As you go through some of the better Christmas episodes of classic television shows this holiday season, don't forget "The Great Santa Claus Chase." This chestnut from the third season of CBS' The Dukes of Hazzard finds Bo (country singer and Smallville star John Schneider) and Luke Duke (fellow musical talent Tom Wopat) framed for stealing Christmas trees from Boy Scouts by Boss Hogg, local law enforcement and a trio of Santa suit-clad henchmen.
Without spoiling anything, it's got the elements needed for a solid Hazzard County adventure. There's high-speed chases involving the Duke boys' iconic Dodge Charger, the General Lee, plus slapstick humor at the expense of Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane and Deputy Cletus Hogg. It's action-packed, but no one gets hurt. By the story's end, the good guys (including Cooter, Daisy Duke and Uncle Jesse) break bread on Christmas Eve with the Scrooge of this A Christmas Carol scenario, Boss Hogg.
The three henchmen are played by Woody Strode (a regular in John Ford Westerns and a gladiator in Spartacus), character actor Brian Libby and amazingly-named veteran performer Roger Pancake.
Fun side note for country music fans: The Balladeer (Waylon Jennings) quips during the episode that "Boss was as lonely as ol' Waylon Jennings at the Country Music Association Awards." Jennings' most recent album at the time, Music Man, and the single "Good Ole Boys" got shut out at that year's CMA awards. Five years later, Schneider picked up a Best New Artist nomination (then called the Horizon Award) from the CMA. Schnider, Ray Charles, Mel McDaniel and Eddy Raven lost out to Sawyer Brown.
For more Dukes-related holiday fun, hear Schneider and Wopat's 2014 Christmas album I'll Be Home for Christmas. You can also see Schneider drive Bo Duke's old ride when the General Lee makes a guest appearance in the 2019 film Christmas Cars.