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The Dukes of Hazzard

The Show “The Dukes of Hazzard“, Cast, Photos, and Trivia!

This series is based on the escapades of two cousins known to most as “The Duke Boys”.


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They are actually Bo (John Schneider) and Luke (Tom Wopat) Duke, two members of the Duke family. Additionally, there is also their cousin, Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach) as well as their caring old Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle). They all live together on the Duke family farm in the fictional, Hazzard County, Georgia.

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Most of the adventures on the show, revolved around the Duke family and their constant attempts to deal with the manipulative and crooked county commissioner, Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and his many schemes and plots. This of course is usually done with some form of car chase with the boys in their 1969 Dodge Charger stock car, “The General Lee“. The show basically starts out with the understanding that Bo and Luke are on probation from transporting moonshine illegally, and therefore are under certain restrictions (although these restrictions due tend to change constantly) but did not have to go to prison thanks to Uncle Jesse. (Jesse negotiated a plea deal with the U.S. Government that if he stopped making moonshine, the boys stayed out of jail.) Some of these restrictions include things like not being allowed to leave Hazzard County and not being allowed to carry firearms. One of their favorite weapons of choice was a compound bow that at times (depending on necessity) was sometimes used with arrows that were tipped in dynamite.

Bo and Luke also had the assistance of their sexy cousin, Daisy (Catherine Bach), Uncle Jesse and their close family friend, Cooter (Ben Jones), who runs the local garage. Boss Hogg had the help of the sheriff of Hazard County, Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best) and his deputies Enos Strate (Sonny Shroyer) and later Cletus Hogg (Rick Hurst), who is Boss’s cousin. Despite always stumbling over Boss’s many schemes, on some occasions the Dukes actually end up helping him against their better judgment. As the show progressed, the Dukes and Boss Hogg even worked together now and then in order to come out on top of a bigger threat, either to one of them, or to Hazzard County itself.

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Bo Duke (John Schneider)-Bo is the blonde-haired one of the pair, slightly younger and a little more on the wild side. He is the one who is more likely to get them into the many predicaments that they find themselves in so often, and also seems to be the one who drives the “General Lee” the most. His one major weakness lies in his susceptibility to the opposite sex. If a pretty woman walks by, he is the one that is going to have his head turned, this sometimes being the thing that gets them into trouble on occasion. Bo also has the unique characteristic of being known for his rebel yell, “Yeeee-Haa”! And both he and Luke share the handle (or CB call sign) of “Lost Sheep”.

Luke Duke (Tom Wopat)-Luke is the older of the two, with dark hair and a bit more of a sense of maturity. A former boxer as well as a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he is usually the one who comes up with a plan when they get themselves into one of the many scrapes in which they are constantly embroiled. Luke was also the first of the Dukes to perform the incredibly popular “hood slide” over the front of the “General Lee“. This became as regular an occurrence in the series as the many car chases, stunts and jumps that were so expected.

Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach)-Daisy is the sexy, young, gorgeous female cousin of Bo and Luke. She is kind and sweet as well as honest and trusting, sometimes too much so. She mainly was a waitress at the local bar “The Boar’s Nest”, which was owned and operated by Boss Hogg. She started working there as part of a deal she made with Boss, so that he would give her cousins and her uncle a lower interest-rate loan, thereby enabling them to pay the entry fee into a race that Bo and Luke wanted to enter with the “General Lee“. She also occasionally worked as a reporter or singer/songwriter. She joins her cousins in racing around Hazzard County for most of the series; in a white 1980 Jeep CJ-7 with a gold eagle emblazoned on the hood and entitled “Dixie”. (For the first season and a half she drove a yellow and black 1974 Plymouth Road Runner and also a Plymouth Satellite.) Daisy’s trademark is her sexy outfits consisting of high-cut jean shorts, often belly baring tops and high heels. After a period of time, her jean shorts were commonly referred to as her “Daisy Dukes”. Her handle is “Bo Peep”, although occasionally “Country Cousin” would be used as well.

Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle)-Uncle Jesse is the patriarch of the Dukes and also the father-figure of the family as well. He was married, which is briefly mentioned, but apparently had no children. This left him to provide for his niece and nephews who somehow (although it’s never explained on the show) all ended up with no parents to raise them. In his younger days, Jesse was a ridge runner (a moonshiner or person who delivered moonshine, using the ridges instead of the mountain tops so as not to be detected) and in competition with J.D. Hogg (a.k.a. Boss Hogg). And although Boss and Jesse seemed to dislike each other, they also appeared to have a genuine friendship deep down. Whenever one of them was in real trouble however, they also always seemed to be there to help one another. Uncle Jesse’s vehicle was a beat-up old white 1973 Ford F-100 pickup truck. On the rarest of occasions, his old moonshine car “Black Tillie” (once referred to as “Sweet Tillie”) would make an appearance also. His handle was “Shepard”.

Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best)-Rosco is the sheriff of Hazzard County. And although at one time apparently honest, after the county voted away his pension he started conspiring with Boss Hogg to help give himself a retirement fund of sorts. Rosco is not just a partner of Boss Hogg, he is also a relation. Rosco’s older, overweight sister Lulu is married to Boss, something which neither of them seems to be very thrilled about most of the time. During the many car chases that Rosco would initiate, his favorite phrase to use while chasing someone was “I’m in hot pursuit”. During the beginning of the third season Rosco acquired a Basset Hound named “Flash”. He really loved Flash despite the fact that the animal rarely moved and Rosco had to carry him everywhere.  And even though he and Boss didn’t always agree, Rosco had several nicknames for him ranging from “Little Meadow-Muffin” to “Little Fat Buddy” among others. Rosco’s handle was “Red Dog” on the radio.

Boss Jefferson Davis “J.D” Hogg (Sorrell Booke)-Boss Hogg is the corrupt and unethical County Commissioner of Hazzard County. Married to Rosco’s sister Lulu, he is also the richest man in Hazzard, and owns most of its businesses and properties in one form or another. He is greedy, selfish, overweight and has an incredible appetite for food. He dresses primarily in a white suit complete with matching cowboy hat and drives (or is driven) in a white 1970 Cadillac Coupe de Ville convertible, complete with bull horns mounted on the hood.

Cooter Davenport (Ben Jones)-Cooter is a mechanic and the owner of the local auto garage “Cooter’s Garage”. He is also an “Honorary Duke” because of his friendship with the family, as well as his assistance to them when they are trying to get away from Rosco or outwit Boss Hogg. His nickname is “Crazy Cooter”, and though he does indeed act crazy at the beginning of the series, by the end of the first season he is much better behaved. His handle is “Crazy Cooter” and he drove an assortment of trucks throughout the show, and quite often would start off his CB transmissions with this phrase: “Breaker one, Breaker one, I might be crazy but I ain’t dumb, Craaaazy Cooter comin’ atcha come on.”

Deputy Enos Strate (Sonny Shroyer)-Enos is one of the deputies of Hazzard County, and though he works for Boss Hogg is actually friends with the Duke family. Unfortunately, because of his occupation, he is forced on many occasions to chase or arrest members of the Duke family repeatedly. He is very much in love with Daisy Duke, and though they almost marry on one occasion, it never does happen. Enos’ handle is “Blue Fox”, but he can never seem to get it right. Often he mixes up his and Rosco’s handles, interweaving the names into things like “Red Fox” and “Hound Dog”.

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Deputy Cletus Hogg (Rick Hurst)-Cletus is the second of the Hazzard County deputies, and much like Enos, is a good-hearted man, despite being a distant relative of Boss Hogg. He is somewhat dim-witted and is also forced to chase after the Dukes against his will, but tends to do so more easily than Enos. He had a crush on Daisy Duke as well.

Coy Duke (Byron Cherry)-Coy is another blonde-haired Duke Cousin, who apparently used to live on the Duke farm in previous years. He, along with another cousin who used to live on the farm, move there briefly after Bo and Luke decide to join the NASCAR circuit.

