Mike Rowe

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For other people named Mike Rowe, see Mike Rowe (disambiguation).
Mike Rowe
Mike Rowe.jpg
Born Michael Gregory Rowe
(1962-03-18) March 18, 1962 (age 52)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Residence San Francisco, California
Occupation Television host
Narrator, actor, voice over actor, opera singer, activist
Television Dirty Jobs
Website
http://www.mikerowe.com

Michael Gregory "Mike" Rowe (/ˈr/; born March 18, 1962)[1] is an American media personality, actor and comedian best known as the host of the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs. He can also be heard as narrator on a variety of series and has appeared in recurring commercials for Ford Motor Company.

Early life[edit]

Rowe was born in Baltimore, Maryland to parents John and Peggy Rowe. Rowe has said in commercials for Dirty Jobs that the show is a tribute to his father and grandfather. Rowe became an Eagle Scout on January 2, 1979 in Troop 16 in Baltimore.[2] During his service project for Eagle Scout at the Maryland School for the Blind, he read aloud to students, and he cites this as one of the reasons he became interested in narrating and writing.[2][3] On being an Eagle Scout, he said "The Eagle Award is not really meant for people who need to be dragged across the finish line. It's meant for a select few... ."'[2] In June 2012 Rowe was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America.[4]

Rowe attended Kenwood Presbyterian Church in Baltimore when he was younger; his parents still regularly attend. Rowe attended Overlea High School, where he excelled in both theater and singing under the tutelage of choir director Freddie King, whom Rowe credits for first interesting him in performing.[5] After graduation from high school, he attended Essex Community College,[5] and briefly sang with the Chorus of the Chesapeake, which at the time was directed by King. He later graduated from Towson University[6] with a degree in communication studies.[7]

Rowe sang professionally with the Baltimore Opera.[8][9] He says about this job, "I joined the opera to get my union card and meet girls. I was a saloon singer, so I went down to the Baltimore Opera and learned an aria and auditioned. I figured I'd do one show and quit. But the girls were everywhere and the truth is, the music was really decent."[10]

Television career[edit]

As host[edit]

In the early 1990s, Rowe was an on-air host for the shop at home TV channel QVC.[11] When interviewed, Rowe relates how he got the job at QVC. "I was in the opera at the time. I walked across the street with a buddy of mine during a performance. We're dressed as Vikings and we have a drink. The TV is turned to QVC...My buddy bets me $100 dollars I can't get a call back. So I crashed the audition and got a job on the spot. I basically turned the whole thing into my own stupid David Letterman show. I made fun of the callers and made fun of the products."[10]

Rowe claims that QVC fired him three times.[10] When told in a 2008 episode of Dirty Jobs that the gourds he was working on would be sold via QVC, he stated he was familiar with the corporation and proceeded to ad-lib a sales pitch for them.[12]

Rowe has hosted Your New Home for WJZ in Baltimore, Worst Case Scenarios for TBS, On-Air TV for American Airlines, The Most for The History Channel, No Relation for FX,[13] New York Expeditions for PBS, Channel 999 instructional guide for the now defunct PrimeStar satellite television service, and the CD-ROM music trivia game Radio Active (as "Bobby Arpeggio") for now-defunct Sanctuary Woods.

From 2001 to 2005, Rowe hosted Evening Magazine on KPIX-TV in San Francisco. During this time, he appeared in a news segment called "Somebody's Gotta Do It", profiling a number of unpleasant professions; this concept later grew into Dirty Jobs. Rowe's first work with Discovery included a trip to the Valley of the Golden Mummies to host Egypt Week Live!, where he explored ancient tombs live on air with Dr. Zahi Hawass, an Egyptian archaeologist.

In September 2012, Rowe hosted a three-part series How Booze Built America on the Discovery Channel.

