Elisabeth Hasselbeck uses 'Duck Dynasty' as bonding opportunity with new Fox News friends
In a pre-taped segment that's been airing throughout the week -- the final installment airs on Friday, Sept. 20 -- Hasselbeck and fellow curvy-couch sitters Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade visited with America's other first family.
The duck-call-making Robertsons are led by abundantly bearded patriarch Phil, his equally hirsute sons Willie and Jase, and the always unpredictable Uncle Si.
"We were just in West Monroe, La.," says Hasselbeck, calling in after Thursday morning's broadcast, "hanging out for two days with the Robertson family, and it was a great bonding experience. When you're in the middle of snakes, guns and Uncle Si Robertson, you're coming out bonded."
Along the way, Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, have explained the show's burst of popularity; Hasselbeck got a crash course in duck-calling; and the "Fox & Friends" hosts watched an episode of "Duck Dynasty" with the Robertsons.
As Korie explained, the whole family heads home after church, lays out a spread (including, in the segment, Korie's grandmother's gumbo) and settles in to watch the show.
The hosts also got to sample a bit of Phil's fresh jam and down-home common sense. The series culminates with a contest to see who is the best shot (hint: it's not Hasselbeck).
"It's a family that has their priorities completely in order," says Hasselbeck. "They were so welcoming to us. They had us in their home; we watched the premiere of their show with them in the living room, just like they do every week. They have God, family, work, in order."
Hasselbeck also wanted to know how the Robertsons -- who work together at Duck Commander and on TV, live with or near each other and hang out together in their spare time -- don't wind up at each others' throats.
"They have forgiveness," she says. "They just forgive each other for little things here and there, don't hold onto them and proceed. They've got a great sense of humor. They don't take themselves seriously, but they take their responsibility seriously, and that is a great asset.
"Kind, kind, family -- and that Kori Robertson and Missy" -- wife of brother Jase -- "I bonded with the women."
Of course, Hasselbeck has a man of her own at home, husband Tim Hasselbeck, a former NFL quarterback who's now an analyst for ESPN. Apparently, Tim has some desire for facial hair -- a tendency that concerns his wife.
"Tim has been wanting to grow a beard to make up for not being able to, with hair [on his head]," says Hasselbeck, "So, he would love that. He actually did. I think it was at a training camp or two, when he was in the NFL, he decided to do things like that.
"I do think beards -- not with the Robertsons -- but a sudden growth of beard indicates something. Women, we express ourselves, we just got a stress haircut, or we've decided to go red. Men grow beards, and then you wonder, 'What's going on here? Do you want to talk?"
"Fox & Friends" airs weekdays from 6-9 a.m. ET (live in all time zones); "Duck Dynasty" airs Wednesdays on A&E.