C.J.: ‘Duck Dynasty’ dudes will land here for school benefit

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 30, 2013 - 8:22 PM

Uncle Si will sign autographs for VIP “Duck Dynasty” fans.

A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” guys are getting the royal treatment Sunday when they fly to Minnesota for an Eden Prairie appearance.

Uncle Si Robertson, his nephew, the beardless Al Robertson, and their beloved neighbor Mountain Man, known to the IRS as Tim Guraedy, will be at Grace Church in Eden Prairie to talk about how a TV show has made millionaires of the quirky Louisiana makers of duck calls. The 3 to 6 p.m. event, for which tickets can be bought at www.itickets.com, is a fundraiser for Southwest Christian High School in Chaska and Chapel Hill Academy in Chanhassen.

“We are literally bringing them to town, letting them speak, tell their stories, and then flying them back,” Leslie Robertson (no relation), development manager at Southwest Christian, told me Monday.

“We were looking for something to promote our schools,” she said. “We dreamed big. The beauty of the show is the connection for families; dads sit with their kids to watch the show and everybody loves it. Parents know they can be comfortable with their kids sitting down and watching a family-friendly show with traditional values.

“They were very hard to get,” she said of booking the unlikely celebs. “It was pretty tricky. They are untouchable in November, because that’s hunting season for them. They don’t want to be traveling. They want to go to their own kids’ football games on Friday nights. I am a parent myself and know the busy schedules with our own sporting events. Everybody has full schedules. So I thought if we picked a Vikings bye Sunday, we can draw a good crowd.”

Zap2it.com reports that the Season 4 premiere attracted 11.8 million viewers, shattering cable records. According to Robertson’s information, the “Duck Dynasty” stars’ warehouse in Monroe, La., attracts nearly 3,000 people daily, with hopes of catching a glimpse of a Si Robertson.

Uncle Si may be just as elusive after arriving in Minnesota via private plane. “We have a bunch of corporate sponsors who made it possible for the Minnesota visit, so they are going to be cranking,” said Robertson. “They only are going to autograph if you have a VIP ticket. There are only a few people who will actually get their autographs.”

Ticket prices range from $30 to $250.

Erica Hill in town

“Weekend Today Show” anchor Erica Hill recently conducted interviews at Crossroads Elementary Science+Montessori and Cherokee Heights schools for an upcoming segment on the St. Paul Public Schools’ teacher home visit program. The piece is expected to air this month.

When Hill was here, I asked her via Twitter how the weather was treating her hair, continuing an exchange we shared a few weeks earlier when renovations of the “Weekend Today” set moved the talent out onto the plaza and into the elements. The elements were making Hill’s hair do something that prompted me to tweet her with the suggestion that it was ponytail time. With a “ha,” Hill replied, maybe.

“Weather was great! Rain cleared out the humidity,” Hill tweeted regarding her trip here.

Insiders’ view

CBS’ new Robin Williams vehicle, “The Crazy Ones,” doesn’t look like a winner to me.

But I wanted opinions about this network take on the advertising world from pros in the field, so I asked Nicole Nye, VP of marketing at Olson, the Minneapolis-based heavyweight, to survey the staff via e-mail.

Nye said 47.3 percent of Olson staffers said they would be watching the premiere episode. Of those, 37.5 percent predicted success for the show.

Familiar faces?

Some of the unfamous faces may look familiar to Minnesotans who see the new Tom Hanks movie, “Captain Phillips.”

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