CNN announced on April 10, 2014 that Rowe will host Somebody's Gotta Do It, a new "Original Series" to begin in the Fall 2014 lineup. Rowe will highlight "unique individuals" in their respective passionate undertakings, whether it be work, hobby or fanaticism. Somebody's Gotta Do It will be produced by Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios.[14]

As narrator[edit]

In addition to hosting programs, Rowe has an extensive background as a narrator. His work with Discovery Channel includes narrating American Chopper, American Hot Rod, Deadliest Catch, Wild Pacific, and Ghost Lab, as well as other Discovery specials and series such as How the Universe Works, and Syfy's Ghost Hunters. Rowe has hosted the Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week in 2006 and 2008, along with hosting the special You Spoof Discovery, an amateur parody video special which poked fun at some of the popular series on the Discovery Channel's lineup.[15] Rowe is currently the narrator for National Geographic Channel's series Wicked Tuna.

On Dirty Jobs, Rowe frequently mocks his seeming omnipresence on Discovery Channel; when a segment on firefighting and salvage was unable to be completed in a single day, he assured his firefighter host that he would "send over the MythBusters ... maybe the American Chopper boys ... [to finish the job]".

Mike Rowe poses for a photo during filming at Skulls Unlimited International.

Rowe was originally tapped to be the on-screen host of the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch, a show about crab fishing in the Bering Sea, and shot footage aboard several crab boats in addition to narrating the series. When Dirty Jobs was picked up by Discovery, he was told to choose which show he wanted to appear in on-screen. Rowe claims he was told by Discovery that the shows would air back-to-back on the same night: "We can't have you telling us stories about six dead fishermen on camera and making a fart joke with your arm in a cow's ass".[16] Rowe chose to host Dirty Jobs and narrate Deadliest Catch; the footage of him on the boats was not used in the series, although he did appear in a season finale of Deadliest Catch, interviewing the boat captains. Rowe hosted a related show about life on the Bering Sea, a 2007 miniseries, After the Catch, a show which has continued after each season of Deadliest Catch.

Other narration work by Rowe includes Mystery Diagnosis, Drydock: A Cruise Ship Reborn, Southern Steel, Powertool Drag Racing, Scavengers Rock (Animal Planet), Airplane Repo and the opening of Ghost Hunters, a Syfy series from the producers of American Chopper. Additionally, Rowe has done voiceover work for the reality television show The Ultimate Fighter and the NASCAR pre-race show for the 2009 Chase on ESPN.[17]

From December 21, 2009 to June 2012, Rowe became the announcer on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.[18][19]

Additional appearances[edit]

On October 7, 2007, Rowe appeared on Fox's American Dad! as the voice of a meter maid.[20]

Rowe appeared on an episode of Sesame Street (Season 39) in a segment called "Dirtiest Jobs With Mike Rowe", which aired on October 13, 2008. Rowe visits Sesame Street to find the dirtiest job, which happens to belong to Oscar. Rowe must do all the things Oscar does. His tasks include finding and counting stinky cheese, sorting trash, and giving his pet pig, Spot, a mud bath. To Oscar's chagrin, Rowe does not want to stop, as he is having too much fun.

Mike Rowe spoke to over 70,000 scouts, leaders, and visitors at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree in Fort AP Hill, Virginia, and a second time at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree in Bechtel Summit.[21] Rowe, an Eagle Scout, spoke to the crowd about the importance of being physically and mentally clean, but emphasized the need for all scouts to get dirty.[22]

In 2012, Rowe appeared in an episode of the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing playing the role of Jim Baxter, the brother of Tim Allen's character.

In June 2013, Mike Rowe spoke to the delegates at the 49th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference for SkillsUSA in Kansas City, Missouri. He addressed the crowd of 15,000+ at Kemper Arena about the importance to "Work Smart and Hard".[23]

As pitchman[edit]

In 1998, Rowe was the television spokesperson for Epic Pharmacy, a Baltimore-area association of independent pharmacies.

