Money changes people. There’s no doubt about that. It’s a well established fact of life. So it that the case with the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty?
Phil Robertson, the inventor of the Duck Commander duck call, certainly has a rags to riches story. Starting out as a commercial fisherman, Robertson kept his family fed through whatever he could catch or hunt.
Is it the love of money that changes people? Or is it having more money that changes you? As for the Robertsons, it seems that neither applies.
“Money, shouldn’t change who you are,” Willie Robertson told CBN.
Growing up without money has certainly put its mark on Robertson. It has given Willie an appreciation for the finical stability he can provide for his family. However, the fame is a little different to handle.
The good news, for the Robertsons, is that the family is all in it together. No one person became famous, and everyone else’s lives has to revolve around that one person. But rather, as the show became a success, everyone became a success. Everyone became famous, and by extension–rich.
That way, everyone is on the same plane. And, if anyone starts to get a big head about them, there are plenty of family members ready and willing to knock them down to size. No one hesitates to remind the others of where they started from. Their roots of hunting, fishing, family and devotion to God, is paramount.
Their fame came through hard work, faith and an unexpected email.
The bearded guys of Duck Commander were well known in the hunting industry. Seemingly out of nowhere, an email came from someone who owned a production company who was also from Louisiana. He told Willie that he thought they had what it took to do a television show.
They made a “sizzle reel” also known as a demo reel. In television, it is a three to five minute video that is usually fast-passed and stylized to the type of show they are pitching. This is how ideas are pitched to producers.
A&E saw their Duck Dynasty’s and liked what they saw. The next step was creating a pilot, which they did. They made two pilots and Duck Dynasty became the number one television show. It broke several rating records. Both on A&E and cable television. On the fourth season premiere, it drew an audience of 11.8 million. Which earned it the title as the most-watched nonfiction cable series in history.
One of the most endearing aspects of the Duck Dynasty television show is how they end each episode around the dinner table with a prayer of thanks.
This is not staged. The matriarch of the Robertson family, Miss Kay, cooked every single day for her family– and employees. All out of a small kitchen filled with love and grace. This tradition rolled over into the show, and serves as the glue that keeps family unity today.