Duck Dynasty

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Duck Dynasty is an American reality television series on A&E that portrays the lives of the Robertson family, who became wealthy from their family-operated business, Duck Commander. The West Monroe, Louisiana business makes products for duck hunters, primarily a duck call called Duck Commander. The Robertson men—brothers Phil and Si, and Phil's sons Jase, Willie, and Jep—are known for their long beards and their Christian views.[1] The family was previously featured on the series Benelli Presents Duck Commander and its spin-off Buck Commander, which still airs on the Outdoor Channel.[2]

The show has broken several ratings records on both A&E and cable television as a whole. The fourth season premiere drew 11.8 million viewers; the most-watched nonfiction cable series in history.[3]

In mid-December 2013, controversy from an interview Phil Robertson gave to GQ Magazine resulted in an indefinite suspension by A&E, due to remarks he made which were being widely-reported in the media as "anti-gay".[4][5] Following public pressure on A&E to lift the suspension, he was reinstated nine days later.[6]

The show had $80 million in advertising sales for the first nine months of 2013, and merchandise has generated another $400 million in revenue, about half of which is through Walmart.[7][8][9]

Cast[edit]

Robertson family[edit]

Phil Robertson – Phil is the family patriarch and creator of the Duck Commander duck call. He was a standout quarterback at Louisiana Tech University[10] and was contacted by the Washington Redskins after his junior year. He chose instead to quit football because it interfered with duck hunting season.[11] Phil graduated from Louisiana Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and later received a Masters of Arts degree in Education via night classes while working as a schoolteacher.[12] Phil went through a "dark period" while running a bar that led to his separation from his wife. It was at this low point he found Christ and reconciled with his wife. It was then that he invented his duck call, and founded the Duck Commander Company in 1973.[13][14] Phil is known for his dislike of modern technology, calling himself "a low-tech man in a high-tech world," and his concern that his grandchildren are becoming "yuppies". At the end of each episode, the family is shown at the dining table, usually with Phil praying over the meal.[15]

Kay Robertson (née Carroway) – Phil's wife, usually addressed as "Miss Kay" by her husband and sons. Kay married Phil in 1966 at age 16. She is the mother of Alan, Jase, Willie, and Jep. She loves cooking and often has her entire family over for a home-cooked meal after a hard day's work.[16]

Si Robertson – Phil's brother; a Vietnam War veteran, and uncle to Phil and Miss Kay's four sons.[17] Si works at Duck Commander; making the reeds that go into every duck call.[18] Si is known for his storytelling, and his constant use of the expressions "Hey!" and "Jack", (which ends many of his sentences). And for his ever-present green Tupperware cup, (which his mother sent him while he was stationed in Vietnam); ever-filled with iced tea. Si has been married to Christine Robertson (née Raney) for 48 years—she however, has declined to appear on the show.[19]

Willie Robertson – Phil and Miss Kay's third son, and CEO of Duck Commander. Willie has a bachelor's degree in health and human performance with an emphasis on business from the University of Louisiana at Monroe,[20] and took Duck Commander from a family business to a multimillion-dollar empire.[21] He is married to Korie Robertson, and they have five children, two of which are adopted.[22][23] Willie also does the narration on the show.

Korie Robertson (née Howard) – Willie's wife and business partner. Korie graduated from Harding University and is the office manager of Duck Commander. Korie and Willie have known each other since they were in 3rd and 4th grade, respectively.[24] They married on January 11, 1992[25] when they were 18 (Korie) and 19 (Willie).[26][27][28] They have five children: John Luke, Sadie, adopted son Will (Li'l Will), Bella, and adopted daughter Rebecca.[22][23]

John Luke Robertson – eldest son of Willie and Korie. He attends Ouachita Christian School.[29]

Rebecca Robertson – foster daughter of Willie and Korie. At 24, she is and the eldest of the five children. The family originally were Rebecca's host when she was an exchange student from Taiwan and have since adopted her as their own.[30][31] She comes home to West Monroe after completing a two-year fashion internship in Los Angeles.

Sadie Robertson – daughter of Willie and Korie. Sadie attends Ouachita Christian School.[32]

Jase Robertson – Phil and Miss Kay's second son. Jase is in charge of the manufacturing aspects at Duck Commander.[33] Along with other employees, Jase tunes the duck calls by hand.[33] Many of the episodes feature the laid-back, self-professed redneck Jase doing something to aggravate his gung-ho, business-savvy brother Willie, such as turning a warehouse cleaning into a ping-pong battle.

Missy Robertson (née West) – Jase's wife. They have three children: Reed, Cole, and Mia. She has been featured singing on the show.

Reed Robertson – eldest child and first son of Jase and Missy. Reed attends Ouachita Christian School, playing football and baseball,[34] and graduates in Season 6.

Cole Robertson – second son of Jase and Missy. Cole attends Ouachita Christian School, and plays baseball.[34]

Mia Robertson - youngest child and only daughter of Jase and Missy. She was born with a cleft lip and palate and, as of the end of Season 5, has had five surgeries to correct it.

