By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun
To say that Duck Commander and the Duck Dynasty phenomenon has become a true dynasty of commercialism is a gross understatement. I was aware that they had a huge market in the t-shirt, hat, and camouflage wear lines, but I was taken aback when I started to look into some of their other products. The sheer volume and scope of their products would seem to be greater than Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray, and Ron Popiel combined. Oh come on! Surely you remember Ron Popiel, of “Veg-O-Matic,” “Popiel Pocket Fisherman,” and the “Showtime Rotisserie - just set it and forget it!” fame. He also coined the beloved phrase, “But wait, there’s more!”
The A&E television series, Duck Dynasty, which features the Robertson clan of West Monroe, La., headed up by the senior brothers, Phil and Si, has developed a cult following of tremendous proportions. In fact, in its fourth year, the program set A&E and cable TV ratings records with some 11.8 million viewers, and has been dubbed, “The most watched non-fiction cable series in history.” Just goes to show you - there really is no accounting for taste.
I guess most people already know that the clan got its start and built its fortune by producing duck calls - really good duck calls. In addition, the following is just a partial list of Duck Dynasty products that are available through commercial outlets and mail-order or online purchases: Hunting clothing, action figures, Chia Pets, door mats, cigars, wine, Cajun Style Zesty Seasoning, Duck Dynasty printed duct (not duck) tape, wallets, watches, throw blankets, dog tags, and garden gnomes. The cutest product is edible cake-topper figurines which Phil says are, “...perfect for your wedding to a 15-year-old girl...”
They have produced hunting DVDs, books on religion, cookbooks, the Duck Dynasty Redneck Wisdom Board Game, and my favorite, “Si-Cology 1: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty’s Favorite Uncle.” They have also dabbled in the holiday music business with a single called, “Hairy Christmas,” and an album entitled “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas.”
But wait, there’s more! The clan has now partnered with the Mossberg & Sons, Inc. firearms company to produce “Duck Commander Firearms.” You would expect them to be producing a variety of shotguns, and they have. In addition, they will produce semi-automatic rifles and pistols. These are large-capacity .22 caliber weapons with magazines of 25 rounds. I am at a loss for the need of such weapons as they relate to fowl and small game hunting in those swamps. Mossberg has a great marketing line for the automatic pistol however: “The pistol is perfect for small game, plunking, target shooting or clearing cottonmouths out of your duck blind.”
All these weapons will have their patented waterfowl camouflage design along with their logo which shows a duck in flight. Also, each weapon with have the words, “Faith, Family, Duck” etched alongside the logo. But wait, there’s more! With each purchase of a Duck Dynasty Firearm, you will also get an American flag bandana “...like the one worn by Willie!”
Phil Robertson staunchly maintains that he and his whole family live a life steeped in biblical principles. He has been having a long-standing feud with the A&E Network censors who have intermittently bleeped parts of the unscripted family dialogue. Phil says there is never any profanity and he especially resents the deletion of the word “Jesus” during the episode-ending prayers. Rightly, or wrongly, old Phil says it like he sees it and that philosophy recently got him in hot water over an interview he granted to GQ Magazine that offended several minority groups. I got a kick out of the fact the article was entitled, “What the Duck?”
Phil takes that same spiritual outlook on guns and hunting ducks. He put it succinctly when he said, “Where there’s design, there’s a designer. We were designed to kill ducks.” He also said, “You know what makes me happy, ladies and gentlemen? To blow a mallard duck’s head smooth off.” I find a certain irony that their logo features a wild duck in flight - it would appear that a headless mallard, crashing down into the duck blind, would be more appropriate to his sentiments.
I will close this rant with a few things you probably will never hear from Phil Robertson:
We don’t keep no firearms in this house. Do you think my hair and beard are too long? I think
deer heads are tacky and detract from the decor of the house. I prefer to have my fish poached or
boiled. The tires on that truck are just too big. Honey, did you mail that donation off to
Greenpeace? This morning, I think I’ll have grapefruit instead of biscuits and gravy.
- - - - -
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “soundoff” on this column? Email: email@example.com