group, the Northeast Ohio Dukes, hadn’t performed its homage to the CBS television series “The Dukes of Hazzard” is at home. That changes Saturday when the Hazzard County Stunt Show comes to the Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Bazetta.
“I get hundreds of emails, ‘When are you going to do something here in Trumbull County?'” he said. “I always wanted to do a show here but the opportunity never really came. So the opportunity came up (this year). I had a meeting with my crew, everybody voted and we decided let’s give it a try at our home base.”
Kohn has rebuilt Dodge Chargers painted orange to look like the General Lee, the car Bo and Luke Duke drove on the series, as well as police cars and other vehicles like the ones seen on the series, which ran from 1979 to 1985.
The stunt show at 6 p.m. Saturday is the main attraction, and Kohn said they’ve created a better audience experience than other shows he’s seen.
“At DukesFest, they make you wait a half hour so they can prep the driver, prep the car,” Kohn said. “The driver goes on his way and hits the ramp, and then you wait longer for the next stunt. What we do is have a whole cast of actors that portray Boss Hogg and Roscoe, Bo and Luke, Uncle Jesse, Daisy, Cooter.
“We do five stunts throughout the show — death defying stunts — then there’s a scripted story that we wrote based around these stunts. It’s like watching a live version of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ … Ours is action-packed. It’s got comedy, it’s got drama, fight scenes, high-energy chases and, of course, the all of the stunts all wrapped up into one show.”
In addition to the locals portraying characters from the show, one of the actors from the original series will be in attendance. Sonny Shroyer played Enos Strate on the “Dukes” and starred in his own spin-off series, “Enos,” which ran for one season. He also has appeared in the films “Forrest Gump” and “The Rainmaker.”
Kohn said he gotten to know Shroyer from other “Dukes” events, and Shroyer has praised the Northeast Ohio Dukes for being able to perform their shows in front of a live audience compared to the real “Dukes” series, where they could yell, “Cut,” and do a second take if someone messed up a line or a stunt went awry.
“Coming from Enos, that’s pretty freaking cool,” Kohn said. “He was one of my childhood heroes when I was a 5-year-old boy watching him on TV.”
Shroyer will present the trophies for the car show that runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the fairgrounds as well as sign autographs and talk to fans. One of the the General Lees from the television series and one of the original “Knightrider” cars will be on display, and attendees will be able to take a ride in a General Lee around the track at the fairgrounds.