Vance Duke (Christopher Mayer)-Vance is the other cousin who used to live on the farm, is dark-haired and has moved back to the farm as well, after the departure of Bo and Luke. Much like his dark-haired predecessor, Vance is the one who comes up with the plans.

The Balladeer (the voice of Waylon Jennings)-is the narrator of the show, as well as the “person” who sang and played the theme song of the show, “Good Ol’ Boys”. During the course of each show he would provide an all-knowing viewpoint of each of the situations, often throwing in funny asides at critical times in the plot. (More often than not this would occur during a freeze frame of a scene including a cliffhanger, and happened prior to a break for commercial.) Due to an enormous number of requests to see the Balladeer on-screen, Waylon Jennings finally did a guest appearance on one show. It was season seven, and the name of the episode was very appropriately named, “Welcome, Waylon Jennings”.

Flash (played by Sandy as well as others)-Flash is the loyal, loving companion of Rosco. A Basset Hound to who speed is not a priority, who hates Boss Hogg, but loves all of the Dukes.

My Opinion

This show though not exactly in-depth or dramatic, was very entertaining and usually fun to watch. Unfortunately, after the introduction of the Coy and Vance characters, the show went downhill fast. Even with the return of Bo and Luke the show never quite recovered. But even so, if you’re looking for something fun to watch that will just entertain you, and give you a dose of celebrities now and then, you’ve got your show. This show was on for seven seasons and I give it a 6 out of 10.

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The Cast

Bo Duke-John Schneider
Luke Duke-Tom Wopat
Daisy Duke-Catherine Bach
Uncle Jesse-Denver Pyle
Boss Hogg-Sorrell Booke
Rosco P. Coltrane-James Best
Cooter Davenport-Ben Jones
Enos Strate-Sonny Shroyer
Cletus Hogg-Rick Hurst
Coy Duke-Byron Cherry
Vance Duke-Christopher Mayer
The Balladeer-Waylon Jennings
Flash-Sandy and others

Recurring Cast                                 Years

Lulu Hogg-Peggy Rea                                   1979-1985
Miz Emma Tisdale-Nedra Volz                1980-1984
Sheriff Little-Don Pedro Colley               1981-1984
Doc Appleby-Parley Baer                           1981-1984
Myrtle Tillingham-Lindsay Bloom         1979-1981
Hughie Hogg-Jeff Altman                           1979-1985
Longstreet Davenport-Ernie Lively       1979-1984
Barclay-Pat Studstille                                  1981-1985
Norris-Roger Torrey                                   1981-1985
Carter-Brett Halsey                                      1979-1984
Barnes-Bob Hastings                                   1979-1984
Mr. Rhuebottom-John Wheeler                  1982
Customer-Dennis Haskins                        1979-1984
Herky-Douglas Hume                                 1981-1984
Emery Potter-Charlie Dell                        1979-1982
Mickey Gilley as himself                                1982
M.C. Gainey-Peters                                          1982
Elinor Donahue-Federal Agent                   1982
Grogan-Charles Bartlett                                 1982
Jasper Fenwick-Jim Baker                            1982
Moody-Morgan Stoddard                             1981
Linda Mae Barnes-Tracy Scoggins           1981
Rafe Logan-Terence Knox                           1981
Handley-John Hancock                                1981
Blaine-Jack Garner                                         1981
Harvey Dunsmore-Jay Garner                  1981
Bonnie Lane-Colleen Camp                          1981
Hoyt Axton as himself                                   1981
Sheriff Lester Crabb-Clifton James         1980
Loretta Lynn as herself                                 1980
Ace Parker-Jerry Rushing                          1979
Sunshine-Sunshine Parker                         1979
Artie-Sammy Jackson                                  1979
C.J. Holmes-Robert Alda                            1980
First Workman-Gerald McRaney            1979
Hanson-Noble Willingham                         1983
Scroggins-William Russ                               1982
Bobby Lee Jordan-Michele Greene         1982
Burt-James Crittenden                                   1981
Mary Lou Pringle-Morgan Brittany         1980
Big Jim Downey-George Murdock            1979
Betty Jo-Shannon Tweed                              1984
Alan-Greg Michaels                                         1984
Dottie West as herself                                    1981
Johnny Paycheck as himself                       1981
Jamie Lee Hogg-Jonathan Frakes             1981
Tammy Wynette as herself                         1980
Freddy Fender as himself                             1981
Marty Garbade-Billy Green Bush              1979
Gaylord Duke-Simon MacCorkindale     1979
Sheriff Buster Moon-James Hampton    1980
The Oakridge Boys as themselves         1979-1981
Roy Orbison as himself                                   1981

