let me set this straight

People often hear what they want to hear. It’s not only foreign languages that need translating…

I’m going to say it. I’m going to say it loud…


Here it comes…


John “Bo” Schneider on the set at 18! Not Bo “John” Schneider. There’s a difference!

I can think of no greater honor or privilege than having a youngster look up to me. I get that every day with the Dukes. Now that it’s back on CMT I get it even more and from increasingly younger little guys and gals. 

Someone once said that the Dukes is as hopelessly out of date today as it was back when we first did it in 1979.

I agree. That’s why it’s so much fun.  So… innocent. So not tied to any fashion, perspective or political group.  I believe that’s why most of the responses to my blog a few days ago told stories of people growing up watching Dukes on Friday nights with their grandparents.

I like that.

I admit it… I do get a little testy every decade or so with someone introducing me as “Bo Duke.” I am, after all, John Schneider who played Bo Duke. 35 years is a long time to be called by a name other than your own…

There is a difference. Right..? Like I say up there on top: Actors aren’t who they play… who they play is a part of who they are.

Everyone is allowed to shine a light on a part of their personalities at different times of their lives. Sometimes were happy… sad… sometimes we like romance novels… sometimes detective stories.

Many times of the year I am mostly (but not totally) Bo. That is usually the carefree part of my year. The easy going, have a beer with my buddies time of year.  The “lets play golf and lie to each other about how good we are for four hours or so” time of year.

See..? Dukes even brings JOHN SCHNEIDER back to a simpler, more relaxing time.

I love it. But here is what I honestly prefer. Personally I think this lands better:

“Hey… You’re John Schneider! You played Bo on the Dukes of Hazzard! I LOVE Bo! Can you still jump in the window of the General Lee?”31

My answer..?”Yes I am and YES I can! I love Bo too!”

See..? It’s simple and we both win!

Again I say… I love being part of what I truly believe is the best show EVER on television. But let’s find a balance here. I am the guy who played Bo. The guy from  New York who played the guy from Georgia. Some people would call that acting! Some.

Here’s a funny thing… I really think that if I were from a small town in Georgia and I played a cop from Westchester County New York that I would be considered an actor. The other way around..? Not so much!

I am delighted that Dukes is back on CMT. I am looking forward to jumping in the window and sliding across the hood (and thanks to T25 and P90X I still can!)!

Keep it tuned to CMT and to OWN. You’ll see a pretty huge Jim Cryer FBdifference between those two characters! Remember that good old Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle) was also the Texas Ranger who mowed down Bonnie and Clyde in the movie!

Press is really starting to buzz about the films we are shooting here!

Now check out my studio site! John Schneider’s Fairlight Films.

Yee Haa!


56 thoughts on “let me set this straight”

  1. Hey John, I was 7 years old when the dukes was first on TV, ( I had a crush on you ) now I’m 42 & I still have a crush on you 🙂 I’ve always dreamed of meeting you

  2. I’m so excited to have found your website! I watched “The Dukes” during its first run when I was a kid, and I’ve always, always loved Bo! I even bought your album “Now or Never” – on vinyl, dear god. You have a great singing voice. Really enjoyed seeing you as Jonathan Kent on “Smallville” as well! Glad to catch up with what you’re doing now, though I would never have guessed you were a horror fan. Definitely planning to check out “Smothered”! Take care and be well.

      1. Really?? Wow that’s a lot more than I thought. I’ve been enjoying the Dukes again. It’s like going home. Gotta say, I find Jim Cryer to be incredibly sexy. Bo is such a wholesome “kid” while Jim is just BAAAD.

  3. I think some people have to believe that you are the character, I worked with my parents when I was younger With Hollywood on tour which was a show of impersonaters and girls would cry and worship my friend Bill when he was in character of Michael Jackson give him roses… I was asked to dance by a man who truly believed that My mother was Loretta Lynn. It reminds me of that Renee Zelswieger if I spelled it right thought she was married to the Dr. in a soap opera lol
    people are funny i’ve been trying to analyze people my entire life lol

  4. I imagine that it is an honour for an actor to be recognized after so many years for the first played role. But there are so many people that don’t understand the difference between the played role and the real actor/person. Just enjoy the love!!!!!!