Beginning in March 2007, he was featured in several Ford Motor Company F-Series truck commercials, presented in a style similar to Dirty Jobs, including one for Ford Sync.[24][25] In the summer of 2009, he appeared in advertisements for Ford and Lincoln-Mercury vehicles that used the tagline: "Why Ford. Why Now."[26]

In 2008, Rowe partnered with W. W. Grainger, a Chicago-based Fortune 500 industrial supply company.

In 2010, Rowe appeared in internet spots for Motorola iDEN combined radios/mobile phones, explaining that the phones were used "by real people, for real work" as they were used for Dirty Jobs-type applications.

In 2010, Rowe partnered with Lee Premium Select Jeans and appeared in television spots wearing jeans that "make my butt look good".

On July 26, 2010, Rowe became the spokesperson for Caterpillar. Rowe will work with dealers and customers "to get a real world perspective on their jobs".[27]

In 2011, Rowe appeared with his parents in television spots for Viva paper towels.[28]

In 2012, Rowe became a spokesperson for Novartis animal health to educate pet owners about fleas. The campaign is called “The Dirty Truth about Fleas.”

Trade activism[edit]

On Labor Day 2008, Rowe launched a website, mikeroweWORKS.com, which is focused on the decline in the blue collar trades and the crumbling state of the infrastructure. A trade resource center has been launched and provides information, resources, and forums for people interested in learning about, or pursuing a career in, the trades,[2] as well as a new blog aggregator for the trades and construction industry called the "Trades Hub", which launched in April 2011.

On September 19, 2010, Mike Rowe and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers started a campaign called "I Make America". The campaign aims to create jobs in the manufacturing sector by encouraging infrastructure investment and export agreements. The group argues that this will improve the economy and global competitiveness of the United States.[29]

Mike Rowe has contributed video content to The Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute's trade-worker recruiting campaign GoBuildAlabama.com, culminating in an Iron Bowl-themed commercial broadcast on local CBS affiliates during Thanksgiving weekend 2010.[30]

In May 2011, Rowe testified on the issue before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.[31][32]

Rowe sent a letter to President Obama at the start of his first term offering to help promote the 3 million "shovel-ready" jobs promised during the campaign, suspecting it might be a tough sell, "given the country's then-current relationship with the shovel." He did not receive a reply. During the 2012 presidential election, Rowe contacted GOP candidate Mitt Romney and appeared with him on September 26, 2012, at a campaign event in Ohio. Despite appearing at Romney's campaign appearance, Rowe argued he was not technically endorsing Romney.[33]

In Spring 2013, mikeroweWORKS launched its newest initiative, Profoundly Disconnected. Rowe states, "many of the best opportunities that exist today require a skill, not a diploma. The purpose of this site is to promote that simple truth." While in high school in 1979, Rowe saw a poster in his guidance counselor's office that read "Work Smart, Not Hard". He hated it so much, he changed it to "Work Smart AND Hard"; he now prints such posters and wants them hanging all over the country to get people to change the way hard work is perceived.[34] He sells the poster at eBay via his website and all the proceeds go to the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, his foundation that awards trade school scholarships to those wishing to pursue a trade.

Personal life[edit]

Rowe currently resides in San Francisco, California.[35]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Title Year Role Notes Source
Airplane Repo 2013 – present Narrator
American Hot Rod 2004 Narrator
After the Catch 2007 – 2012 Host
American Dad! 2007 Meter Maid (voice)
Bering Sea Gold 2013 – 2014 Host
Bering Sea Gold: Under The Ice 2013 Host
C.R.A.P. 2013 – present Host YouTube series [36]
Dirty Jobs 2003 – 2012 Host
Deadliest Catch 2005 – present Narrator
Ghost Hunters 2004 – 2010 Narrator
Ghost Hunters International 2008 – 2010 Narrator
How the Universe Works 2010, 2014 Narrator Seasons 1 and 3
Huckabee 2013 Himself
Somebody's Gotta Do It 2014 – present Host
Wild Pacific 2009 Himself
Worst Case Scenarios 2002 Host
The Ultimate Fighter 2005 – 2010 Narrator

