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Why was Roscoe replaced from time to time?


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Why is it that Roscoe was replaced from time to time? I don't think they ever gave an explanation as to why in the show and I haven't been able to find anything online that gives a good solid answer.

Also wondering if there's a list anywhere about the 'guest sheriffs' that subbed for Roscoe. Didn't both Jackie Gleason and the Louisiana Sheriff from the 70's James Bond movies come thru?

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The only times I know Rosco was really not on the show was because he thought the facilities were bad and WB didn't want to improve them.

James Best didn't mind being thrown in the lake or in a bath of tomato's. But he did mind the fact that after he did those things there were no real facilities to clean himself up.

During his time away be was replaced by Sheriff Grady Byrd in two episodes which was in my opinion a way better sheriff then the two other Temporary Sheriff's in the next two episodes.

Other then his dispute I just told you about which endured about 4 episodes I don't think he was away much.

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There's a short explanation of James Best's absence in the Frequently Asked Questions section on the home page.

The “Sheriff of the Week†episodes were all in the second half of season 2:

The James Bond actor you're thinking of is Clifton James who was Sheriff J.W. Pepper in 'Live and Let Die' (1973) and 'The Man with the Golden Gun' (1974). He played Sheriff Lester Crabb in 'Treasure of Hazzard'. Dick Sargent played Sheriff Grady Byrd in 'Officer Daisy Duke' and 'Jude Emery'. James Hampton was Sheriff Buster Moon in 'Return of the Ridge Raiders'.

You can see pictures and a few more details in the Season 2 Episode Guides.

Jackie Gleason never appeared in the Dukes of Hazzard. He was Sheriff Buford T. Justice in all three Smokey and the Bandit movies.

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Jackie Gleason never appeared in the Dukes of Hazzard. He was Sheriff Buford T. Justice in all three Smokey and the Bandit movies.

I know Smokey and the Bandit very well, even own a KW and matching black TA! I just thought I remembered somebody saying he made an appearance on the Dukes. I've probably seen about every episode but it's funny how much more you actually see as an adult watching the show instead of as a little kid.;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's pretty much been covered already in the thread, but James Best boycotted the show for a few episodes over unsuitable and occasionally dangerous dressing room conditions. He didn't mind getting covered in mud, etc. for scenes where Rosco would crash his car into a lake, etc., but was reportedly unhappy with the changing room conditions afterwards - according to him, he would sometimes just be "hosed down" in the middle of a field, and when there were changing facilities on site, they were dangerous (exposed nails, etc.)

In the series, it was mentioned that Rosco had gone to a refresher course in Atlanta, although it is played quite vaguely and in several episodes Enos asks Boss Hogg, upon arrival of replacement Sheriff, if it means Rosco is out for good.

The initial replacement of Hughie in "Arrest Jesse Duke" was odd, in that it wasn't the usual conniving Hughie, but instead pretty much Jeff Altman reading most of James Best's dialogue, as he was brought in at the last minute to fill Best's absence. (Also, confusingly, this is the first time viewers saw the character, as Hughie's 'introduction' episode, "Uncle Boss", despite being intended as the second episode of the second season, was held back and not shown until the third season.)

Sheriff Lester Crabb in "Treasure of Hazzard" didn't work IMO as Clifton James is too physically similar to Sorrel Booke, and gruff tubby Sherrif vs. bossy tubby county commissioner just didn't work. (Which is a shame because given the right role, James is really good).

Dick Sergeant was the only replacement to last two episodes (in "Officer Daisy Duke" and "Jude Emery") and the series seemed to be settling on him as a replacement (even reflected in new full-cast publicity shots, including an impressive, commonly seen one taken on the set of "Jude Emery"), but personally I didn't like him. I felt he was basically "I can play Rosco... but better!" and apparently several of the cast didn't take to him either.

Only James Hampton, who worked alongside Best on a number of movies in the 70s, the final 'Rosco replacement' in "Return of the Ridge Raiders", showed any vague likeability, though he was pretty quiet, usually seen with a hangdog expression on his face.

According to James Best, Sorrel Booke in particular was vocal about his absence, saying that he couldn't work with any of the replacements, and championing for his return to be secured.

Trivia: After his return to the series, Best only misses one other episode of the entire run - the third season's "The Legacy". In that episode whilst he's away, Cletus is promoted to temporary Sheriff, with Emery Potter made deputy. For the first of two times in the series. Challenge: who can name the other episode? :)

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