Dirty Jobs: Wikis


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Dirty Jobs
Dirty Jobs logo
Format Reality television
Starring Mike Rowe
Opening theme "We Care A Lot"
by Faith No More
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 130 (List of episodes)
Running time 40–44 minutes
Production company(s) Pilgrim Films & Television
Original channel Discovery Channel
Original run November 7, 2003 (Pilot), July 26, 2005 – present (Main Series)
External links
Official website

Dirty Jobs is a program on the Discovery Channel, produced by Pilgrim Films & Television, in which host Mike Rowe is shown performing difficult, strange, disgusting, or messy occupational duties alongside the typical employees. The show premiered with two pilot episodes in November 2003. It returned as a series on July 26, 2005.

There is also a European edition of the show, hosted by former Danish goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. An Australian version of the show briefly aired on the Nine Network in 2007.



A worker takes on Rowe as a fully-involved assistant during a typical work day, during which he works hard to complete every task as best he can despite discomfort, hazards or disgusting situations. The dirty job crew, including cameraman Doug Glover and field producer Dave Barsky, often get just as dirty as Rowe does. Rowe frequently takes on-camera jabs at Dave Barsky, regarding Barsky's penchant for setting up scenes where Rowe will encounter the most dangerous or dirty part of the job in order to get a great camera shot; when a safety officer finishes going over the rules and regulations for the Billboard Installer job in the third season and hands Mike a log to sign to acknowledge receiving instructions, Mike mutters the words "Dave...Barsky" as he signs his name.

Mike Rowe often makes jokes about his jobs and describes them as "dirty jokes". However, he almost never makes fun of the workers themselves. Rowe and the show consistently respect the employees for taking on the jobs that are avoided by most people, and the show always begins with the following quote from Rowe, usually spoken while in the midst of a particularly dirty task:

"My name's Mike Rowe, and this is my job. I explore the country looking for people who aren't afraid to get dirty — hard-working men and women who earn an honest living doing the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us. Now, get ready to get dirty."

Rowe frequently makes note of the cheerfulness of his hosts - the dirtier jobs are often filled by happier workers.


The show is a spin-off of a segment host Mike Rowe once did on a local San Francisco program called Somebody's Gotta Do It. After completing a graphic piece on cow artificial insemination, Rowe was inundated with letters expressing "shock, horror, fascination, disbelief, and wonder". Rowe then sent the tape to the Discovery Channel, who commissioned a series based on this concept.[1] Dirty Jobs is now produced by Craig Piligian (executive producer) of Pilgrim Films & Television. The Discovery Channel executive producer is Gena McCarthy.

Mike has stated in recently aired promos (done alongside a large sow) that he originally wanted to honor his father, and grandfather, by bringing fame to the less-than-glorious careers.


In July 2006, the show aired two special episodes to kick off and wrap up Discovery's annual Shark Week, of which Mike Rowe was the host. The episodes featured him in a number of jobs related to the animals, some as outlandish as shark repellent tester and shark suit tester, both of which necessitated his jumping into a shark feeding frenzy. As a pun on Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" theme, the two episodes were named "Dirty Jobs That Bite" and "Dirty Jobs That Bite Harder" for the opening and closing hours respectively.

In late August 2006, the show reached a milestone with Mike Rowe's 100th dirty job. This was commemorated with a special 2 hour long episode which mainly showed Mike's day with the U.S. Army's 187th Ordnance Battalion at Fort Jackson, and included bloopers plus an "about me" segment of Mike's crew. At the end of the episode, Mike Rowe and Dave Barsky had a guitar/banjo duet and performed a song about the 100 dirty jobs. A 2-hour 150th job special aired in early December 2007, which combined footage of Rowe's 150th job (working on a yak and bison farm in Montana) with footage of a party held at a San Francisco junkyard where people featured in past Dirty Jobs segments were reunited with Rowe. In 2009, the show returned for a fifth season, with Rowe commenting in promotional spots, "After 200 dirty jobs, I'm back for more."