Trivia

John Schneider has appeared in many different television shows, including a role on the show “Smallville”. During one episode of this show, Schneider and Wopat were actually briefly reunited. Some of the other shows on which Schneider appeared, were “Touched by an Angel”, “Walker, Texas Ranger”, “JAG”, “Desperate Housewives” and “Hee Haw”. He also had a recurring role on the popular series, “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”.

When James Best (born Jules Guy) was only three years old, his mother died and he was sent to live in an orphanage. He was later adopted by Armen and Essa Best.

Tom Wopat, like fellow actor John Schneider, also embarked on a career in music, although not with the same success that Schneider had.  

With all of the car chases, crashes and etc., the amount of automobiles that were wrecked during the filming of this series was tremendous. The police sedans were not difficult to replace, however, replacing the “General Lee‘s” (old Dodge Chargers) was not nearly so simple. After a while the situation got so desperate, that when a producer saw a Charger just parked on a street somewhere, they sought out the owner and offered to buy the car then and there.

Ben Jones (Cooter) is a former United States Congressman. He served in the United States House of Representatives for four years. As a democrat, Jones did the unusual during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial, and that was that he asked him to resign from office. Most democrats did not.

Waylon Jennings died sadly, in early 2002 in his sleep from complications due to diabetes.

Catherine Bach was married to Peter Lopez, an entertainment lawyer, since 1990. After twenty years of marriage and two daughters, Lopez was found shot dead on April 30, 2010 of an apparent suicide.

 

John Schneider (Bo Duke) has restored more than twenty “General Lee‘s” or Dodge Chargers himself. A replica nicknamed “Bo’s General Lee“, was owned by Schneider. In 2008, at the Barrett-Jackson automobile auction Schneider sold the car for $450,000. Underneath the hood of this particular General Lee are the signatures of the cast members of the 1997 TV movie.

One of the jump sequences that was filmed by the stunt crew before the show’s debut is a world record holder. The jump occurred on November 11th, 1978. The height of the jump was 16 feet, and the length was 82 feet.

One of the outfits that Catherine Bach wore on the show was formerly on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

One of Boss Hogg’s favorite foods to eat was raw liver. So dedicated was Sorrell Booke to his role, that when Boss ate the liver, so did Booke.

The total of 1969 Dodge Chargers that were created and for the most part destroyed during the filming of this series, is somewhere in the range of 256-321. Less than 20 of these cars are still in existence, and all in varied forms of disrepair. Although it was a popular belief that some 1970 Chargers were used on the show as well, according to all of the car builders, this simply was not true. However, 1968 Chargers were used, but only after their front grill and round tail lights were replaced with those from the 1969 models. Other than these two features, the ’68 and ’69 models were almost identical.

James Best and Sorrell Booke were quite close to each other in real life, so much so that they were allowed to improvise many of their scenes together.

When Catherine Bach found out about the audition for “The Dukes of Hazzard”, she went but soon found out that they were looking for a more “Dolly Parton” type of look. Despite this, she was hired right then and there. One of the producers’ early costume ideas for the Daisy Duke character, involved a poodle skirt, go-go boots and a tight white turtleneck. However, Bach asked them if she could bring in her own outfit. They agreed, and thus was born the “Daisy Dukes”.

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John Schneider, in addition to his many acting roles, has also had a fair amount of success in the country music business. During the 1980′s in particular, and with some of his singles reaching to #1 on the Country Billboard’s music chart. To date, he has made a total of ten albums.

