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VINSON: No quacks is the genius of 'Duck Dynasty'

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Some time back, I was channel surfing on the television and came across a rather unusual scene.

It featured a man, with long, hippie-like hair and a thick, shaggy beard, in bed with an attractive lady. The man was tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep, and he was keeping the lady awake.

Seemingly aggravated, the woman finally suggested the man turn on the “noise machine.”

The man then rolled over and hit a switch on an apparatus on the nightstand next to the bed, which produced a cacophonous sound that would prove extremely irritating to most. Once the noise began, the wild-looking man buried his head in the pillow, closed his eyes, and proceeded to drift off into what appeared to be a peaceful sleep.

I recall thinking, “Now, just what in the heck is going on with this? Is this an advertisement for some kind of off-the-wall TV show?”

Well, I guess you could say my hunch was on the mark, to some degree, because it was my first experience with the reality TV series known as "Duck Dynasty."

To say "Duck Dynasty" is popular would be a gross understatement.

I can’t imagine who it would be, but there might be some readers out there who are not familiar with the show, which appears weekly on the A&E channel. Though I will admit, it wasn’t until a few months back that I learned of "Duck Dynasty."

Therefore, I’ll provide a short overview, something anyone can find on the Internet:

"Duck Dynasty" centers on the Robertson family from Monroe, La.

The male members of the Robertson family are brothers Phil and Silas Robertson, the family patriarchs; and Phil’s three sons Willie, Jep, and Jase. All the men sport the long-haired, shaggy-bearded, Cajun look described above.

Also featured are Phil’s wife, Marsha Kay “Miss Kay” Robertson; Willie’s wife, Kori Robertson; Jep’s wife, Jessica Robertson; and Jase’s wife, Missy Robertson. An assortment of children, grandchildren, and other kin also are featured, along with friends and neighbors.

The Robertsons have a family owned, family run business in which they make a world-famous duck call device known as the Duck Commander, crafted from Louisiana cedar trees. College educated Willie is the chief executive officer.

In addition to duck hunting out in bayou swamps, the men often engage in good-natured arguments, ping pong matches, and other light-hearted antics. Meanwhile, the women perform duties such as cooking, bookkeeping, arguing with their husbands, plus additional “womanly” chores. The Robertson clan eats together and says a prayer before each meal.

Not only is "Duck Dynasty" a mega-successful business and TV show, it has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. You see people of all ages wearing "Duck Dynasty" T-shirts and caps. From what I hear, Wal-Mart and other stores have a difficult time keeping "Duck Dynasty" memorabilia in stock.

Why is "Duck Dynasty" so popular?

Possibly, because, compared to much of the graphic sex and violence on television these days, it depicts a fresh approach to a healthier lifestyle. Plus, it’s totally different, and by different, I mean as in a humorously paradoxical way, brining to mind past TV shows such as "The Munsters" and "The Addams Family."

That said, I am convinced that one good reason "Duck Dynasty" has caught on really big with viewing audiences is the ever-popular Texas rock group ZZ Top.

When the show first comes on, Willie is seen riding in the back seat of a Rolls Royce decked out in colorful, wildly matched threads and sporting big, expensive-looking rings on his fingers, to the rocking sound of ZZ Top’s hit “Sharp Dressed Man.” A line in the chorus goes, “Cause, every girl’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man.”

When the Rolls Royce comes to a stop, Willie gets out, and his sexy wife is there to greet him.

All I can say is, “It works.”

One thing is for certain: There are no quacks involved with the successful marketing of "Duck Dynasty."

Read more from:
Duck Dynasty, Entertainment, Voices
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Members Opinions:
March 24, 2013 at 12:26pm

I am personally a big fan of Duck Dynasty. What really drew me to the show was that in every episode they come together for dinner, prayer, and set a great example for what family should really be. There is a moral to be learned from each episode narrated to viewers while they are eating.
I agree with you 100 percent that the show offers a healthy alternative to reality television when compared with some of the other shows offered such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which exploits a child, or My Super Sweet 16, which can have far reaching impacts on a young audiences perception of reality. The cast/family of Duck Dynasty, though they are proclaimed millionaires, still show the value of hard work, cooking, cleaning, praying, family and shows that these values are what’s most important and realistic. They aren’t focused on being a TV star at 13 or having half the state attend your 16th birthday party.
I think it not only impacts our culture as you mention, but also reflects some of our true southern roots-- the healthier ones that are all too often forgotten/omitted from reality television today.
I can also see your point about how Duck Dynasty has similarities to the band ZZ Top. Nice cars, a beautiful wife and long beards add up to nothing less than a ZZ Top reference. This can open up Duck Dynasty’s intended audience tremendously as ZZ Top has been active since the 1970’s in the music scene and various films.
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