Each episode ends with a segment, usually shot at a previous dirty job, where Rowe tells the viewers that the show's continued existence depends on viewer submissions of suggestions for additional dirty jobs, and instructs them to go to the show's website for details on how to submit ideas (this segment is, however, usually edited out of the Canadian broadcasts of the series on Discovery Channel Canada). Rowe has often noted on-screen and off-screen that without viewer contributions, the show would be lost; Rowe originally concocted a list of a dozen jobs that could be featured in the three episodes that served as the show's pilot, and within days after the first episode aired, viewers flooded Discovery Channel with e-mail and video featuring their own dirty jobs, a tradition that has kept the show going ever since. As Rowe explained to Craig Ferguson on an episode of The Late Late Show in July 2007 about his original cache of jobs for the pilots, "I haven't had an original idea since then".[2]

Unaired segments

According to roadkill taxidermy artist Stephen Paternite, Dirty Jobs filmed a segment featuring him in 2003, which was ultimately cut by the Discovery Channel as "too gross". The segment follows Mike Rowe and Paternite as they gather and skin dead raccoons, which Paternite will eventually turn into art pieces. The segment is available to view on Paternite's website,[3] and on YouTube, under the name "Too Gross for Discovery".[4] In an interview on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Rowe also mentioned that there were several segments which they have chosen not to air because they were too disturbing, including a "body farmer." Even aired segments can be heavily edited, such as the "skull cleaner" segment, the final aired version of which Mike has likened to "The Sound of Music with the songs edited out" because parts of it were deemed too graphic for television.[5]

There is also an episode produced in 2006 wherein Rowe visited his doctor while producers Piligian and Eddie Barbini try two dirty jobs themselves. The episode, entitled "Mike's Day Off," was never aired in the United States for that season; it was only available as a DVD-exclusive episode (bundled with the episode "Skull Cleaner") and a downloadable episode in iTunes.[6] The episode has been aired in some local Discovery Channel feeds such as those of Southeast Asia and Australia, as well as on Discovery Channel Canada before finally being aired in the United States on March 3, 2009.


The show's theme song was originally Faith No More's "We Care A Lot" which features the lyrics, "Oh, it's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it". In the first half of 2007, it was replaced with a generic theme song due to rights issues; older episodes aired at the time had their introductions reedited. Mike Rowe has said "Bottom line, the rights to 'We Care a Lot' were either not renewed on time, or not properly acquired in the first place".[7] Although the network has not issued any statement clarifying the situation, "We Care A Lot" returned as the show's theme song beginning with the June 26, 2007 episode and has been retained on subsequent DVD releases of earlier episodes.

Season 2 commercials for the show feature the song "Dirty White Boy" by Foreigner. Season 3 commercials feature Rowe sharing the stage with a pig positioned on a rounded white pedestal, with nondescript formal-sounding light instrumental music in the background.

Rowe often sings on-camera during the segments as part of a sardonic hat-tip to his days as an opera singer. During the candy making segment in episode 34 ("Fuel Tank Cleaner"), Rowe discovers that one of the candy makers makes a confection called "opera fudge" and ask if she sings opera during the making of opera fudge, then belts out an unidentified segment of an opera in Italian. During the cow pots segment of episode 47 ("Poo Pot Maker"), Rowe imitates the singing gondoliers of Venice while paddling around the liquid holding lagoon on the Freund farm: "'O Sole Mio/Don't know the words/I've paddled for hours/In ponds of turds..." In a 2007 episode set at Prince George's Stadium with Mike spending the day doing the "dirty jobs" associated with groundskeeping and dugout maintenance for the Bowie Baysox minor league baseball team in Bowie, Maryland, Mike ended the segment singing the National Anthem prior to the game and throwing out the first pitch.

When Mike reads the very last piece of viewer mail in the viewer's choice episode, he was asked if he could sing the Dirty Jobs Theme Song because his online bio says that he used to be an opera singer. So he explained that one night, as they sat on "Foley" Creek (actually "Folly" Creek, but he has a tendency to pronounce it incorrectly), after a night of oysters and drinking (likely during the Oyster Harvester segment of the shrimper episode), he, Juke Joint Johnny and Sam (likely Silky Sam) jotted down some lyrics and the "official, unofficial Dirty Jobs Theme Song" was born. This shortest version of the song clocked in at just under a minute in length, and it varies a bit from later versions, but it is fun in that it was less planned than the later ones.[8]

At the end of the pipe organ specialist segment of the geoduck farmer episode, Mike Rowe sang what he called the Dirty Jobs Anthem.[9] Rowe reprised this moment in the "Leather Tanner" episode from the third season on an antique piano at the tannery.

