A Most Interesting Man–Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe
I recently had the honor to interview Mike Rowe–host of Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs,” the most high profile gig among the many he has. I wrote up a story for Aol’s Jobs page. I had originally intended to write a different piece for this week’s Scribble. But frankly, I really like the one I already did, with a few extra words below. You can read it here:
He’s one of the most interesting people I’ve ever spoken with. And I’ve been in journalism for 15+ years.
While he might not have the viewership of some other reality hosts–Jeff Probst and Ryan Seacrest come to mind–I would bet few have the overwhelming positive viewer feedback. There is little criticism and much support. No public personal life drama. No tabloid headlines. Basically no BS.
Yeah, the guy got fired from a few jobs. He’s happy to talk about it. He admits to never shopping, not wanting too much stuff, and wearing clothes he gets on photo shoots. Yawn. Or, you can view it as a regular guy who happens to get a lot of attention for being a regular guy and, get this, it didn’t go to his head. I’m sure some therapist out there could find some issue. But why bother?
I interviewed him about his work with a little personal stuff for color. That wasn’t the point of my story, so I had no reason to push on subjects that belong on TMZ. However, it was not fluff at all.
Rowe is always looking to the next dirty job. But when it comes to giving back–he’s far from trite about it. He connects with people and causes NOT for the photo op but because the guy truly cares. When we talked, he wasn’t looking for extra attention for himself like some celebs. He really wanted notice directed towards a vet-centered program to which he contributes. “Green Cares” takes care of landscaping for vet while they’re deployed. Rowe also gave a special shout out to his buddies from “Deadliest Catch,” the folks who toil to get Alaskan crab legs on your raw bar, in a very dangerous pursuit.
Rowe earnestly fights for the “everyman.” He wants every plumber to make 6-figure salaries and gain respect for their work. He wants to to change the perception of make earning an honest living through hard work–he wants it to be cool. And whether a person is an electrician or a TV host, Rowe knows it could all end tomorrow. So, to borrow an appropriate aphorism, he’s making hay while the sun shines. And yes, he’s done that on “Dirty Jobs.”