‘Dirty Jobs’ Star Mike Rowe Tells Hilarious Story of How Budget Constraints Affect His Shows

by Clayton Edwards

It seems like Mike Rowe keeps several irons in the fire. To hear him tell it, he has done several versions of the same show. There’s some truth to that. Most of the shows he hosts focus on hard work and how it gets done. He started with Dirty Jobs and has been building on that show’s success ever since. Last month, his newest series How America Works premiered on Fox Business Network. However, there have been several shows between those two. One of those was Six Degrees with Mike Rowe. It hit Discovery+ earlier this year.

Back in March, Rowe appeared on Banfield via video call to discuss Six Degrees. During their discussion, he touched on several aspects of the show. At one point, Mike Rowe talked about having smaller budgets on his shows. Luckily, Rowe is a guy who knows how to make things happen. He’s not afraid to think outside the box to get the job done. That’s just what he had to do with Six Degrees.

In the beginning, Mike Rowe said, Six Degrees was going to be called The Way I Heard It. He wanted the show to serve as almost a video counterpart to his podcast of the same name. It would have consisted of six half-hour episodes. However, it just kept growing. “The more we got into it, the more it became obvious that it would be better as an hour.” The length of the show was only the first major change.

Mike Rowe went on, saying, “The more time I had on my hands, the more ridiculous the production approach became.” It shouldn’t be surprising that things got ridiculous. Each episode of Six Degrees seeks to prove how something seemingly impossible is true. For instance, in the first installment, Rowe proves that Civil War soldiers produced the show.

Mike Rowe Talks Working on a Budget

How ridiculous did the production get? Mike Rowe talked about some of the things that went into the show. “There’s animation, there’s puppets, there’s dubious reenactments, there’s cheap costumes, wigs that don’t fit…” Ashleigh Banfield, the show’s host, cut him off. “Wait, wait. You said there’s puppets? There’s puppets?” She looked completely shocked by the revelation.

“Oh yeah,” Mike Rowe said, “we’re full puppet on this.” Then, he went on to explain why they used puppets. “We had this scene that basically takes place in the midst of the San Francisco earthquake. And, if you look at the budget to recreate an earthquake in San Francisco versus the cost of doing it with puppets, your decision becomes pretty simple pretty fast.”

You can watch all six episodes of Six Degrees with Mike Rowe on Discovery+ right now. If you do, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the puppets weathering the San Francisco earthquake.