Since it’s premiere on the Discovery Channel many years ago; Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs has become one of the most iconic reality series of our time. With the show’s reboot having recently made it’s way to television and streaming. Let’s take a deeper dive into what has made the series so popular. Join Facts Verse as we explore how Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs are even dirtier than you see on television.
Mike Rowe was born in Baltimore in 1962. Though he knew he wanted to be a performer; he wasn’t sure exactly what his future held by the time he exited college. His grandfather was a carpenter, which gave Mike an appreciation for people who work with their hands. Although Mike rightfully believed that his own future was on the television screen. He would eventually find a way to make his performance aspirations jive with his personal passion for physical laborers.
Before venturing into the news at a local station in California, Mike performed for a time with the Baltimore Opera. It seems that, in addition to his hosting talents, the television star has an excellent singing voice! However, he eventually decided that he’d rather use his performance talents for more humanist goals. Despite the fact that the star has gone on to do other things besides sing opera professionally. Mike can oftentimes seen and heard bursting out into song in interviews, and has even done so on Dirty Jobs.
Mike performed with the Baltimore Opera for years before he eventually began working in the news department at a television station in San Francisco. It was here that Mike would develop the concept for the show that was to become the original Dirty Jobs. Mike’s concept for Dirty Jobs actually started out as small segments that aired on the local news. The very first segment followed the driver of a truck that went around picking up dog poop. And Mike came up with the idea while drinking beers with a fellow producer.
These initial news segments called “Somebody’s Gotta Do It”, and they became a big hit for the station. Eventually, Mike got the idea to start pitching the concept around to other television stations in hopes that it might become it’s own show. Most networks that Mike pitched the concept to weren’t keen on the idea. Both because they found it disgusting and because they had never heard of Mike Rowe. One of the networks that Mike pitched the show to before the Discovery Channel later accepted it was Comedy Central. The host always found the humor in the concept. And always wanted the show to be educational but lighthearted in tone.
After pitching his concept to various network; Mike Rowe eventually given an opportunity to make his news segments into a full series with the Discovery Channel. The show would be titled Dirty Jobs, and it became a big success upon it’s 2003 premiere. The original run of the show cancelled after several years, but it’s been revived in multiple forms. After cancellation, Mike created a spiritual revival of the show in the form of Somebody’s Gotta Do It on CNN.
The new show took it’s name from the original news segments that spawned Dirty Jobs. The new Somebody’s Gotta Do It premiered in 2014, and lasted until 2018. In the years since the end of the second series, Mike has rebooted the original Dirty Jobs. Dirty Jobs: Rowe’d Trip has recently premiered on television and streaming. It shows that the original concept of the show is going strong!
Since Dirty Jobs came on the air in 2003; Mike Rowe travelled all across the country and performed hundreds of jobs that most people would never dream of actually doing. Although the series has made a point of showcasing workers doing the most disgusting jobs known to man; There have several times where either certain pieces of footage or entire ideas for segments had to excise from the program because they were too much for audiences.
Mike Rowe always known that there is risk involve in the filming of Dirty Jobs and it’s successor series. The host has even injured before during the filming of the show; including one time when working with a blacksmith; the heat from a blast furnace fused his contact lenses to his eyes. Besides this fairly severe injury; Mike has also had to get stitches a couple of times as a result of the series. And has even broken a rib and a toe!
The scene of Mike getting hit by the blast furnace end up to include in the final cut of the Dirty Jobs episode. The reason is because it wasn’t too graphic and the injury didn’t end up being all that serious for the star. However, there has been plenty of other footage that has deemed too disgusting by Mike Rowe. There have been several ideas for segments that needs to discard because they were too dark.
Although Mike Rowe created Dirty Jobs with the intention of showcasing the world’s most disgusting jobs; There are some ideas for segments that need to discard because they went overboard. One such idea was a segment involving crime scene cleaners. Of course, crime scene cleaners perform a job that is very physically demanding and can be pretty disgusting. However, the dark nature of the profession consider too much by Mike Rowe and included in his lighthearted series.
Another idea that didn’t make it onto Dirty Jobs was to have a segment taking in place inside of an animal rendering facility. When Mike Rowe pitched the idea of filming inside of an animal rendering facility to the networks; they turned down the concept because they felt that the footage would be too morbid. Besides the proposed graphic nature of the footage; Mike Rowe also explain that another reason the segment got nix because it turned out that many animal rendering facilities are currently owned by the mob.
Besides these segment ideas that didn’t end up making it onto Dirty Jobs. There have been other ideas that actually filmed but end up having edited out of the final episode because the footage was too disgusting. One such segment involved a “roadkill taxidermist”, whose job it is to make taxidermy sculptures out of roadkill. Although Mike went through with performing the dirty job; the footage of the dead animals not consider appropriate for the series and the segment end up cut out before airing.
While the roadkill taxidermist segment deem too extreme for television. There have been other exceptionally disgusting segments that have made it onto air. One such segment involved the processing of human skulls for academic purposes. Though the segment end up making it onto the air; plenty of footage that was filmed couldn’t be included because it was simply too disgusting. Mike has always tried to keep Dirty Jobs and it’s successor series light in tone. And that’s a big part of why they’ve been such hits!
Dirty Jobs first premiered in 2003, though the Discovery Channel didn’t pick it up as a full series until 2005. It went on to last for seven years in it’s original iteration before it’s first cancellation and spiritual rebirth as Somebody’s Gotta Do It. That series aired on CNN and lasted for several years before eventually cancelled itself. Now, Dirty Jobs is back on the air once again with Dirty Jobs: Rowe’d Trip. The original series was as much a travelogue as it was a series about demanding physical labor professions. With each episode featuring Mike Rowe exploring a different area of America and finding it’s most filthy jobs. The new series has an increased emphasis on this travelling aspect, but also retains the core of the original show’s concept.
After nearly two decades of performing as the host of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe has become an iconic figure. His celebrity status has seen him appear on Sesame Street, and he has also attempted to do some good by creating the nonprofit organization mikeroweWORKS. True to the host’s brand, mikeroweWORKS helps educate at-risk high school students on the benefits of pursuing careers in physical labor professions. However, most of the jobs advocated by the organization aren’t too disgusting or dangerous, with their biggest emphasis seeming to be on plumbing and welding.
When Mike Rowe decided to venture into the performing arts instead of following in his grandfather’s footsteps as a carpenter, his family made fun of him by saying that being on television wasn’t a real line of work. This is part of the reason that Mike came up with the original news segments that eventually worked into Dirty Jobs. At the heart of Dirty Jobs has always been a deep and fundamental respect for the insane amount of effort that physical laborers put into their professions. Many people may not be aware of just how many disgusting and difficult jobs are out there, and that has been a huge part of the series’ success. It seems that Mike still hasn’t run out of disgusting jobs to showcase on his series, as the original concept is still going strong after all these years!
Although the original run of Dirty Jobs ended in 2012, rebooted series Dirty Jobs: Rowe’d Trip has recently premiered to carry on it’s torch! Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that there have been several ideas for Dirty Jobs segments that were deemed too dark to make it onto the program. And did you know that series host Mike Rowe came up with the original idea for the show as a way to pay tribute to his grandfather? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!