Jules Jeptha (Jep) Robertson – Phil and Miss Kay's youngest son. Jep currently films and edits DVDs of the Robertson family; hunting. He is often seen at Duck Commander and at family dinners. He is married to Jessica and they have four children.

Jessica Robertson (née Strickland) – Jep's wife. Jessica and Jep have four children: Lily, Merritt, Priscilla, and River.[35]

Marshal ("Alan") Robertson – Phil and Kay's eldest son. Originally Alan left the family business to become a preacher, but he left this profession to rejoin his family both doing public relations at Duck Commander and appearing on the show since season four. He wanted to join the show to spread the Word of God to more people. Alan is married to Lisa Robertson, (née Gibson), and is the only adult male in the family without a beard.[36][37]

Family tree[edit]

Shaded entries indicate family members who have appeared on the show.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
James
Robertson
 
Merritt
Hale
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Phil
Robertson
b. April 24, 1946
 
Kay
Carroway
b. December 21, 1947[38]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Silas
Robertson
b. April 27, 1948
 
Christine
Raney
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alan
Robertson
b. 1965
 
 
 
 
Jason
Robertson
b. August 16, 1969
 
 
 
 
Willie
Robertson
b. April 22, 1972
 
 
 
 
Jeptha
Robertson
b. May 28, 1978[38]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Trasa
Robertson
 
Scott
Robertson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lisa
Gibson
 
 
 
 
 
Missy
West
 
 
 
 
 
Korie
Howard
 
 
 
 
 
Jessica
Strickland
 
Kyle Wayne
Cobern
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marsha
Markert
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
two daughters
with children
 
 
 
Reed
Robertson
 
 
 
John Luke
Robertson
 
 
 
Lily
Robertson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
four sons
 
 
 
 
 
three sons
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cole
Robertson
 
 
 
Sadie
Robertson
 
 
 
Merritt
Robertson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mia
Robertson
 
 
 
Will
Robertson
 
 
 
Priscilla
Robertson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bella
Robertson
 
 
 
River
Robertson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rebecca
Robertson

Other recurring cast[edit]

  • Emily – John Luke's girlfriend. She appears in "Driving Miss Sadie" and "Shot Thru The Heart".
  • Jimmy Red (Jimmy Gibson) – An old friend of Phil, Miss Kay, and Si. He appeared in some of the early episodes of Duck Dynasty, and is referred to as "Red" by Phil.[39]
  • Justin Martin – An employee of Duck Commander, who is often given grief over his large figure.
  • John Godwin – An employee at Duck Commander since 2002, mainly building duck calls, managing supplies, and overseeing the shipping department as well as being the decoy technician.[40]
  • Mountain Man (Tim Guraedy) – A neighbor who operates his own air-conditioning repair business, and co-hosts a local radio talk show on KXKZ.[41]
  • John David - Willie's assistant. He appeared in season 5 of Duck Dynasty.

List of episodes[edit]

Ratings[edit]

An hour-long Christmas special premiered on December 5, 2012 as the season two finale and became (at the time) the most-watched A&E episode in the network's history.[42]

The February 27, 2013, the season three premiere tallied 8.6 million viewers, including five million in the adults 25–54 demographic and five million in adults 18–49 demographic, making the premiere (at the time) the most watched series in network history, beating the season two finale.[43] The one-hour season three finale (shown on April 24, 2013) tallied 9.6 million viewers, with 5.6 million in the Adults 25–54 demographic and 5.5 million in the Adults 18–49 demographic, making it the highest rated telecast in A&E history.[44]

On August 14, 2013, the season four premiere drew a total of 11.8 million viewers, an increase of 37% vs. the season three premiere, drawing 6.3 million viewers in the Adults 25–54 demographic, making it the most watched nonfiction series telecast in cable television history.[45] According to The Hollywood Reporter, the fourth season averaged 9.4 million viewers.[46]

Duck Dynasty tops the list of celebrity/pop culture-themed costume searches on Yahoo! in October 2013, according to data compiled by Yahoo Web trend expert Carolyn Clark.[47]

Seasonal ratings[edit]

Season Time slot (ET) # Ep. Premiere Finale Season average TV season
Date Premiere viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale viewers
(in millions)
1 Wednesday 10:00 pm
Wednesday 10:30 pm
15
March 21, 2012
1.81[48]
May 23, 2012
2.56[49] 1.82 2012
2 13
October 10, 2012
3.70[50]
December 5, 2012
6.45[51] 4.17
3 13
February 27, 2013
8.62[52]
April 24, 2013
9.63[53] 8.32 2013
4 Wednesday 10:00 pm 10
August 14, 2013
11.77[54]
October 23, 2013
8.40[55] 9.16
5 Wednesday 10:00 pm
Wednesday 10:30 pm
10[56]
January 15, 2014
8.49[57]
March 26, 2014
6.00[58] 6.51 2014
6 Wednesday 10:00 pm
June 11, 2014
4.59[59]
TBA 2014

