Seven years ago, the Robertson family went from the bayou of Louisiana to international fame overnight. From the very first episode of Duck Dynasty, the world fell in love with the eccentric millionaires who made them laugh while providing an example of the importance of family. The long-haired guys were more wholesome than people expected — and so hilarious that it became one of the most popular shows around.
The A&E show featured Phil and Kay Robertson, who built a small but lucrative business that caters to duck hunting. And their sons provide a lot of the entertainment while working, hunting, playing, and praying. Phil, his brother Si, and sons Willie, Jase, and Jep stand out in a crowd with their long beards reminiscent of ZZ Top, but it's their antics that we really enjoy. And seeing their beautiful wives and cute, sweet kids put up with them kept fans coming back week after week.
Duck Dynasty aired for five years and became a huge sensation. It's still in reruns, but it's been a couple of years since new episodes aired. This guide provides a little nostalgia and lets fans know what the Robertsons are up to now. Here are 20 little known details about the Duck Dynasty family.
20 Phil And Kay's Long Loving Relationship
A lot of people might think that the Robertson family's lifestyle is a little strange, but there is no denying that the patriarch and matriarch are in love. Phil and Kay have had a long and happy relationship over more than five decades.
In fact, they first got together when Kay was just 14. She was on the sidelines as a cheerleader when Phil was the high school quarterback. Since then, they have had four sons and 16 grandchildren. In 2013, the pair renewed their vows during an episode of the show, and they had four generations of family gathered to mark the occasion.
19 Adoption Helped Expand The Family
The Robertson family is pretty big, but even though they were blessed with children, they opened their hearts and homes even further, adopting several kids. Willie and Korie had the heart to expand their family even further through adoption. The pair, who already have three biological kids and two adopted ones, added the newest member to their family just three years ago when they adopted a 13-year-old named Rowdy.
Youngest brother Jep and his wife Jessica also adopted a child in 2016. Their youngest son Gus was adopted, joining his four older siblings because pregnancy complications meant that Jep and Jessica couldn't have more kids on their own.
18 Phil's Football Skills
We mentioned already that Kay fell for the high school quarterback, but the truth is that Phil had some major skills. His prowess got him a college education, as Phil was recruited to play at Louisiana Tech, where he started for the team and eventually earned his master's degree in education.
In fact, Phil had the starting job above his teammate and future Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw. According to his teammates, he could have played in the NFL, but Phil was much more interested in hunting than football. But things turned out pretty well for him. After stepping away from the gridiron, Phil started his duck call business, and the rest is history.
17 Memorabilia Mania
Even before the Robertson family became a reality show phenomenon, they had a lot of merchandise in stores as the entrepreneurs behind the popular Duck Commander duck call. After Duck Dynasty became a hit, their merchandising took off like never before.
The family's faces were on clothes and towels and hats and toys. Their beards made for the perfect connection with Chia Pet, and for a few years, they were one of the biggest inspirations for Halloween costumes. Willie even starred in a Walmart commercial. In all, Duck Dynasty merchandise has garnered about $400 million in revenue, according to Wikipedia.
16 Uncle Si's Family
Uncle Si is one of the most popular characters from Duck Dynasty, and it seems like the eccentric Vietnam veteran is attached to his brother's family because he doesn't have one of his own. But in truth, Si has been married for decades and has a couple of kids of his own.
Si's wife Christine didn't want to be a part of the show. In an interview with Us Magazine, Si said that she had some health problems that made the long days of shooting too difficult, and he joked that she got enough of his crazy antics at home.
15 They Are Worth $400 Million
Phil and Si Robertson grew up really poor. Their family didn't even have running water. But life has changed completely for the brothers and their families. It all started with Phil's successful design of the duck call sold by the company Duck Commander, which definitely put the family into the millionaire status. But Duck Dynasty took them into an entirely different income bracket.
According to Celebs Net Worth Today, the Robertson family is worth more than $400 million. That's a lot of duck calls, television residuals and merchandising. Phil and Kay still live in the same modest house where they raised their boys, but they have plenty of money in the bank.
14 Handsome Without The Hair
If there is one thing the men of Duck Dynasty are known for it's their hair. The entire Robertson clan, even Phil and Uncle Si, have long hair and even longer beards, with the exception of the oldest son Alan, who wasn't in the first few seasons of the show.
But as adorable as they are with their long dark locks, some old family pictures have revealed how handsome the men were before they grew their famous hair. Willie even had some cute dimples under all that scruff. You wouldn't know it without looking at his daughter, though, because it's been years since anyone has seen his cheeks.
13 Issues Run In The Family
On Duck Dynasty, Uncle Si famously sips on a cup of sweet tea all the time. That's the drink of choice these days in the Robertson family. But in the past, there were some harder drinks being passed around. Phil has been public about his past vices, although it's been decades since he gave them up.
According to an autobiography, the issue ran in the family. Alan had some trouble with his drinks for a while, and he and his wife discussed some failings that they had in their younger years in their book. Both Phil and Alan credit their faith for helping them get past their troubles and on to better times.
12 They Have A Wine Label
While some family members don't partake, that didn't stop the Robertsons from starting their own wine label. Willie and Korie launched the brand in 2012 with a few different flavors, including Miss Priss Pink Moscato, Wood Duck Chardonnay, and Triple Threat Red Blend.
According to Reverse Wine Snob, they aren't bad, and they seem to be crowd pleasers. At first, Phil wasn't really happy seeing the name of his duck calls used for this type of product, but we guess it all got settled because the bottles are still on shelves. Duck Commander Wine is available where all Duck Dynasty fans like to shop — Walmart.
