(Screengrab of Saddleback Church video)
Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, the stars of the popular reality TV show "Duck Dynasty" on A&E, were greeted by thousands of fans at the Berlin Raceway track in Marne, Mich., where they were invited as special guests this past weekend.
The Grand Rapids-based Speed Media had prepared a shining two-seater, plastered with pictures of Robertson's bearded face. "This car is awesome," mlive.com quoted Robertson as saying. "It looks really good. They did a great job wrapping it. I'm impressed. I wasn't expecting that."
"If he can keep seeing his face on the hood of the car, he might decide to get into it," Korie was quoted as saying.
About 9,000 fans came to meet the "Duck Dynasty" stars. Some of them arrived two hours before Berlin opened. The organizers later allowed fans to get autographs from the Robertsons at the track's concourse, where some had lined up for more than three hours in advance.
Explaining the show's success, Robertson said, "I think it's the family values in the show… It's funny, it's well done and if you put those things together, I'm thinking America was really wanting that. We kind of stood out in the crowd, and a lot of people have been watching that, that's for sure."
Robertson said the show will portray more of the same family values in forthcoming episodes.
"We are going to open up with Kay and Phil renewing their wedding vows," he said. "It's really a special episode for us as a family. It's very powerful. It's one of the best lessons I've seen as far as love and marriage on TV, and I hope a lot of people tune in and watch it."
Robertson's older brother Alan will appear as a new addition in the fourth season, to premiere next Wednesday. Alan was the senior pastor at White's Ferry Road Church of Christ in Louisiana.
"Al is really funny as well, and hopefully he will be on the show more," The Holland Sentinel quoted Robertson as saying. "People will get to see our beardless brother."
Alan recently told the New York Post that his intention is to spread the Gospel beyond the members of his own congregation. "What I do for our church – you see, it's a pretty good-sized church – impacts a lot of people, but because of my association with the show, I'll get to minister to a lot more people," he said. "Any person that's an evangelist, that's what you want to do, so I had to give this up for something possibly bigger."
The series revolves around the Robertson family-owned duck call business in Louisiana, Duck Commander, and their strong Christian faith. The company produces duck hunting products, including a duck call.
The show has reached a wide fan base, and its ratings beat out "American Idol" during its third season, which broke the network's viewer ratings. The cast members often display their Christian faith in the episodes and are seen at the end of each program praying before sharing a family meal.