  5. Well I think its very simple people identify TV characters with people they know or have had in their own life. So perhaps Bo is who they identify with. There are an awful lot of stars who have the one hit and then you never see them again. In your case you have had a long career and have played variety of roles. The Dukes was a basic show that a large part of America could identify with especially small town America. Uncle Jessie reminded me of my Grandfather. The idea or base of the show was a lot like the Walton’s good clean programming. So while I’m sure its irritating at times embrace the meaning behind it for the folks who call you Bo.

  6. I think part of the reason people have trouble separating you from the characters you portray is that you do your job so well! You are such an outstanding actor that you make us actually believe you are that person you’re playing on the screen. For a long time when I would read posts on your pages that referred to you as ‘Bo’ or whoever may have been their favorite character, I would get so frustrated with them. Grumbling to my computer ‘get a clue you idiot, Bo Duke is a fictitious character!” Then, as I observed you more and more it began to dawn on me just what a great talent you are. I appreciate the fact that you care about the people you play enough to make them so real. To so many people Bo Duke is who you will always be, because that character had such a deep and lasting effect on them. As for me, I just thank you for being who you are – on screen and off!

  7. John you are an amazing man! I have had the great honor of meeting you four times in my life.I even had the pleasure of meeting your mom once. The second to last time we met was at Dollywood in 2000 along with Tom Wopat and Sonny Shroyer. I even accidentally ran over your foot with my wheelchair, you were so cool about it. In 2012 I saw you again in Las Vegas with my wife.You remember me everytime we meet.

    Everytime we see each other, no matter how long between visits, we oick up where we left of from the last time.I admire you as an actor but what I am most proud of is that although we don’t hang out alot, I can call you my friend.

  8. Hey John,I grew up watching the Dukes of Hazzard and my 8 year old daughter loves John Schneider. She was in Preschool when you first caught her eye. You and Tom were at the Chicken Festival in London Ky. I traveled with her down to I think it was Virginia last summer to meet you. Her eyes lit up when she saw you. We have had many Dukes of Hazzard Christmases because of her. The Promise Land is one of her favorite songs and videos because you look at her at the end lol,yep the girl has it bad. But she never had really referred to you as “Bo” she calls you,not John,but John Schneider lol. As far as the Haves and Have Nots,she can’t watch that one,but that is one of my MUST HAVE DVR’d shows. Awesome Awesome work. Can’t say I look up to Judge Cryer,but the show and cast,Great work Everyone. I really hope that is a long time running show. Take care and keep doing what you’re doing-Staying in the spotlight 💟

  9. I said it before and will prolly say it again and again you get in touch with all sides of your character you seem to be perfectly in touch with what the audience is needing looking for and expecting from the character your playing. Your so grounded and well rounded that you always convey your intent weather its through your lines or just the right look in your beautiful blue eyes 🙂 Yep I love Bo too but every time I watch you John, you capture me with not only your magnetic personality but that skill! your Brilliant! ❤ Dez

  10. Hey John..
    Had the pleasure of meeting you last spring in Louisville. I remember my wife saying “Are you excited you are going to meet Bo Duke?” I told her no…I’m excited to get to meet John. Sure, you were a HUGE part of my childhood every Friday night as “Bo” on Dukes. But I was also getting to meet the man who I have really admired as I grew older and was also a BIG inspiration in me getting back in shape thanks to your P90x videos. Not too many people (other than my parents) has had such a positive effect on me in two very different times in my life. So I just wanted to say thanks and hopefully I will be able to shake your hand another day. John’s hand that is…not Bo’s. Take care!

      1. I’ve lost 65 lbs over the last 12 months and I can’t remember feeling as good as I do now. I feel like I’m in my 20’s again. And yes.. I’m helping my wife get in shape as well. Eating healthy now and that makes a HUGE difference too. Thanks for the inspiration John!

  11. Well said, John! But I don’t understand why some in the industry don’t think of you as an actor just because you’re from NY and played the part of “redneck Bo.” I am aware though that in this world, it’s harder for a very handsome man to be taken seriously in anything he does…The same is true for a very beautiful woman, but I’m NOT speaking from experience in my case — just what I’ve observed!

  12. Well John that you say that’s fine that you express what you like and what you do not like it because it makes us to know I like that everything you do host the Dukes until today everything is magnificent i like your fight your profecionalismo generally all that you undertake will always adomitrado much I like your work amuses me and makes me happy. so on with all that you undertake.

