‘Dirty Jobs’ Host Mike Rowe Considers Himself a ‘Freelancer’ Who ‘Works 333 Days a Year’

by Craig Garrett

Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe feels he embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship through his work as a tv personality. “I absolutely look at myself as an entrepreneur,” he told the website Entrepreneur. However, Rowe does have a few qualifiers to the term.

“The term I prefer is freelancer,” the tv host and narrator said. He goes on to explain the etymology of the term freelancer. “It’s a medieval term. A freelancer was a knight without Lord,” he explained. The lordless Knight would therefore sell his lance to the highest bidder. “This business is perfectly suited for the freelance mentality. I embrace that when I got into it,” Rowe said.

This way of thinking helped Mike Rowe navigate show business. He never attaches himself permanently to any larger group and is always hustling for the next gig. “So I still see myself as a freelancer. I just work 333 days a year,” he joked.

Mike Rowe on the ‘secret sauce’ of Dirty Jobs

Dirty Jobs has been enormously popular since it debuted in 2005. Though the original run of the series ended in 2011, the show enjoyed a revival earlier this year. Mike Rowe seems proud to have helped change the way Americans perceive labor. In a recent interview with Fox News, he elaborated.

“Because we make sure the viewer sees the love and the joy in the work, not just the difficulty. We celebrate something that is not transactional and look, I just personally believe that’s– we’ve arbitraged that out of the whole conversation.” Rowe points out that the program treats all professions with the respect they deserve.

“We’re saying– look, all work has dignity. I’m the first guy to say that. But the way forward, the way up– you know, the way to go from rung to rung to rung to rung is to increase your skills,” Rowe said. The tv host goes on to stress the importance of showcasing jobs perceived to be unglamorous. “And so if we don’t find a way to affirmatively reward and champion those skills, then I’m afraid our workforce is going to be horribly out of balance.”

Mike Rowe believes Dirty Jobs provides young viewers with role models. “I don’t want to get out of my lane. But damn it, we need examples of happy, successful, prosperous people who wake up clean and come home dirty,” Rowe explained. “I didn’t want it to overreach, right, so it’s a simple show about jobs you didn’t know existed, taking place in towns, performed by people that are utterly anonymous.”

“And that’s what it is- show up, pay attention, and leave. We treated the people on that show a lot like Access Hollywood would treat Brad Pitt, except they’re not Brad Pitt, so that was the secret sauce.”