Controversies[edit]

Editing controversy[edit]

In 2012, Phil Robertson stated on Sports Spectrum, a Christian sports publication, that he confronted producers about editors of the show telling them not to say Jesus' name while praying at the end of episodes, and that they added intermittent bleep censors over random portions of the cast's unscripted dialogue although there was no profanity being spoken.[60][61] Robertson cited the issues as part of spiritual warfare, that there was no swearing that needed to be edited out, and the prayers were being censored to avoid offending non-Christian religious people. A&E did not comment on the claims.[62]

GQ Interview[edit]

On December 18, 2013, A&E announced that it was suspending Phil Robertson from the show indefinitely over remarks he made during an interview with Drew Magary of GQ magazine which had attracted outside criticism.[63] During the interview for a featured article in GQ's January 2014 issue, titled "What the Duck?", Magary asked Robertson: "What, in your mind, is sinful?"[64] Robertson replied: "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."[65]

A&E stated:

"We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."[63]

Robertson said that he is a "product of the '60s" but has since lived his life on Biblical principles. He added: "I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me."[66] The Robertson family released a statement about A&E's decision, supporting Phil and saying that while some of his comments were "coarse," his beliefs are "grounded in the teachings of the Bible."[67] In the first public interview since the GQ interview, Robertson stood by his words and said:

"Jesus will take sins away. If you're a homosexual, he'll take it away. If you're an adulterer, if you're a liar, what's the difference?"[68][69]

Robertson's remarks were reported in the media, with reactions split. Many social conservatives, including his corporate sponsors, some religious groups, and some Republican politicians including Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee supported his right to such opinions.[70] Robertson faced significant opposition from individuals viewing his words as anti-gay and bigoted.[71][72] In response, Cracker Barrel removed some Duck Dynasty products.[73] The products were replaced after a day due to public response.[74] United Press International alleged that A&E CEO Nancy Dubuc had received death threats for the decision to suspend Robertson indefinitely.[75]

On December 27, A&E reversed Robertson's suspension. The network cited Robertson's and the family's regret for the use of "coarse language" in regards to discussing body parts,[76] and stated that A&E would launch a public service announcement across the channel's "entire portfolio" that would promote "tolerance and acceptance among all people."[77] GLAAD condemned the decision, stating A&E has "chosen profits over African American and gay people."[78] CNN said that Duck Dynasty was too profitable for A&E to consider ending the show, but that the channel felt that they had to send a message of disapproval for the comments, which the suspension did.[79] A Human Rights Campaign representative saw the reinstatement as a positive step and said they had been assured that "the Robertson family is now open [...] to address the real harm that such anti-gay and racist comments can cause."[79]

CNN said the controversy showed that a culture war was at play, in part because of what GLAAD characterized as "offensive depictions of minorities" in public discourse.[79] Republican Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and other conservatives noted the issue as a First Amendment right to free speech,[79][80][81][82] while others said that the First Amendment did not apply.[83]

Other television and media[edit]

The Robertsons appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Scheduled musical guest Morrissey canceled because he objected to being on the show with those he called "animal serial killers." The band Churchill filled in for Morrissey. Phil Robertson responded, saying, "Whoever he is, I don't hold it against him." They made a parody video where they sold a carrot call, instead of a duck call, to call wild carrots to jump straight into their mouths.[84] The Robertsons have also appeared on Conan, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Live! with Kelly and Michael, Today, Katie, The Wendy Williams Show and 700 Club. Willie Robertson appeared on FNC's The Five on August 13, 2013.[85] The Robertsons guest-starred on the season three première of Last Man Standing. Members of Duck Dynasty are featured in the music video of the No. 1 country song "Wagon Wheel" by Darius Rucker.[86]

Si Robertson lent his voice and personal appearance to the VeggieTales video, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas, in which he narrates the video and appears as an okra mall janitor.[87][88]

Christmas album[edit]

On June 10, 2013, it was announced that the family was working on a Christmas album.[89] Titled Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas, it was released on the UMG Nashville label on October 29, 2013.[90]

Charts[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
US
[91]
US Country
[92]
US Holiday
[93]
CAN
[94]
Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas
  • Release date: October 29, 2013
  • Label: UMG Nashville
  • Formats: CD, music download
3 1 1 8

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart
positions
Album
US Country
[98]
US Country Airplay
[99]
2014 "Hairy Christmas"
(Willie Robertson & Luke Bryan)
49 45 Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas

References[edit]

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  94. ^ Canadian Albums. "The Robertsons". Billboard (chart history). Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  95. ^ http://www.roughstock.com/blog/country-album-chart-news-the-week-of-january-2-2013-garth-brooks-duck-dynasty-cassadee-pope-danielle-bradbery-scotty-mccreery
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  97. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Robertson Family – Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas". Music Canada. 
  98. ^ Country Songs. "The Robertsons". Billboard (chart history). Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  99. ^ Country Airplay. "The Robertsons". Billboard (chart history). Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 

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