The series, which first five shows were originally filmed in Georgia, because it was only meant to be a filler show and not a series had several original locations that are still visited by many fans of the show even today. Two of the locations, “Ace’s Used Car Lot” (The Dukes of Hazzard: Repo Man (1979)) and the original “Boar’s Nest” however have been destroyed. The car lot was removed to make room for a church expansion, and the Boar’s Nest is now a church as well.

Ben Jones, who played Cooter on the show, actually owns a store in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, that is called, “Cooters Place”.  The store is dedicated to all things that are related to the series. There are also Dukes of Hazzard Museums in both Nashville and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Legendary singer Buddy Holly arranged for Waylon Jennings’ very first recording session. He also hired him as the bass player for his band. In early 1959, Holly was offered a place in the “Winter Dance Party” tour opening in the Midwest. After one of their performances, Holly hired a private plane to fly them to the next stop on the tour. Waylon Jennings was supposed to go on the plane but gave up his seat to singer, J.P. Richardson (a.k.a. the Big Bopper) who was suffering from influenza. Holly, upon learning that he had given up his seat, jokingly said to Jennings “I hope your ol’ bus freezes up!” Jennings jokingly responded, “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes!” As most people know, the plane did indeed crash that day on February 3, 1959. This statement haunted Jennings throughout his life. It is commonly known as “The Day the Music Died”.

Unbelievably, more than half of the fan mail for the series was addressed to the “General Lee“.

The General Lee‘s horn that so famously played the first few notes of “Dixie” was not originally planned on. It was only after a few episodes that producers were driving through Atlanta and heard a car go by with this exact horn. They chased down the driver and persuaded him to sell them the horn, not realizing until later that it was a simple novelty horn and could be bought at many an auto parts store for a third of what they had paid for it. The horn itself was only used in the five episodes that were filmed in Georgia.  For all the rest of the episodes that were filmed at Warner Bros. in Burbank, CA, the horn was simply edited in during the post-production.

Sonny Shroyer (born Otis Burt Shroyer) is also a country and gospel singer.

Denver Pyle (Uncle Jesse) entered the Merchant Marines during World War II.

While playing Daisy Duke, Catherine Bach‘s legs were insured for the sum of $1,000,000.

During the course of the series, there were several departures from the show in one form or another. Ben Jones (Cooter Davenport) left the show over a disagreement about whether or not Cooter should have a beard or be clean-shaven. He was temporarily replaced by Cooter’s cousins, L.B. Davenport (Ernie Lively) and B.B. Davenport (Mickey Jones), but returned a few shows later. James Best (Rosco P Coltrane) left briefly in the second season due to a dispute over dressing rooms. He was replaced by several actors until his return a short time later. And of course most fans probably remember the departure of John Schneider and Tom Wopat (Bo and Luke Duke) the best. Due to a demand in salary from both actors, who claimed that they were owed quite a bit of royalties from the show’s large line of merchandise and had not received it, both walked out. They were replaced with look-alike cousins Coy and Vance, (Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer) but the show quickly went down in the ratings. The debate was finally settled and Schneider and Wopat returned for the last four episodes of the season. The look-alikes were written out of the same episode in which the original Duke boys returned, and were never referred to again. Incidentally, when Schneider and Wopat decided to walk out, Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke) had wanted to walk out with them. This never happened because they persuaded her to stay on in their absence with the simple reasoning that if she left; there would be no show for them to return to.

Christopher Mayer (Vance Duke) was found dead in his home in July of 2011. His death was apparently from natural causes. He was 57 years old.

Actor Sonny Shroyer (Enos Strate) was given a spin-off show called “Enos” in 1980. Shroyer, very smartly, had it written into his contract that if his series did not last at least a full season, he could then return to “The Dukes of Hazzard” if he so chose. The spin-off show only lasted for seventeen episodes, so Shroyer then returned to the Dukes.

Sorrell Booke (Boss Hogg) had two things written into his contract that his character would never do. One was killing and the second was dealing drugs.

In later years, James Best moved to Florida and began teaching at the University of Florida. He has also become somewhat known for his skills as an artist and painter, as well as finishing his autobiography in 2009.

