Jefferson Davis (J.D.) Hogg (better known as "Boss" Hogg) is a fictional character featured in the American television series, The Dukes of Hazzard. He was the greedy, unethical commissioner of Hazzard County. Boss Hogg always wore an all-white suit with a white cowboy hat and regularly smoked cigars. The role of Boss Hogg was played by Sorrell Booke, who appeared for many years on radio, stage, and film before finding the role that made him a household name.
His namesake is Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.
About Boss Hogg
"Boss" Hogg was the wealthiest man in Hazzard County. As his name would imply, Hogg was incredibly greedy. Creator Gy Waldron said he wanted the character to be the personification of the seven deadly sins. Boss Hogg would do anything to get his hands on more money, including executing many nefarious and criminal schemes. He owned most of Hazzard's property and businesses — either directly or by holding the mortgages over the land. His lust for money often drove him to participate in criminal activities — usually by enlisting the aid of associates — mainly his right hand man and partner in crime, the dim-witted,
bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. Together, the two schemed to frame the Duke family (Hogg's most steadfast adversaries) for crimes they did not commit. Rosco's deputies, Enos Strate and Cletus Hogg (Boss's cousin), have also aided Boss Hogg, though Enos (and, to a lesser extent, Cletus) were decidedly more reluctant to do so.
Just like the exact specifications of the Duke Boys' probation rules, the extent of Boss's powers seemed to vary from episode to episode. However, this can be countermanded slightly, as Boss would often bend the law and make up rules to suit himself.
Boss has a twin brother, Abraham Lincoln Hogg, who appeared in one episode of the show. Also played by Booke, A.L. Hogg is the opposite of J.D. — he was kind, law-abiding, dressed in black, and drove a black car.
By the time of the 1997 Reunion movie, Booke had died, so rather than replace him with a new actor, Hogg's death was written into the script. He willed his empire to Rosco P. Coltrane, who continued to pursue zany schemes, many of which Boss came up with before his death.
In a typical episode of The Dukes of Hazzard, Boss hires others to carry out his crimes, then diverts the blame onto the Dukes—usually the cousins Bo and Luke. Some of Hogg's favorite schemes include bank and armored car robbery, counterfeiting, fraud, and 'shine running. He especially enjoyed trying to trick Bo and Luke into violating their probation (for illegal transportation of moonshine) by running 'shine or crossing the county line. Boss reasons that by framing Bo and Luke, he will more easily acquire the Duke farm: the property he most covets, and for which he held the mortgage—for little to no cost. Usually, this is so he can develop the land (for profit, of course) in various ways. When the Dukes are not targeted, it is generally a friend of the Dukes—auto mechanic Cooter Davenport, postmistress Miz Emma Tisdale, county worker Emery Potter and others—who find themselves on the wrong side of Hogg's schemes.
It is usually up to Bo and Luke Duke to foil Boss's schemes, defeat his associates, and make things right. Though Boss's crimes should land him in prison, he usually winds up with little more than a slap on the wrist, such as donating his ill-gotten proceeds to charity or having to personally resow a crop by hand that he had destroyed etc.
Boss lusts for "simoleons", but refuses to risk anyone's life or safety for the sake of his schemes. More than once, he has sacrificed his potential earnings to save lives that would otherwise be imperiled by his greed. His conscience has landed him into trouble with his former partners in the past. On several occasions, when Boss's disgruntled or devious associates attempted to exact revenge for Boss's betrayal, Bo and Luke almost always came to his rescue. Associates in crime: Rosco Coltrane (police contact / enforcer),
Boss constantly looks for new, usually dishonest, methods to bring revenue into the county (and thereby, into his pocketbook). Some of the more memorable schemes involve Rosco setting up fake fire hydrants next to parked cars, using hair dryers as radar guns (to ticket people for speeding), and placing hidden stop signs or speed limit signs that mysteriously spring into view after an unsuspecting motorist drives by.
Boss's traffic schemes have also resulted in country music and other performers "working off" their fines by performing at "The Boar's Nest". Famous singer victims include: Roy Orbison, Buck Owens, Mel Tillis, Dottie West, Tammy Wynette, Hoyt Axton, Johnny Paycheck and The Oak Ridge Boys, and Mickey Gilley.
Despite Boss Hogg's unending desire to have Bo and Luke imprisoned for crimes they do not commit, his principal rival always remained their uncle, Jesse Duke. Jesse and J.D. had a feud dating back to their ridge-running days in the 1930s, which continued to simmer after Bo and Luke were indicted for moonshine-running and Jesse began protecting them from J.D.
Though they rarely got along, Jesse and J.D. held a grudging respect for one another and enjoyed a "friendship" of sorts, as both would help each other when circumstances warranted. However, Jesse Duke was well aware of J.D.'s greedy nature, and the wizened Duke patriarch frequently warned his nephews and niece about Hogg's antics. When Uncle Jesse needed a favor of Boss Hogg, he would often say "I've never asked you for anything", and the question appeared new to the portly Hogg each time. Furthermore, whenever Jesse and J.D. do formally agree to something, it is always with a "spit and shake" of hands; in one episode, J.D. insists that without "spit and shake", any promises made by him are not binding.
Lulu Coltrane Hogg
Boss is married to Rosco's "fat sister", Lulu Coltrane Hogg, making Boss and Rosco brothers-in-law. Boss frequently takes his wife for granted, however Lulu has no patience for Boss's shady antics and is clearly the dominant personality in the relationship. At one point, she threatens to leave Boss and take half of his holdings.
Boss, while apprehensive to trust her, and while scheming behind her back at all times, seems to genuinely love Lulu, and even frequently calls her by petnames, such as (appropriately) "Angel Food Cake", "Marshmallow", and "Sugarplum Puddin'."
Boss Hogg's Alter-Ego
In "No More Mr. Nice Guy", (Episode: #7.5 - Original airdate: 19 October 1984) Boss Hogg was hit on the head and, as a result, developed a case of amnesia. When he awakened, he was a kind, caring, honest and fair man who intended to "clean up Hazzard County of all corruption". He did not like being referred to as "Boss" or even as "J.D." Instead, his nicer alter-ego identifies himself as "Jefferson Davis Hogg with two G's", or just "Jefferson" for short. Jefferson actually likes and appreciates the Dukes for the help they bring to Hazzard, and will help them whenever he can. That is, until Jefferson receives another bump on the head, (many times via Rosco) and converts back to the ruthless, corrupt Boss Hogg. Also, in the third season episode "The Late J.D. Hogg", Boss is wrongly diagnosed with a fatal illness, and again, adopts a nice, kind persona, only to revert back to his usual crooked, mean self when he learns that he is not really about to die.
Boss Hogg's vehicle
Boss Hogg's car was a triple white 1970 Cadillac De Ville convertible, with large bull horns for a hood ornament. He had a chauffeur named Alex, who drove the car in the first few seasons; in later years, Hogg became the car's principal driver and frequently challenged others by invoking his driving expertise from his days as a ridge-runner. Unlike other vehicles in the series, Boss Hogg's Cadillac is typically treated with kid gloves, and even when it has the smallest problem Cooter usually gets the blame.
Boss Hogg's holdings
Some of Boss Hogg's holdings (either directly or by mortgage) include:
- The Duke Farm — Boss held the mortgage.
- The Boar's Nest — the local watering hole where Daisy Duke was employed as a waitress.
- Hazzard County Bank — the local bank where Boss served as president.
- Cooter's Garage — owned by the Dukes' friend, Cooter Davenport. Boss held the mortgage.
- HOGGOCO Oil and Petroleum Co. — Boss has gas stations all over Hazzard County, and Hoggoco fuel pumps in front of both The Boars Nest and Cooter's Garage.
- The Hazzard County Gazette — the weekly newspaper serving Hazzard County.
- The Hazzard Phone Company — Boss had all of the operators in his pocket, and they notified him whenever any calls of interest came through Hazzard.
- WHOGG (the Hazzard County radio station) — the only radio station in Hazzard County. Boss served as president.
- The Hazzard County Grits Mill — Abandoned by Boss, only to be occupied for dubious purposes by his nephew Jamie Lee Hogg (who turns out to be a con man), portrayed by guest star Jonathan Frakes.
- Hogg's High Heavenly Hill Cemetery — Boss charged a handsome fee to be buried here, in Hazzard's only public cemetery, sometimes even double-selling plots.
- Hogg Log Mill
- Hogg Ice House
- J.D. Hogg Real Estate
- Hazzard Dry Goods Store ("J.D. Hogg - Proprietor")
- Hazzard County Coffin Works
- Hazzard Funeral Home
- J.D. Hogg Painting Company
- Two unnamed used car lots. One is run by a chronically-drunk moonshiner named Hobie (portrayed by actor A. Paul Smith). The other is located in downtown Hazzard, where Boss was one of the chief salesmen.
- Actor Sorrell Booke was only slightly overweight at best. He wore padding under his suit to give Boss his familiar 62 inch waist.
- in an episode of Red vs. Blue, Caboose refers to the Warthog as the Boss Hogg.
- In Mike Jones' song "Still Tippin'", Slim Thug refers to himself as "Boss Hogg on candy"; in real life, Slim Thug was nicknamed Boss Hogg since he drove a Cadillac convertible as a teenager; his entourage is known as the Boss Hogg Outlaws.
- Every morning, Boss Hogg would drink coffee and eat raw liver. Sorrell Booke, a method actor, actually ate the raw liver.
- Washington Redskins Offensive Line Coach (later Offensive Coordinator, now Assistant Head Coach-Offense) Joe Bugel was nicknamed "Boss Hog" in the 1982 NFL season because he was in charge of The Hogs, the Redskins' offensive line.
- A character in The Simpsons called Lurleen Lumpkin has a father named Royce whose middle name is Boss Hogg.
- Boss Hogg and Enos (Sonny Shroyer) appeared in an episode of Alice, on which the character Jolene Hunnicutt is depicted as a distant relation of Hogg's.
- Boss Hogg and Rosco are overjoyed when Bo and Luke leave Hazzard-until they are replaced by Coy Duke and Vance Duke - whom Boss fears even more than Bo and Luke-who are "choirboys" compared to their cousins.
- "The Dukes of Hazzard: One Armed Bandits DVD commentary track by John Schneider and Catherine Bach"