‘Last Man Standing’: Mike Rowe Regrets Not Returning to Guest Star for Final Season

by Courtney Blackann

While Mike Rowe is known most for his work on “Dirty Jobs,” in past years he’s expanded into voice-over work, podcasts and acting. Recently, Rowe appeared in an episode of “Last Man Standing” with Tim Allen. And the episode performed really well. So well, in fact, that both Allen and producers really wanted Rowe to come back as a regular for the final season.

Appearing as Allen’s brother, everyone on the set could see their instant chemistry. The episode hilariously played out. However, after the one episode, Rowe did not come back to appear on the show. Despite attempts from basically everyone involved, Rowe said he just couldn’t commit to the regular role with other projects he had going on.

In a recent interview with Tim Allen on his podcast and YouTube channel, Rowe said he really wished he could have continued in the guest role.

Allen had fun teasing the podcast host about not returning, despite begging him to come back.

“Everybody wanted you back everyday – I did – those two as brothers, it was such a good episode,” Allen says. He continued on joking that whatever reasons Rowe’s “people” gave for why he couldn’t return, he didn’t know.

Laughing, Rowe quipped, “I don’t have any ‘people.’ I mean, look, it was always a week, it was always a week,” meaning he was only scheduled to work with the cast for that long.

However, Rowe said he had the best time while filming and wished the collaboration could have been longer. Between several other projects and commitments, the “Dirty Jobs” star said they just couldn’t make it work.

Mike Rowe Aims to Look Beyond Entertainment Value of Show

When “Dirty Jobs” made a big impact several years ago, Rowe knew he had something special. In addition to wanting to highlight everyday American workers, he also wanted the show to be educational and uplifting. He’s long been an advocate for trade-type positions, saying our country needs more tradesmen.

“It’s very tempting, if you are in my position, to look beyond the entertainment value of a show, to try and find a larger theme, and then to try and tell a story about why that theme is important. The problem with doing that, is that it’s boring,” Rowe said.

The star went on to say:

“It might be true! And I believe in my case it is. It might be important, and in my case, I believe it is. But we are still in the entertainment world, and we have to put out shows that fundamentally engage the viewer, and either nourish them or delight them or horrify them or keep them engaged.”