Mike Rowe loves getting dirty. And no, we’re not talking about the time he stripped nude to promote his TV series. Keep your minds in a literal gutter. The TV host likes to get filthy to highlight those rarely discussed jobs that are critical for society’s survival.
Dirty Jobs returned last week after a many-year absence. You can watch it on the Discovery Channel or Discovery+. Fans are excited to see Rowe back in the trenches — literally. So much so, they’ve inundated him with messages of support, he said. He’s replying to all the ones he can.
One woman named Claudette wrote to tell him how excited she was to see the show had returned, but, like any jilted lover, she worried Mike Rowe would stay this time. He responded on Instagram that as long as there is air in his lungs and a shovel in his hand, he’s game to get dirty.
“It was a privilege to work with two great crews on two totally different projects,” he wrote on Instagram.” Big thanks to everyone at Shelby Erectors and Azz Galvanizing for their hospitality, and for their best efforts to work me into the dirt. And a big thanks to you for watching, Claudette, and to everyone else who shares your elevated taste in non-fiction programming. I’ve attached a few photos from last night’s episode. Do with them what you will. As for more episodes, we’ll see what the network wants, and what the schedule allows. As long as I’m upright, I’m game for more!”
Mike Rowe On What Draws Viewers to ‘Dirty Jobs’
Dirty Jobs started more than two decades ago on Evening Magazine in 2001. It was a quick segment called “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” That small segment launched an empire. Even though it was so popular, it was very DIY for Rowe and the crew.
“The first (“Somebody’s Gotta Do It”) took place in a sewer with a sewer inspector,” Rowe said on Jay Cutler’s podcast. “Then, I was artificially inseminating a cow and collecting semen from a bull called Hunsucker Commando. It was crazy. Crazy stories.”
Within two years, that segment had grown into a television show. Dirty Jobs joined the Discovery Channel where it ran for nine years. It had millions of loyal viewers but after a decade ratings hate slipped and the network canceled the show. But in the intervening nine years since, fans started coming back in droves. Clips of his shows racked up millions of hits on YouTube and Mike Rowe’s media appearances were sure-fire smashes.
It begs the question: why? Rowe has some theories.
“I think there’s a modesty that a lot of other reality shows don’t have,” he told Jay Cutler. “Dirty Jobs is a very pure, transparent show. We didn’t do any preproduction. We didn’t do any casting. And we certainly didn’t do any writing. We came in hot, rolled cameras, and got what we got.
Rowe considers it a true reality show. That means no scripts and absolutely no second takes.
“You’re calling this reality,” he said of other so-called reality series. “Why would you do a second take? That’s called a performance.”