Have I mentioned that we love the show “Dirty Jobs” at the Kuffner household? Here’s a nice feature story about this show, which captures part of the reason why we like it so.
It’s a crystal clear afternoon here, and for once — just once — Mike Rowe is clean.
Rowe is sitting at a lunch table in a somewhat unlikely location: a recycling center on the city’s rugged southeastern fringe, not your average place for a picnic but nicer than most of the holes that he is usually found in.
The problem is Rowe’s occupation. Or occupations, as the case may be. For the last three years he has been the host of Dirty Jobs, the gross-out cable hit on the Discovery Channel, a gig that has exposed him to untold tons of sludge, sewage, mud, manure, detritus, excreta, road kill and plain old nastiness.
Worse yet, he seems to enjoy it.
“TV does a bad job of portraying common people,” he said as recycling workers drove by with forklifts hauling giant bricks of crushed cans. “By and large they are either turned into heroes, with a lot of dramatic cello music behind everyday activities, or they are reduced to these punch lines.
“My idea was if I really tried to do the work — really, really tried — and not be afraid to fail or look bad next to the person who’s actually made a career of this, then in the end when the dust settles we’ll have this situation where the viewer can determine how difficult the job is on their own and determine how gifted the actual worker is.”
Eddie Barbini, an executive producer of the show, said Rowe’s appeal was his ability to be, well, normal.
“There are no spokespersons for the workingman out there,” Barbini said. “But Mike is that guy.”
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. The show takes the jobs and the people who do them seriously and treats them respectfully without being condescending and yet still having fun. Plus, Mike Rowe is just a hoot. Catch it some night and see for yourself.