Most of you probably wondered why A&E's reality T.V. series Duck Dynasty has such high viewership, and you may say that it is Silas 'Uncle Si' Robertson's humor and/or many other ingredients combined. But 'Uncle Si' along with his brother Phil have emphasized that it is because of God that their show went all the way to the top.
'Uncle Si' appeared at Catalysts, an annual next-generation, mega-conference held in Atlanta, Ga., on October 2-3, 2013. He was interviewed before over 13,000 young church leaders from across the nation. The conference organizers asked questions that focused on the conference's theme, "Known," which aims to impart the notion that leaders can only know where they are headed when they know where they come from.
Uncle Si was asked to speak on topics including his relationship with Phil while growing up and now, why his wife never shows up on Duck Dynasty, his love of duck hunting, experiences in Vietnam, and the reasons why he thinks the show is so successful.
The first question posed to Uncle Si was about his plain spoken honesty as he described in his best-selling book 'Si-Cology 101.'
"Talking about honesty, I even grew a long beard so people couldn't call me a bald face liar," he started his talk with his trademark sense of humor.
The quirky yet wildly popular Si said the books are tales and wisdom from him, but most people don't realize that they are stories from his life, told through tall tales.
"When you read the first of it, it says 95% of this is true. The other 5% is just kicking it on much," he said. "I will leave it to the readers to determine what 95% is true and what 5% may be fabrication."
On his relationship growing up with Phil, Si shared how whenever Phil asks to do anything, whether it is going out to cat fish or on a date with Kay, the first thing their mom would say is 'take your younger brother.'
"Phil is my brother and his wife is like my older sister," he shared. "I've been with them all their life. I'm like the fifth wheeler on the good tractor trailer. You can't haul nothing without the good fifth wheel."
When asked why Miss Si Robertson isn't on the show, Uncle Si explained, "Hey, she's got more sense than all of us. She wants nothing to do with the show.
"The real reason is this - she's lived with this for forty years, okay. The last thing she wants is to be filmed with it," said Si, who finally told the truth that it is that her health wouldn't allow her to.
Uncle Si said he doesn't watch Duck Dynasty even if it means the last episode, but his found something weird about his wife. In one occasion, Si heard his wife crackling up from watching television in a room behind his couch, and he found out it was because she was watching him acting up on Duck Dynasty.
"I said, 'You are actually watching Duck Dynasty?' She said, 'I watch it every Wednesday night.' Now I look at her and said, 'Why? You live with it.'"
Then, Uncle Si was asked the reason why he thinks the show is so successful, and he acknowledges that the whole TV network, including A&E, NBC, are 'pulling their hair out trying to figure this out.'
"Here is the answer they wouldn't and won ever come up with," he said. "They leave the key ingredient out - the God factor."
And the whole crowd erupts in cheers.
"Look, every morning, I go out to the Duck business, and I brush my teeth, wash my hair, and I look in the mirror and a lot of people says God doesn't have a sense of humor," he said. Although he compared himself, Phil, Jase, and Willie to the "Halloween nights at the movies," he said, "God has taken us and made us T.V. stars."
Moreover, in an occasion when the show's director came out to the production set , Si shared, "'You thought you are directing this, didn't you?' And he said, 'I am.' I said, 'No, you're not.'
"The almighty is directing this. He's going to take Duck Dynasty wherever He wants it to go and who He wants it to go to," said Uncle Si.
Then, the interviewer asked Si to share about his role as the operations officer of their family's company Duck Commander, his love for duck calls and how serious he takes his craft.
"People don't understand this and especially animal rights people," he replied. "They really don't."
He explained that if hunting is really just about pulling the trigger and shooting 'defenseless' animals, he wouldn't even 'get out of bed.'
"When I go out in the morning to go duck hunting, I'm out and I'm with the created and all this beautiful stuff for us to enjoy," he said, referring to the sunrise and the beautiful colors on the all the species of duck.
"He created it for us," he said. "And I got orders from headquarters to kill it and grill it."
Uncle Si was then asked to share a story of a moment that really meant a lot to him and shaped who is from his time of service during the Vietnam War.
He said he didn't find out until eight years ago from watching T.V. on Memorial Day that more than 50,000 U.S. soldiers committed suicide after coming back home from Vietnam, which was more than the lives lost in the war itself.
"That's a black eye for America. We got the same problem right now for Iraq and all these other places," he said. "So the thing that I really don't know is what people do when they don't believe in God."
He recalled how God has perform miracles time and time again in his and brother Phil's lives. In an example, at an event where Phil was preaching the Gospel and doing a duck call demonstration, a kid with cancer in a wheelchair says to Phil that he would sure like to go duck hunting with him. In reply, Phil said he would pray for him, and the event ended.
"Two years later, a young man came up to Phil and asked if he remembered him. He says, 'last time you saw me, I was in a wheelchair and I look at lot different now, because I didn't have no hair because I was getting chemotherapy.' "
"Phil replied, 'You were the one I prayed to get up and you now to collect on the duck hunt, huh?' And he said, 'Yes sir, I am,'" said Si.
"We say a prayer and the almighty lift him up," he said. "Be it God, he can do that. He can show mercy on who he wants to."
"I am amazed that America has embraced the Robertson family like they have," he said. "We are humbled by it and we really appreciate it."
Listen to the complete audio interview on the Catalyst Podcast.