11 They Didn't Get The Reality Show Appeal
Duck Dynasty was practically an overnight sensation, and the Robertson family have gone from wealthy entrepreneurs to huge celebrities. While Willie and Jase always seem super-confident, the truth is that even they weren't sure that their reality show would work out.
Jase told Fox News Radio that he didn't think that the show would survive even for an entire season, and it ended up chronicling years of the family's lives. "I had this perception of reality shows that you had to have all this friction and fits of rage and four-letter words," Jase said in a quote on Looper. But the Robertsons proved that you could be wholesome and still successful.
10 Sadie's Acting And Singing Success
Most of the action in Duck Dynasty surrounded Si, Phil, and his sons, as well as the spouses. But Phil's grandkids were also featured a few times. The biggest breakout star of the bunch is Sadie, Willie's daughter, whose cute dimples and sweet smile seemed to light up the screen.
Sadie has found her own fame since the show first began. She nearly brought home the mirror ball trophy on Dancing With The Stars. She's also acted in a few movies, including God's Not Dead. And she has released an album and gone on a book tour! Sadie has a lot of talents, and we expect she'll go a lot farther than the Louisiana bayou.
9 Jase Shaved His Beard To Support His Daughter
The Robertsons are a bit attached to their long hair and bears, but family is way more important to them. After the show ended in 2017, Jase didn't hesitate to give up his famous locks in support of his little girl Mia, who was raising money to educate people about cleft palates.
Mia was born with the condition and required surgery so she could properly speak, eat, and breathe. When Mia reached her fundraising goal, Jase cut his hair and his beard, which means that he isn't as recognizable as he was during Duck Dynasty's heyday, although he does look a lot like his oldest son Cole now.
8 Oldest Brother Born Out Of Wedlock
While the Robertsons are known for their belief in God, that doesn't mean that they have lived lives that are perfect — and they admit it. Miss Kay said that she and Phil had made a vow to themselves and to God, but they were not actually married when their first child Alan was born.
Phil and Kay were very young, and they believe in the forgiveness of God, so it's not a big deal for the family. These days, Alan is a preacher, and he also helps with the family business. And Phil and Kay have been happily married for more than 50 years.
7 The Robertson 'Sister'
We've already mentioned that several of the Robertson grandchildren joined the family through adoption, but there is also a sister who never got officially adopted but who is a big part of the family. Rebecca Robertson first came to the family as an exchange student, and Willie and Korie struggled for a while because of the language barrier.
But now Rebecca, who is originally from Taiwan, is just like one of their own, and Willie even walked her down the aisle at her wedding. Rebecca's heart is as big as other members of the Robertson clan, and she fits right in.
6 Phil The Baptist
The Robertson family was well-known for their faith, but some might have been surprised the Phil had been baptizing people long before the show ever began. He participated in the baptisms of his own children and grandchildren and others in his West Monroe church.
In 2014, a New Jersey man drove 20 hours to Louisiana to be baptized in a ceremony that Phil conducted. The Robertsons have been happy to share their faith with people, and they treated their show as a spiritual outreach, so we're certain that Phil was incredibly glad that his fame helped introduce some people to Christianity.
5 The Duck Diner
Food is a big part of life and of Duck Dynasty. Every episode ends with the family gathered around the table to eat, so it's only fitting that the Robertsons expanded their empire to include a restaurant. The family opened Willie's Duck Diner in West Monroe in 2017.
Yes, there is duck on the menu, as well as Miss Kay's famous meatloaf and Uncle Si's fried pickles. The fare is definitely Southern and pairs well with the cookbooks that have come from the family. It's become a fun tourist attraction for the many visitors who travel to the bayou to try to get a glimpse of the famous reality show family. Unfortunately, though, the diner is now closed.
4 They Released A Christmas Album
One way to know a celebrity has really made it is for them to put out a Christmas special — for a musician, it's a Christmas album. And for the cast of Duck Dynasty, they've done both to huge success. The Duck Dynasty Christmas album came out in 2013.
"Duck The Halls" debuted at number one on the Top Country Albums Chart and number four on the Billboard 200 chart. It featured several classics and some funny songs featuring the family, such as "Baby It's Cold Outside" by Missy and Jase, and "Hairy Christmas," featuring Willie, Phil, Uncle Si, Jase Jep alongside country sensation Luke Bryan.
3 They've Written More Than A Dozen Books
One of the most prolific talents among the Duck Dynasty family is writing. A lot of the family members have published books, and there are more than a dozen different books in a variety of genres for fans to enjoy.
Phil has published a couple of books on his life and his political thoughts, and Si has a few funny books as well on his philosophy on life. Willie, Korie, Sadie, Jase, Missy, and Alan all have books, and Miss Kay has even published a cookbook with her favorite recipes. It might take months to read the entire Duck Dynasty library.
2 Willie's A Granddad
Phil is known as the grandpa of the Duck Dynasty family, but in 2019, Willie became a granddad too. Korie shared an anniversary message with her husband of 27 years on IG that showed what the pair were doing to celebrate — snuggling with their brand new grandbaby.
The little guy is the son of their adopted daughter Rebecca, the one who came to Louisiana as an exchange student and fell in love with the entire family. Phil and Kay already have a few other great-grandkids from Alan's children, but we bet they are ecstatic to welcome a new tiny generation of Robertsons.
1 One 'Happy, Happy, Happy' Family
When the world was introduced to the Robertsons when Duck Dynasty first aired in 2012, most people didn't know what to think about the goofy boys from the bayou. But it didn't take long before Phil and Kay felt like our own parents and we all saw our brother in Jase and our eccentric uncle in Si.
While they had their share of antics, the heart of the show was about family and being positive in life. That's why the world adopted one of Phil's favorite catchphrases, and we all felt "happy, happy, happy" to invite the Robertsons in our homes for 30 minutes each week.