  13. John, you truly are a great actor. I have watched you on Dukes, and followed you on Smallville. You made a great dad to Clark Kent! 🙂 Keep up the great acting and directing. Whatever you do, it will be great.
    Best wishes sent to you from East TN!

  14. I would think that playing the part of “Bo Duke” would be an honor. I think the Dukes inspired a lot of people that doing the right thing was always the right choice no matter what. I always wished my kids would had that show to grow up with. On the other hand by what I have heard, seen and read everyone needs to know who “John Schneider” is there is so many good things and talent. I just wished I could hear you sing more, I have every record . “Bo” along with the other Dukes inspired me in many ways, But so has “John Schneider”. Thanks for being you.

  15. I have to agree with Shiralee. Whenever I watch a show, whether it be Dukes or Smallville, etc I see you as that character. No matter what role you are doing, you are fantastic.

  16. So if I were to ever introduce you, it should go something like this?

    “Tonight we’re honored to have with us that tornado-chased, serial killing, go cart building, flim-flamming, pistol-packing, old gray coat wearing, justice corrupting, earth-devastation surviving, wife & kid loving, super hero raising, horredy-inventing, “YEE HAWWW” yelling, multi-time sheriffing, crazy driving, all-around traveler through centuries, and great dad…John Schneider!”

  17. dear john r schneider i been watching the dukes of hazzard since i was nine years old and have the hole complet seasons of it plus the movies allso
    your freind randy h welch

  18. Good to see you back on t.v. (really enjoy watching ‘The Haves and Have Nots’, and will check out your online program as well) and also glad to see just how God keeps on blessing and keeping you and yours. He’s truly given you the strength to endure and move forward, and that’s a blessing in itself. Would love to see you and Tom Wopat on ‘The Haves and Have Nots’ perhaps sometime in the near future? In the mean while thanks for all that you’ve done Sir, take care and continued blessings to you and yours.

  19. Also want to say as a kid from New York at 18 to give a performance like you did on the Dukes was quite impressive. Nobody could have done it better.

  20. Glad to see you made fitness part of your lifestyle John…I consider you a marvelous actor and the difficulty that some have in separating John Schneider and Bo is a testament to that. But I appreciate your honesty and thanks for being so good to your fans. I wish the Dukes of Hazzard movies were done right like they did with Star Trek. Love ya bro!

    1. I agree on the Star Trek comment totally. I don’t know why they didn’t make the films right and with the integrity that the show had. If they had they could have made one a year for many years. I guess the owners of the show never really understood what they had. Sad.
      Thanks for the fitness comment. I still hit the gym every day. Doing a thing called T25 right now and loving/hatingg it!

  21. I Blogged about that also,I don’t think I could ever say things as well as You do,and may Not have got the Point across,But, if there was a time in my life I could go back to it would be it Would be Sept of 1974.. I think of it often,The best thing that ever happened to me, happened then,And I’ll never forget it as long as I live,And I’m sorry If I go back there and People don’t understand,I watched the Dukes with my 2 Little Brother’s when It Aired,You can’t began to know how I felt watching it,My Little Brother’s Loved watching Bo Jump the General Lee..They Watched then would go out side and Play Bo And Luke Jumping the GL ,No I couldn’t forget if I had tried..And Believe me I did…
    Some time’s I think Actor’s Get blessed, with a Great Part Such as You Did with BO DUKE,He is still very much alive today along with all the Duke’s But,People have not seen that You are More than Bo Duke,And have left you in the Role ..Not that the Show isn’t Wonderful and Even Today It needs, I think to be apart of our Children’s Lives rather than some of the stuff out there ,The Duke’s had a simple clean life,we could learn from them,But,People as You say need to understand that you are a actor and while You played Bo Duke you also Played many other Role’s as well,and while You Loved playing Bo and still love the show and Love Your Fan’s they also need to see You are a Person with like’s and dislike’s as they them self do and are..
    That You Only bring a part in a movie or show to life. My oldest Daughter was born in June 1975 she was big enough by the time Duke’s aired to sit and watch with the boy’s not that she was old enough to understand why they loved the show but,she laughed with them and she was there as they were every week..The show is wonderful and You Played Bo Duke very well,and your loved for that Role but,you are not Bo Duke Your John Schneider and I wish with all My Heart that others could see and understand While You love the show and Playing Bo,and loved doing the show,You are not Bo you are John..I know I went on and on but,The Point I guess is Actor’s are only Actor’s and they Bring life to Part’s and they don’t live in a role they live a life same as every one else,They have feeling’s and shouldn’t be typed as the kind of person the Play in a movie or a TV show,And I get shocked when any one say’s that a person is playing a part that is so them,or that a person is like a person they are playing,because I don’t think that should be done to a Actor,no one can be ex..like another person,they might get a understanding of that person and be able to play the Role better for it,but they can never be that Person.OMG I need to get off this Soap Box..lol Sorry I ran one like this..
    Always and forever

