One day they didn't exist. Then, after a single television season, they did. They were daisy dukes. Yeah, folks wore short shorts before the Dukes of Hazzard, but after that show debuted in the late '70s, short shorts were forever renamed. And it takes a certain kind of figure -- a strong, fleshy suffragette, for instance -- to have greased them into our lexicon. That figure was Catherine Bach, who played Daisy Duke in a series on so long ago (Jimmy Carter was president) that it's not clear if anyone still remembers General Lee, Bo and Luke Duke, and Boss Hogg, let alone Daisy. Well, Bach is back to find out, on hand at this weekend's Pop Culture Con. And she's joined by a full roster of former stars likely looking to pad their retirement funds or pay off kids' college tuition bills.
One question, of course, is, will the former Miss Duke show up 25 years later in her namesake shorts? More important, how goes it with other mythic pop-culture figures? How fares Dwight Schultz? You remember him as Mad Murdock, always pissing off Mr. T on the A-Team. How about Cindy Morgan, the rich hottie in Caddyshack? What about Booth Colman, who was Dr. Zaius in the Planet of the Apes (not the Mark Wahlberg version), or Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas from Starsky and Hutch (not the Ben Stiller version)? Both have lived long enough to see themselves re-created. As for Johnny "Family Affair" Whitaker and Kim Richards from Escape from Witch Mountain -- where the hell have they been all these years? Here's your chance to find out.
Newer celebs include Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Amber Benson, who makes an appearance to coincide with her film Chance (see review in Film), which premieres at 7 p.m. Friday at Sunrise Cinemas Stadium 15 at Las Olas Riverfront (300 SW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Benson wrote and directed the movie about a woman's search for love -- human, not vampire -- which also stars Buffy's James "Spike" Marsters. It's nice to see there's life after the stigmatizing experience of being labeled "that evil vampire guy who looks like Billy Idol."
The Pop Culture Con also features some heavy trading in the Dealers' Room, where it's all about lunchboxes, videos, comics, and clothing. Exactly what is the going price for this stuff? A modicum of eBay research will tell you that circa-1980 Dukes of Hazzard lunchboxes are going for about $25 to $30 and that Mr. T "Pity the Fool" T-shirts are running in the $10 range. You can also buy vintage daisy dukes on eBay. Hopefully, the daisy duke name will survive the test of time. It's doubtful the forthcoming movie version of the Dukes of Hazzard will have us calling our shorts "Jessica Simpsons." At least, we hope not -- we really hope not.