That ’70s Show

Dude, that was such an awesome show. I used to watch it all the time when I was a kid. Yeah, the one where those hillbilly brothers raced their cool car on back roads, just ahead of the law. They always escaped. I wanted to be just like those Clinton boys.

Are you sure? I could have sworn that was their name. Yeah, that’s right. Billy Clinton, he was the eldest. David Hasselhoff played him. There was George Clinton, played by Mr T. He was younger then, and didn’t have the mohawk—he was a really cool dude. George had dark hair so he wore a white hat, but Billy was blond and wore a black one. That’s how you could remember which was Billy: B, B, B. And there was the younger brother—everyone forgets his name. He didn’t drive.

I mostly watched it for cousin Daisy, though. Man, she was so hot. She always wore boots, and a cowboy hat and these denim cutoffs, and a bodice, and wristbands and a lasso. She could deflect bullets with those wristbands. Lindsay Wagner played her, I think. Wait, didn’t she go on strike one season? The second Daisy wasn’t as good. Then it turned out the real Daisy had been kidnapped by alien robots and the brothers had to rescue her in starfighters. Wait a minute, I must be getting confused. That was Dr Who.

Usually the Clinton boys drove the General Kitt, this black Pontiac Firebird with an American flag on the hood. The horn would play Yankee Doodle. The General Kitt could talk too, but only to Billy. That was so funny, when he told the others that the General talked to him, and they just rolled their eyes.

Roger! That was the other brother. Dirk Benedict played him. He didn’t drive, because he was once in a terrible accident, and only came out of it barely alive. But they rebuilt him, and made him better than he was before. He had bionic vision that could see Enos coming a mile away (there were always two cops chasing the boys, Enos and Andy). But mostly he was just the mechanic; he could fix anything with a Swiss Army knife.

Anyway, the bad guy was Colonel Louis Hogg—“Boss” Hogg, they called him. He was this little short guy in a white suit, played by Danny DeVito with a white goatee. He was so evil. And his right-hand man was Rosco P. Coltrane, who was actually George Clinton’s cousin. Not many people know that. Everyone’s related out in the boonies, aren’t they? Rosco wasn’t all that bad, and sometimes he and George would jam. He was played by the guy from Magnum P.I., I forget his name.

Oh, and Uncle Jesse (George Peppard, with a white beard). He was the mastermind, who always had a plan to outwit Boss Hogg. At the end of the show, he’d always say “Ah love it when a plan comes togetha!” and drink some moonshine or play his banjo. He was really good on the banjo; once they had John Denver as a special guest star, and he and Uncle Jesse played this duet called Feudin’ Banjos (although John Denver actually played guitar, not banjo). Of course I’m sure.

My favorite episode was when Uncle Jesse had brewed up a whole mess of ’shine, and needed the boys to take it across the state line. Enos and Andy had made a fake radar gun out of a megaphone and a hairdryer, so they could “prove” the Clinton boys had been speeding. But Rosco bragged about it in front of the General Kitt, who told Billy, who led them on a wild goose chase and then called their bluff, while Daisy smuggled the ’shine in her invisible plane. But they all met up afterwards at the Hogg Farm to party: Boss Hogg handed out big buckets of fried chicken, Rosco played the sax, and everybody got funky.

Yeah, I’ll always remember that show. Why can’t they make stuff like that today?

(Duke Chronicle, March 23, 2005)

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