  22. VERY well said! There is more to a person than what they did and were a part of when they were 18 years old. In my opinion you are a very well rounded and multifaceted and people need to explore those areas as well, instead of keeping you in a box as they apparently have. You are a real person and are allowed to explore the different and intricate part of yourself without having to worry about the idiosyncrasies of others. I get the celebrity status, however, celebrities are regular people too that deserve the respect to grow and change.

  23. Bo Duke is no doubt a beloved character but a fictional one; conversely, John Schneider is a real person who possesses so much more breadth and depth. Perspective is key in self-identification, and some people forget where the actor ends and the person begins. Over the years, John has played a variety of other characters, Dennis from Grand Slam, Doug from Heaven Help Us, Marshal from The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Daniel from Dr. Quinn, Jonathan from Smallville and a host of others, but none so memorable as Bo. Yet, Bo is not a writer, John is. From composing songs, performing feats of magic, and authoring screen plays, John is sometimes in the background behind the camera or on the other side of the computer screen. John is the one who created complex and loving characters from JR Collier & Co. to some strange, creepy characters penned in Smothered. Bringing fictional characters to life is a gift – part gritty, hard core, lower -level creatures to profoundly enriched men and women of high adventure and sometimes chaos. That kind of artistic ability is all found in one man’s mind, heart, and soul – director John Schneider. ’nuff said?

  24. I’m really glad you are Bo! As I’ve said before, Bo and Luke taught me that being nice and helping people was not only right but very cool, Thankyou so much!

      1. Thanks, you are a great actor, really like your work mate! And sing you and tom can surly sing up a storm! Warm strong voices! Thankyou again for the wonderful memories, much love from an Aussie fan! 🙂

    1. right on Thank God for Dukes! Basic moral and ethics that some people would never have been exposed to except through this show.

  25. LOL… I hear ya. I seem to remember some dark haired guy having the same problem as you do. Oh what was his name (Luke), no that’s not right, oh yeah his name is Tom Wopat!… I know there are Schneider fans and Wopat fans and then there are fans like me that like you both. I have the best of both worlds. I know you are not Bo and he is not Luke. There are some that just will never get it. Some of us have only seen you one way and it’s strange seeing you another way, but we all come to things in our own time. Just flow with it. When Tom Wopat has a Dukes thing come up in an interview or whatever he just simply says, “It was a nice time, had fun, but I’m doing this now.” or something in that general area. I love you both. As the old saying goes, “This too shall pass.”

  26. I’m extremely grateful that the cast of the Dukes consisted of the people who played those roles – every single one of you. I think every cast member was given enough flexibility to create their own character, although I’m sure there were battles you all faced while doing so. In re-watching the reruns again, it’s becoming clearer to me where each of you were getting to know each other in the first couple episodes…then it seems like you all embraced your characters and started to create your character to make it your own. Everyone’s character seamlessly clicked with the others and the show just got better and better. That shows true talent and true dedication to your craft. The ad libs that were allowed to be done on the show were also remarkable.

    I’ve been a die-hard Dukes fan since the beginning – every cast member. I’m grateful that you, Mr. Jimmie, Mr. Sonny, Mr. Tom, Miss Cathy, Mr. Ben (and Miss Alma) and Mr. Rick are all still devoted to your fans from that show. I’m grateful I was born at a time where I could experience the original run of the series and to have shared that with my sons and now my grandchildren.

    Your fans are all grateful that you all were – and still are – dedicated to creating characters to bring joy, smiles and true entertainment to us. Thank you for caring so much about Beauregard “Bo” Duke, Mr. John!

  27. At least u get called by ur real name or character name. I usually get weren’t u in such and such or when u doin another play in town, if they can’t think of my name at the time lol. I wish ppl could remember me for a character I have played in the past.

    Also I think for the first decade of watchin Dukes if I referred to 1 person from the show it was always the characters name. Eventually I got in the habit of the actors name lol.

Comments are closed.