Uncle Si speaks his mind during visit
Production of the popular A&E Network reality television program “Duck Dynasty” ended in 2017 but love for the show’s stars, the members of the Robertson family of Louisiana, lives on.
That love was evident last weekend when Si Robertson of the show visited the Neshoba County Coliseum in Philadelphia.
“Uncle Si,” as he is affectionately known, was (and still is) a wild card. He says what he thinks, often about his Christian faith. And on the show, he tended to meddle, get off task and wander a bit. That has led to many misadventures, both on and off the television show.
“You might get to see him for 30 minutes or an hour on television,” said Phillip McMillan, a family friend who travels with Uncle Si with the specific instructions to try and keep Si out of trouble. “That doesn’t scratch the surface.”
“Storytime with Uncle Si,” as the show was called, is basically a back-and-forth conversation between Si and McMillian. They tell funny stories, mostly about things that Si has done and said. And one is usually trying to go one-up on the other.
The Robertson family was doing well with their family-owned business, Duck Commander of West Monroe, La. They sell equipment for duck hunters and are known for the duck calls they make. The show ran on A&E from 2012 through 2017 but reruns and spinoff shows are still available.
Si Robertson made the reeds for the duck calls. A Vietnam veteran with more than 20 years in the military, he said he was a bit surprised at the show’s initial success.
“You have a business that caters to duck hunters,” Robertson said. “But when they approached us about the show, they didn’t want to make a duck hunting show. They wanted to do it about the family members.”
Robertson said he played himself and enjoyed the experience.
“I loved doing the show,” Robertson said. “Some of the family didn’t like it. All the rest of them had to do a little bit of acting. Me. All I have to do is show up.”
Last weekend was not Si’s first trip to Philadelphia. He visited the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians a couple of years ago and became a big fan of stickball.
Lane Taylor put the show together. He had visited the Robertsons in West Monroe and became friends with them.
“Because of COVID-19, we haven’t had a lot to do in Philadelphia in the past year,” Taylor said. “I thought people might enjoy getting to see him. I asked if there was any way we could get Si up here to put on a show and (family patriarch) Phil Robertson said, ‘We’ll make it happen.’”
Si made two appearances last weekend in Philadelphia. On Friday night, he entertained about 300 people at a sponsors dinner at The Venue. Then he put his show on Saturday night at the Neshoba County Coliseum. Approximately 1,000 tickets were sold.
Robertson made himself available to his fans both nights, signing autographs and taking pictures.
“He was going to leave after the Saturday night show,” Taylor said. “But he stayed two hours afterward to sign autographs, take pictures and talk with the people. He said, ‘These people have been good to me and I will stay as long as I have to.’”