Dec 17, 201309:59 AM
The Lighter Side

Exploring the humor and peculiarities of the Big Easy

'Duck Dynasty’ Overload: Everywhere a Quack Quack

Is the “Duck Dynasty” merchandise getting out of hand?

I would like to start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Louisiana's own “Duck Dynasty.” I enjoyed writing the recaps last season and have enjoyed every single one from when I started watching way back in Season 1 after it happened to air after an episode of “Storage Wars,” which I was strangely fascinated with for a minute. When I watched the “Duck Dynasty” pilot and the credits started to roll with the beards, camo suits and ZZ Top, I thought A&E was off their rocker. I thought they must have been extremely hard up for reality shows if they were going to follow around a family who made their fortune from duck calls, of all things.

But I kept watching, for some reason; they hooked me as easily as one of the bearded guys would hook a fish. They're just so damn endearing and unpretentious. And the ones that kept me watching were not Willy and his wife Korie, who seem like lovely people, but it was Phil, Miss Kay, Jase and Si that I loved to watch. Sure, they were in front of cameras, but they were authentic. They seem like don't give a damn what people think or about other stuff going on in the world. They seem like they are just themselves and do exactly what they want to do. They're just so... Zen. It's fascinating to me. I feel like it takes such courage to figure out exactly whom you are and exactly what you want to do, and then go out and do it.

Phil Robertson gave up a lucrative football career because football season interfered with hunting season. Hunting made him happier. Now how many people do that in this world? Give up what could be serious amounts of money for something that many would call a hobby? Yet he did it. And he still ended up rich. To me it's a reminder of something that I feel is a fundamental truth: Be true to yourself and you can't go wrong.

But having said all that, am I the only one who thinks “Duck Dynasty” has gotten out of hand? Oh my God, the merch is everywhere, especially if you go to Walmart. Did you see the Christmas special, "O Little Town of West Monroe?" The episode started inside a damn Walmart, right under a big Walmart sign where Willy, Jase and their wives were doing some holiday shopping, probably some time last summer.

I'm also pretty sure that the entire family plus Godwin and Martin (and maybe Mountain Man) should get a SAG card out of their work on the show, because most of them are pretty great actors and pretty great at improv. A&E should also probably stop calling it a reality show and more of a sitcom. And hey, I'm not knocking it, it's still funny and I laugh my butt off every episode even though I know it's contrived, but let's be honest here, this "reality" show probably has a writers room nearby.

The show is also treated like a superhero franchise or a kid's cartoon with the amount of stuff you can find with the “Duck Dynasty” logo slapped on it, or things you can attach beards to. They even have action figures. Action figures for heaven's sake! And God help me, but I kind of want a Jase Robertson figure for Christmas, it even comes with a tiny duck call, frog and a snake.

Also during the very special Christmas episode, while at Walmart, they mentioned that the perfect gift for the fellas back at the warehouse was "beef jerky and bullets." And do you want to know what they just so happen to sell at Walmart?

“Duck Dynasty” Beef Jerky. I didn't go back to the gun section to see if they have “Duck Dynasty” bullets. I'm sure they do.

With each new arbitrary product I see in the stores (like beard birthday cards at Walgreens), I think more and more about doing a fun list of crazy things they should make into "Duck Dynasty" products, like their own brand of novocaine from the John Luke/Dentist episode, but I have come to find that the actual knick-knacks I keep finding are crazier than any joke list I could make in my head.

It's gotten so crazy that a friend and I even started a game. We send each other pictures of weird “Duck Dynasty” stuff we find. She sent me this pic of her daughter and a Jase Robertson pillow, which I may or may not want also want for Christmas.

I'm beginning to think that the “Duck Dynasty” guys realize it's ridiculous and they're just having a good joke on the American public. I mean, how can they not be laughing somewhere that someone is buying their “Duck Dynasty” shower scrunchies?

Are they trying to cash in while they can, while the show is still popular? Is it some huge Andy Kaufman-esque joke? I have no idea. All I know is I still love the show, despite the inexplicable custom line of eyeglasses at the Walmart Vision Center.

"Duck Dynasty" still makes me laugh, even though I realize the whole thing is staged. The Robertsons are just so likable ... and I'm having fun relishing in the silliness of taking pictures of “Duck Dynasty” products and sending them to my friends. It's the little things.

P.S. Jase is kind of my favorite, in case you couldn't tell.

Reader Comments:
Dec 17, 2013 04:53 pm
 Posted by  John

As a native of West Monroe (WMHS Class of '58), I was proud, amazed, frustrated, and dismayed all in the same emotion when I got hooked on Duck Dynasty. The only person of any notoriety that I know of to come out of West Monroe was Jerry Stovall (LSU, #21 St. Louis Cardinal football team way back when). Now living in Virginia where the locals can identify with the Beard Brigade, I'm not sure if I should let them know I'm proudly from West Monroe or keep my mouth shut for my own safety. The locals here abouts use the umbrella racks in their pickups to hold their shotguns and I could just end up with buckshot in my backside especially if they see my LSU window decal and that black and gold fleur di lis on my tailgate.

But, you are absolutely correct in saying that we're in DD overload. My wife and I were shopping today in a fabric store in a tiny, rural town here in Virginia. Not to our surprise but dismay, hanging on the wall was a quilt pattern for the 4 notable Robertsons. I kept my mouth shut.

Love your blogs, so keep it up.

Kindest regards,
JMS
Woodlawn, VA

Mar 25, 2014 01:04 pm
 Posted by  ozrkmtndd

I think you are very correct in your assessment about it being more of a sitcom and less of a reality show. I am from South Louisiana, but much of my family, including my parents, are from the W. Monroe area.

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The Lighter Side

Exploring the humor and peculiarities of the Big Easy

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Annie Drummond is a graphic designer and artist from Columbus, Ohio. She has a degree from the Columbus College of Art & Design. Two years ago she made the move from the Midwest to New Orleans' Bywater neighborhood and fell deeply in love as she discovered the rhythms and traditions of her new city. In addition to The Lighter Side, she writes about food, art and design (and other stuff) at www.AnniedelaDolce.com.

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