Mike Rowe Speaks on Challenge of Wanting His Shows to ‘Look Beyond Entertainment Value’

by Michael Freeman

Television and podcast host Mike Rowe first made waves years ago with his Discovery Channel show, Dirty Jobs. Gaining popularity as time went on, he’s appeared on a number of shows primarily oriented towards entertaining people. The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke to him about possibly branching out into other categories, but Rowe reveals it’s a challenge.

Rowe first spoke about Dirty Jobs being the quintessential essential work show. He then mentioned how headlines sometimes match the themes of one of his shows, making them more relevant and not purely for entertainment value. “Every now and then the headlines will catch up to the themes of a show, and when that happens, the show is suddenly made relevant in ways that the producers and the host and the network didn’t intend.”

Nevertheless, Rowe considers himself first and foremost a host and producer. He states his primary goal is to keep viewers engaged and entertained. “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 continues, saying the bottom line is they are in the entertainment industry and must engage viewers. “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.”

Mike Rowe Reveals he Would ‘Probably Accept’ Job Hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ in One Condition

Mike Rowe is no stranger to hosting shows and podcasts. With Jeopardy! having trouble securing a permanent host, would he be interested in the job? Answering “what is slim to none for $100?” on his website, he said in the spirit of compromise, he probably would if a certain condition was met.

Elaborating on his compromise statement, Rowe wrote “I would probably accept the job if the producers agreed to put the title in lowercase letters, and replace the exclamation point with an interrobang. (in-TERO-bang.)” Not a punctuation mark you hear about frequently, it’s looks like an exclamation and question mark fused into one: ‽

Rowe said it’s “a punctuation mark that evokes an equal measure of curiosity and surprise. It’s the love child of a question mark and an exclamation point.” He stated the interrobang would incite that same curiosity and surprise into the show. He feels this is great since the game itself strives to do that with its questions and format.

According to him, “Now, that’s a title I could get behind!!!”