John Schneider Reflects on a Career That Began 40 Years Ago With ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’

For actor/singer John Schneider, there’s a reason that he’s still going strong 40 years after debuting in the Classic TV series The Dukes of Hazzard at just 19 — and much of it comes down to diversity. The man went from Dukes to a career in country music, back to acting as Jonathan Kent (Superman’s adopted father) in Smallville, to a stint on Dancing with the Stars, stage appearances, his current series The Haves and Have Nots and, now, he and girlfriend/manager Alicia Allain are mounting festivals in the South, the most recent of which — Bo’s Extravaganza — brought together 10,000 people between celebrities and fans.

“The reason I do this,” says John, a youthful 59, “is I feel like I’m just getting started, so I keep thinking that this one — whatever it may be — is going to be the one. I know that sounds kind of crazy, because people say, ‘You’ve done so much,’ but, really, from my perspective, I’ve yet begun to fight. I keep wanting to diversify things, because I was a theater brat. In theater, you hang a light and you act in it and you sing and you put on a fake beard, you do your own makeup and you do your own hair, so it seems like it’s just the same thing I was doing back in the ‘60s and ‘70s.”

john-schneider-singing
Courtesy John Schneider

“This last year,” he continues, “between Dancing with the Stars and the big event we just did at the property here [in Louisiana], where we had 10,000 people in our backyard, Alicia and I keep saying, ‘I think we just turned a corner.’ Now people would say, ‘Oh, no, you turned a corner before,’ but, no, not really, because as diverse as it’s been and as fun as everything has been, I really feel like I’ve been stuck on about the third of a five-stage career. I’ve been treading water for the last, maybe, 15 years. But I’ve always been a chronic overachiever anyway.”

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And if you want to hear what John has to say, check out the latest episode of our Classic TV & Film podcast.

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