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John Schneider has stated in more than one interview that he said he was 24 instead of his real age of 19 when applying for the part of Bo Duke. To further try and convince them that he was the right man for the job, he showed up carrying a six pack of beer and spoke with a southern accent. This of course being as false as his age since he was from New York City.

The famous shorts worn by Daisy Duke, that made most males on the planet drool down their shirts every time they saw them, almost didn’t make it onto the series according to Catherine Bach. The network executives went into a frenzy after seeing her wearing the shorts and told the producers that she absolutely could not wear them. After disagreeing about it repeatedly, the executives said that she could wear them on one condition, and that was that she wear flesh colored pantyhose underneath them so as not to reveal anything that should not be. The executives hoped that the pantyhose would take some of the attention away from her outfit, but this was not the case. Instead, the hose displayed her already long, beautiful and shapely legs in such a way, that she become a TV sex symbol forever.

The casting of Sorrell Booke as “Boss Hogg” had several life-not-imitating-art features. While the character of J.D. Hogg was almost cartoonish at times, Sorrell Booke was quite well-established as being a serious actor prior to his acceptance of the role. And though the Boss Hogg character was hated (with good reason), Booke was very beloved by the cast and crew members. Boss Hogg was not a smart man, but Booke was actually an Ivy League graduate having studied at both Columbia and Yale Universities. He could speak five languages fluently, and during his time in the Korean War had performed military intelligence work. Also, the J.D. Hogg character was incredibly overweight, but Booke was just slightly so and had to wear a fat suit to play the part. Lastly, Sorrell Booke very sadly, died in 1994 of colorectal cancer. And it was only after the main cast members of the series attended his funeral service and saw each other again that they started talking about the idea for what would become the 1997 reunion movie.  

Byron Cherry (Coy Duke) was a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society.

The only two members of the cast to play in all 146 episodes were Denver Pyle and Sorrell Booke.

Many years ago, John Schneider briefly lived with Johnny and June Carter Cash, during which time he became a born-again Christian. He was the co-founder of the “Children’s Miracle Network”, with Marie Osmond, and most recently has become involved in animal advocacy.

The theme song to the Dukes of Hazzard, “Good Ol’ Boys” by Waylon Jennings, was released in 1980 as a single. The single version, though it differed slightly, peaked on the Billboard Pop Chart at #21, while on the Country Chart; it went all the way to the top and hit #1.

Christopher Mayer who played Vance Duke during Top Wopat’s (Luke Duke) temporary absence, actually auditioned for the role of Luke Duke originally.

Catherine Bach actually made a lot of Daisy Duke‘s clothes on the show, especially early on. This includes the red bikini she wore in the first episode of the show that is also seen in the show’s opening credits.

During the run of the show, Bach posed for a poster as Daisy Duke. It sold 5 million copies and also generated unexpected admiration from several unlikely sources. One being, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, and another being other staff members of the White House. This occurred after Bach visited there and then sent one of the posters to an employee at the White House who used to be one of her former schoolteachers.

During the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard feature film, the role of Daisy Duke was played by Jessica Simpson. Despite changes to the character’s costume to make her more sexual in nature than on the television series, critics were very disappointed with Simpson’s portrayal of the character. Their thinking was that Simpson’s depiction of the Daisy Duke character had very little similarities to the original character created by Catherine Bach.

The Dukes of Hazzard series was developed from the 1975 movie “Moonrunners”.

Waylon Jennings, along with Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser and Jessie Colter recorded an album entitled, “Wanted, The Outlaws!” in 1976. It was the first country music album ever certified platinum.

Sorrell Booke’s headstone reads, “Beloved Pa, Grandpa, Brother and Boss”.

The famous “hood slide” which was first performed by Tom Wopat (Luke Duke), was said by him to have just been an accident. He said that his foot got caught on the side of the “General Lee” while attempting to jump across the hood, also cutting his thigh on the radio antenna in the process. Due to this mishap any such antennas were removed from all later versions of the “General Lee“.

Sadly, Denver Pyle died of lung cancer in 1997 on Christmas Day.