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mike Rowe's World: Mike's Bio". http://dsc.discovery.com. Discovery Communications, LLC. Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  2. ^ a b c d "It's A Dirty Job And He Gets to Do It!". Eagletter (Irving, Texas: National Eagle Scout Association, Boy Scouts of America) 35 (2): 3–5. Fall 2009. 
  3. ^ "Transcript of March 7, 2006, Online Chat with Mike Rowe". Discovery Channel. 2006-03-07. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  4. ^ "Mike Rowe – Distinguished Eagle Scout Award". United States Scouting Service Project. June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Mike Rowe Interview". Barbershop Harmony Society. Retrieved April 2010. 
  6. ^ "You Ask, He Answers (Dirty Jobs FAQ)". Discovery Channel. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  7. ^ "The Towerlight - The Dirt on Mike Rowe". The Towerlight. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  8. ^ Banks, Susan (28 January 2007). "TV Review: Mike Rowe dishes up "Dirty Jobs"". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 30 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "Mike Rowe bio" on Discovery.com
  10. ^ a b c "Sure it's a dirty job, but...". Retrieved 20 December 2008. 
  11. ^ All Things Considered. National Public Radio, February 16, 2014.
  12. ^ The Complete Dirty Jobs Show Guide from Discovery Channel.com
  13. ^ Rowe, Mike (April 27, 2012). "Dick Clark". The Office. Mike Rowe Works. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  14. ^ Mike Rowe Brings Original Series to CNN
  15. ^ Mike Rowe at the Internet Movie Database
  16. ^ Collis, Clark (21 June 2007). "Shock And Awe: The stars of Survivorman, The Deadliest Catch, and Dirty Jobs share jaw-dropping tales from their brave work". Entertainment Weekly. Time, Inc. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  17. ^ "1st Race of the 2009 Chase" on Mikeroweworks.com]
  18. ^ "A much cleaner job for Mike Rowe, the voice of World News with Diane Sawyer" on MediaBistro
  19. ^ "The Ticker (Revolving Door Edition): O’Keefe, Kudravi, Rowe" on TVNewser
  20. ^ Mike Rowe at the Internet Movie Database
  21. ^ Jambolive.org
  22. ^ Bowes, Mark (5 August 2010). "2010 Scout Jamboree comes to an end". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  23. ^ Full Speech at Opening Ceremony of SkillsUSA's 2013
  24. ^ "Microsoft.com". 
  25. ^ Bernstein, Marty (2007-03-01). "Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe To Tout Ford Trucks as Spokesperson". The Auto Channel. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  26. ^ Greenberg, Karl (2009-10-12). "Mike Rowe Doing Tidy Job For Ford Trucks". MediaPost. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  27. ^ Kenny, Kate (2010-07-26). "Mike Rowe Is Ready to Hit the Dirt with Caterpillar Customers and Dealers". Caterpillar. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  28. ^ "Mike Rowe and His Parents Join Viva Brand Towels to Tackle Tough Messes". Kimberly-Clark. 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  29. ^ 'I Make America' Campaign Kicked Off by AEM and Mike Rowe of 'Dirty Jobs'
  30. ^ "Dirty Jobs" host in Iron Bowl-themed commercial
  31. ^ "Testimony of Mike Rowe". 
  32. ^ "Mike Rowe testifies before US Senate about the skilled trades - Youtube". 
  33. ^ "Romney gets down and 'Dirty' in Ohio". CNN. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  34. ^ http://profoundlydisconnected.com/foundation/poster/
  35. ^ Mirabella, Lorraine. "Mike Rowe, host of TV's 'Dirty Jobs,' tackles toughest task," The Baltimore Sun, Tuesday, January 18, 2011.
  36. ^ https://www.youtube.com/user/realmikerowe?feature=watch

External links[edit]