DUKE ‘TIL YOU PUKE

This guy’s getting paid $100,000 to blog about Daisy Duke’s daisy dukes. “Yeee-haaa!” is an understatement.

To promote its relentless rerunning of the ’80s TV hit Dukes of Hazzard, Country Music Television embarked on the CMT Dukes of Hazzard Institute a $100,000/Year Dream Job Search. The contest’s prize: a term as vice president of the (nonexistent) Dukes of Hazzard Institute. The job: Twice every weekday for a year, the winner must tune into CMT and watch the Duke boys outsmart Rosco P. Coltrane while Catherine Bach nearly falls out of her top, then blog about it. One thousand nine hundred people applied, and out of the Cooter-scented scrum emerged one underemployed 28-year-old Texan named Chris Nelson. We caught up with the self-described singer/songwriter/screenwriter just a day after he returned from his “inauguration” in Bristol, Tennessee, where John Schneider presented him with the official Dukes Institute orange blazer, and some fellow named Pearl brought him along while he did doughnuts in the General Lee. Since we get paid far less to do far more, we decided to have ourselves a few words with the little punk just to make sure he realized how lucky he is.

 

RADAR ONLINE: How did you hear about this job opportunity, anyway?

CHRIS NELSON: I moved from Austin, Texas, to New York in October, and a few months later I heard about it. I was working this temp job that wasn’t all that demanding. I remember there was a spreadsheet. And there was some filing. So a buddy of mine called me and said, “You’ve got to check out this job that CMT is hiring for. It pays $100,000 to basically sit around in your underwear and watch The Dukes of Hazzard.” And I thought, I can do this.

R: What was the application process like?

C: There were four essay questions. One was something like, “If you, Bo, Luke, and Daisy took off in the General Lee, what would happen next?” So I said that Bo is driving and I tell him to put the hammer down and go faster because the ATF is in hot pursuit. All the while Daisy and I are sharing a loving embrace in the back seat, and she’s asking me why I always have to leave, and I say, “Well, I’m a rambling man, but you won’t find sweeter lovin’ in all of Hazzard County.”

 

R: Right. And you actually won?

C: From day one I was in it to win it. I built a website that laid out my platform, and the day I sent in my application I sent the entire executive search committee hand-delivered Western Union telegrams announcing my candidacy. So that was my own little media blitz right there. I figured the least I could do was put the effort in. So now I’m a single guy living in New York getting paid $100,000 to watch TV.

 

R: What exactly does the vice president of the Dukes Institute do?

C: Apart from media duties like this one, my job consists of watching The Dukes of Hazzard weeknights, two times a night, once at 7 p.m. and once at 11 p.m, and writing an online blog for cmt.com. The real bedrock of the Institute is the blog.

 

R: What can we expect from the blog?

C: A lot of academic analysis of the series. The Institute is where we ask the serious questions.

R: Doesn’t seem like much work. What will you be doing when you’re not blogging?

C: To get the job I presented a bunch of ideas to the executive search committee. One of the ideas was a cross-promotional show with MTV called Duke My Ride, in which lucky kids would have their junker cars Duked out. Other than that, I’ve been taking my cues from other instant celebrities. I’m thinking of coming out with my own fragrance, maybe called Eau de Bo. It’ll be young, impetuous, and blond.

 

R: I understand you’re single. Think bloggers get groupies?

C: I really don’t know about other bloggers, but I’m hoping that the blogger from the Dukes of Hazzard Institute–namely me–develops some groupies. Well, groupie is such a loaded term. Intern might be a better one.

 

R: So, is there some sort of code of behavior you’re held to as VP of the Dukes of Hazzard Institute?

C: Well, this is the first time it’s ever been done, you know, so there’s been no precedent set. There is a corporate structure, though, so I have to respect that.

 

R: Would it be a problem if you were, say, photographed mid-lap dance or throwing a phone at someone?

C: You know, I would hope that those things would not happen to me.

 

R: What?! You’re a 28-year-old single guy in New York making a $100,000 salary, but you’re not allowed even one little lap dance?

C: Um, you know, I would have to refer you to my lawyers for an answer to that question.

 

R: You have a team of lawyers at your disposal as the VP of the Dukes Institute?