‘Dirty Jobs’ Star Mike Rowe Details Incredible Interaction with Elderly Woman with Photos

by Jennifer Shea

Mike Rowe, star of Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs” show, had a unique experience on a recent plane trip. And it came courtesy of the sweet little old lady sitting across from him.

Rowe was on his way to Nashville to shoot a fresh episode of “Dirty Jobs.” And he thought he was flying incognito. He certainly wasn’t fielding autograph requests on the plane. What he was doing was having a nice conversation with the great-grandma seated across the aisle.

“Well, you know how sometimes, after chatting with the sweet little old lady for twenty minutes about her great-grandchildren, she asks if you can help her with a few clues on the crossword puzzle in the New York Times that she’s been unable to complete, and you say, ‘sure?’” Rowe recounted in an Instagram post on Monday.

What happened next was too incredible to believe if Rowe hadn’t documented it with multiple photos.

Mike Rowe Helps A Fellow Passenger With Her Crossword

The little old lady wasn’t struggling with the whole crossword puzzle. There was one clue, in particular, that was really vexing her. So she asked Rowe what he knew about it.

“You know how sometimes the sweet little old lady will ask you specifically if you know the answer to 54 across,” Rowe continued. “And then, when you lean across the aisle to read the clue to 54 across, you laugh out loud because the answer to 54 across is YOU, and you realize in that moment that the sweet little old lady has been pulling your chain the whole time?”

Sure enough: Rowe’s picture would seem to prove it. A recent New York Times crossword puzzle included the clue, “Mike of TV’s ‘Dirty Jobs’ and ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It.’”

‘Dirty Jobs’ Star Gets a Priceless Reaction

Thrown off his stride, Rowe quickly recovered. Flattered by the apparent recognition, he tried to play along.

“In moments like those, you lower your mask – weirdly pleased that sweet little old ladies still know who you are – flash your friendliest smile, and say, ‘I don’t know his name, ma’am, but maybe his face rings a bell?’” Rowe went on.

But that move did not elicit the reaction Rowe had been expecting. His seat neighbor then pulled back, and began to regard him suspiciously, he said, “as if she might be sitting across the aisle from a lunatic.”

Apparently, the sweet little old lady had no idea she was sitting across from the answer to 54 across – Mike Rowe – after all.

Check out Rowe’s photos from the flight here: