Mike Rowe Discusses Why He’s Bringing Back ‘Dirty Jobs’

by Liz Holland

Mike Rowe is bringing back “Dirty Jobs”, and you’ll never guess why. The reality show originally premiered in 2003 and ran for 9 seasons. The show featured reality star Mike Rowe apprenticing himself to professionals who perform jobs that are particularly dangerous or disgusting. The jobs would range anywhere from roadkill collector to rattlesnake catcher, offering new challenges for Rowe to face every time. Each episode, the professional would take Rowe under their wing as a full-fledged assistant for the day. Rowe would do his best to complete every necessary task, no matter how uncomfortable or hazardous it ended up being. The show aired over 170 episodes. 

In 2020, a reunion special titled “Dirty Jobs: Rowe’d Trip” hit the air. The program took on a “where are they now” approach. The series covers all the things that made the early 2000s show such a hit. The special looks back on series highlights, and follows the show’s crew as they travel and reminisce. 

Mike Rowe Says ‘Thousands’ Asked For More ‘Dirty Jobs’

It looks like the show is making another, official comeback. Rowe says he felt now was the time, with the pandemic putting the media spotlight on all things “essential.”

It also seems like the perfect time to promote the Mike Rowe Works Foundation. The organization provides scholarships and promotes careers in skilled trades. “I started getting literally thousands of people on Facebook and social media straight up asking me to bring the show back,” Rowe explains.

In an interview with TMZ, Rowe provides a little more insight on what exactly inspired him to bring the show back after all these years. “The short answer is COVID. Y’know, we locked down for a year and a half, and ‘essential work’ became headline news again,” he explains. “I started getting a lot of letters from fans of the old show, and I think the network heard from a lot of them as well. Y’know, “Dirty Jobs” was the granddaddy of essential working shows, and since that was back in the headlines, it seemed like a good idea to go out and just remind people of who’s keeping the lights on, and doing the kinds of jobs that make civilized life work for the rest of us.”

The Show is About Much More Than Shock Value

The television host elaborates in an interview about what the show really means to him, and how the reboot is different. “It’s not just about exploding toilets and misadventures in animal husbandry,” Rowe says. “I’m older and wiser. There’s more biography, more trying to get to the root of why these people do what they do.” This certainly rings true, as in the premiere of the new episodes, Rowe returns to the shows’ roots: construction. He gets to know the family behind the business, and works on a bridge alongside a crew in 100-degree Florida weather. “It was a reminder of the second law of thermodynamics: I’m living in a disintegrating body,” the 59-year-old jokes. “I don’t have to succeed, but I have to try.”