With America salivating over shows like Swamp Wars, Rocket City Rednecks, Hillbilly Handfishin’ and, lest we forget, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, it’s a good time to be a TV redneck. A&E’s Duck Dynasty is among the most successful in the genre, following the always colorful Robertson clan of Louisiana. Willie, along with his brother Jase, father Phil and uncle Si run the family’s profitable duck-call empire, which not surprisingly has soared to new heights as the show has become popular. With the series beginning an eagerly anticipated Season 2 at 10pm Wednesday, Willie Robertson took some time to answer our “7 Questions.”
You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
I’d grab a hunting magazine, for sure. Whenever I’m traveling, I grab USA Today and probably something to do with cooking. Don’t make me say a [specific] hunting magazine — I’ll make somebody mad if I don’t choose them. [Laughs.]
Aside from Duck Dynasty, of course, if your DVR only carried three shows, which three would you pick?
My all-time favorite is Seinfeld. I watch Fox News, and then MLB Network.
What has been your strangest fan encounter?
He thought he was a fan. He came up and he was so excited to meet me. He said, “Can I get a picture?” Then he said, “Man, that concert was awesome. I saw you in 1978 in concert.” I went, “Huh?” and he said, “You’re Gregg Allman, right?” [Laughs.] I said, “No, man! I was born in ’72.”
Tell me about a time when you were starstruck.
A&E had put us up in New York City at the Four Seasons. I was standing by the elevators and I looked over and there’s Robert De Niro standing there. It took a couple of seconds to register, and I looked up at Phil and went, “There’s Robert De Niro.” He walked past and, man, I take off after him. The dude’s the fastest walker ever, and he walks down the stairs, so I’m down the stairs after him, and he hit the streets and I popped out and he was on his way up the sidewalk, so I didn’t get to meet him. But when I stood there on the street, I was like, “Well, I guess I was starstruck. I took off after him like a crazy guy.”
What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Number one would be butter, because most everything I cook involves that. Even though we have our own seasonings, I have to have Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic seasoning. It comes in a small glass jar and it’s very expensive, but I buy about a case. Jase comes over and bums it off me all the time. Then, I have to have a V8.
When was the last time you shaved off your beard?
That would have been probably 2004, the last time I clean shaved. Now I actually have contracts that say if I change my appearance I have to have permission.
What’s it like having your very own Chia Willie?
I was fired up when I saw that! That’s quite an honor. I was a big fan of Chia Pet growing up, so to have my own mug on there with my beard, that was pretty slick. A&E’s pretty sharp. I have not started growing mine. But I haven’t heard about any jealousy around the office from me getting my own Chia Pet. We’re fixing to have bobblehead dolls, so everybody’s got a bobblehead and that probably made up for the lack of Chia.
Photo: Courtesy of A&E Networks