Mike Rowe: America’s favorite everyman.

If you don’t know who Mike Rowe is by now, then you have either been living under a rock, or been squashed by a rock, and are therefore dead.

As the voice of The Deadliest Catch, the host of Dirty Jobs, and now host of Somebody’s Gotta Do It on CNN (check your local listings), Mike has firmly established himself as the guy we all wish we were, or at least the guy we wish we knew. He’s got an answer for everything (whether you agree with him or not), believes in hard work (*gasp* I said it), common sense, and the dignity of dirt.

Mike Rowe

Recently, it was announced that Mike is going to be doing a speaking engagement in Seattle this February. Since we live in the Salt Lake City area, my wife was having trouble justifying the expense of a trip to Seattle. I told her I understood.

Then she saw that there was a VIP option, which included a meet-and-greet/photo-op with Mike.

Oh, dear. She was really tore up about that.

So, I did what anyone who has been married to the same woman for 25 years would do:

I told her that if she paid for the tickets, I’d take care of the rest.

(What? You thought maybe I was just going to sweep in and buy the tickets without telling her, surprising her with a trip to Seattle a couple of weeks shy of anniversary 26? You clearly haven’t been married long enough.)

I watched as she agonizingly set up the ticket order on her laptop, then furiously chewed her lip and whined quietly, before finally committing to pressing “OK.”

So, tickets are bought. We’re going to Seattle in February.

For the record: I have ZERO problems with this.

I wonder if we’ll get more than 8-10 seconds with Mike. I’d like to ask him some questions for the blog.

What would I ask him? Oh, I don’t know, really. Maybe some stuff like:

  • What is your least favorite memory from Dirty Jobs? Not least favorite job, but memory (whether it made the air or not)? That one moment that pops up in your head and makes you want to just crawl under your bed in the fetal position until you can forget it again?
  • Dirty Jobs was, beyond being entertaining, very educational. If you could make one episode of Dirty Jobs required viewing for high school sophomore/juniors (and their parents) as part of their preparation for post high school life, which episode would you pick? Why that episode?
  • Through the Mike Rowe Works Foundation, you have gathered together quite a conglomerate of sponsors, including tech/manufacturing companies, along with trade schools across the country. When you started MRWF, did you imagine how big it would become? Did you hope it would be this big?
  • I applaud you for going on  shows of various political/social viewpoints to plug the MRWF, and how you answer your critics who complain when you go on “this show” or “that show.” I think it shows the kind of hubris that exists that “our” side is the only one worth listening to or has all the answers, so there’s no need to talk to “their” side. “Us vs Them” seems to cause a lot of problems that should have fairly straightforward (not easy: 2 different things) solutions. Would you like to touch on that?
  • Nobody gets to determine their own legacy, but would you rather be remembered as the guy that showed (and honored) people doing Dirty Jobs, or the guy who helped people get those type of jobs through the MRWF?

As I said, I’d love to talk to Mike for 5 minutes and just talk to him about… stuff. I’ll bet he can sit in a bar, have a drink, and talk with someone about stuff for hours and make it feel like minutes.

More important, I’ll be he listens, too.

A dying art, to be sure, but Somebody’s Gotta Do It.

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2 thoughts on “Mike Rowe: America’s favorite everyman.

  1. Hi Shadow,
    I, like your wife agonized over buying tickets to this show. Unfortunately I did not see the Meet and Grert option.
    My husband and I live in Sacramento CA so this is a slightly expensive trip, though I know it’s not expensive as yours. So, all of the money I earned scrubbing toilets to pay for the show, our flight, and room leaves me a little envious of people such as you and your wife.

    I guess I am writing this to you hoping that you could in some way convey my story to Mike. That you could *maybe* even get him to autograph something for me. I know that this sounds crazy as you don’t even know me, but I have been a huge fan of his for years and I’m desperate! This is my once in a lifetime chance to see him in person and I missed my one chance to shake hands with the man himself.

    Like Mike and yourself I believe that hard work has become a “bad thing” in this great country of ours. I hope beyond all hope that our children see how hard my husband and I work and that they won’t be ashamed to get their hands dirty when they are old enough to take on their first job. I hope that we are raising our kids as well as Mike’s parents raised him.

    Anyway, I have rambled on enough about myself, and Mike. 😉 I’m happy for you and especially your wife. Have a safe trip to Seattle and enjoy the show! Thanks for listening.

    Richelle Grover


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