Jolene was from the apparently fictional Myrtle Point, South Carolina and had quite a family. She was distantly related to the infamous Jefferson Davis Hogg, better known as Boss Hogg from the series, The Dukes of Hazzard. Her most memorable, and most spoken of, relative was her beloved Granny Gumms (the "Gumms" in her name came from the fact that she had only three or four teeth in her mouth), who supposedly helped raise her as a child.
She and her often troublemaking trucker partner, Bert, had eaten at Mel's Diner, when she got angry with him, because he had made an unwanted pass at her, and locked herself in the ladies room. It appeared to be a somewhat hastily written and filmed episode (obviously at the departure of Diane Ladd's Belle), but it is one to be remembered as well.
It almost worked. But Jolene knew Bert was up to no good, and she knew that he would make another pass at her again, and she decided to throw some plates at him, which Mel didn't like. (He had bought some plates from a Japanese restaurant that had closed down which had been called Wattanabe's)
Jolene agreed to work off the damage to his plates by becoming a temporary waitress until a new one came along, since former waitress, Belle Dupree had left Phoenix for Nashville, Tennessee. One never did come along, and Jolene remained until the end of the series. All in all, Celia Weston's Jolene was featured in more episodes than either Polly Holliday as Flo or Diane Ladd as Belle. By Jolene's third season (the series' seventh season), she was getting more laughs than most of the other characters in many episodes and had a big following.
Mel and Jolene continually sparred with words, but one sensed a mutual affection between the two. He called her "Blondie" or "Blond Head". She always got along well with Alice and Vera, and was very goodnatured. She and Vera were very close. In fact, Jolene affectionately called Vera "shoebutton". Whenever Jolene was shocked or surprised, her catch phrase was Jump back!
She also worked as a part time flight attendant, which was breaking Mel's moonlighting rules. Obviously, she trying to better herself, however she could, and working for Mel was not the best. In one episode in the seventh season, Jolene's brother Jonas was introduced, who ended up selling Mel a bogus worm ranch (scams were his specialty). In the ninth and last season, Jolene's father and the rest of her many brothers, as well as Granny Gumms herself, and their dog Ole Blue, were featured in a classic episode.
When the show ended, Jolene used her bonus that she received when the diner closed to open a beauty shop.