At the conclusion of a two-hour special edition commemorating Mike's 100th dirty job, he and field producer Dave Barsky faked a guitar/banjo duet, featuring an extended version of this anthem which ran a little over two minutes in length (Rowe actually sang all the parts while Rowe's friend Matt played all the instruments).[10] The extended song differs slightly from the shorter versions which aired previously, and even the words that are similar vary somewhat. Mike performed the song again with slightly different lyrics on the 150th Job Extravaganza with the Burning Embers.[11]


Discovery Channel issued the following statement in its publicity of the program:

In the feisty Dirty Jobs, host and everyman Mike Rowe gets the grimy scoop on downright nasty occupations. The featured "foul play for pay" could be processing smelly seafood in a fish factory, collecting bat guano for prized fertilizer, combing creek bottoms for edible wildlife, or cleaning septic tanks to maintain a fresh-smelling environment.

Since Mike Rowe began appearing in Ford pick-up truck commercials in 2006, the show has made tongue-in-cheek references to these ads. In the "Billboard Installer" episode, Mike jokingly quipped that he wasn't sophisticated in the ways of the advertising business, while standing in front of a Ford advertisement mounted on the billboard he had just helped to erect. At the end of the "Bridge Painter" episode set at the Mackinac Bridge, the rough cuts behind the credits show Mike as a traffic flagman ad-libbing pithy greetings to each vehicle as it passes. The final vehicle in the clip is a large Ford pickup (possibly an F-350) towing a large trailer, to which Mike says "nice Ford." Over the end credits of the "Wild Goose Chase" episode, Mike comments that as a Ford spokesman, the show is contractually obligated to mention Ford at least once in each episode.

DVD releases

Discovery Channel has released 35 episodes on DVD and on iTunes.

DVD Name # Ep Release
Dirty Jobs Season 1 DVD Set 10 2006
Dirty Jobs Season 2 DVD Set 25 January 28, 2008
Dirty Jobs Season 3 DVD Set 23 2008
Dirty Jobs - Collection 1 9 September 4, 2007
Dirty Jobs - Collection 2 12 February 5, 2008
Dirty Jobs - Collection 3 12 2008
Dirty Jobs - Collection 4 13 2009
Dirty Jobs - Collection 5 17 2010


  1. ^ Deggans, Eric (2006-09-06). "Sure, it's a dirty job, but ...". St. Petersburg Times. http://www.sptimes.com/2006/09/05/Artsandentertainment/Sure__it_s_a_dirty_jo.shtml. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  2. ^ "Mike Rowe on The Late Show with Craig Ferguson". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nctoBw1HTPI. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  3. ^ Paternite, Stephen. "Re: Too Gross for Discovery". http://www.spaternite.com/video/video.html. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  4. ^ Paternite, Stephen. "Paternite on YouTube". http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=wolfie611. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  5. ^ "A Mike Rowe Classic: Mike on Skull Cleaning". Discovery.com. http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/dirtyjobs/features/skull-cleaning.html. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  6. ^ "TV Show Tracker list of Dirty Jobs episodes". TV Show Tracker. http://www.tvshowtracker.com/latest/title/Dirty+Jobs. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  7. ^ Rowe, Mike. "Re: New Theme SONG??????". http://community.discovery.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/3651971108/m/4601947578?r=2981996578#2981996578. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  8. ^ "Dirty Jobs: Viewer's Choice, Dirty Jobs Anthem". http://www.televizzle.org/2006/10/06/viewers_choice.php#dirty_jobs_anthem. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  9. ^ "Dirty Jobs: Geoduck Farmer, Dirty Jobs Anthem". http://www.televizzle.org/2006/08/14/geoduck_farmer.php#dirty_jobs_anthem. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  10. ^ Rowe, Mike. "Re: Musical Tribute in Episode 100". http://community.discovery.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/3651971108/m/8161976148?r=9211915248#9211915248. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  11. ^ "Dirty Jobs: 100th Dirty Job Special, Dirty Jobs Anthem". http://www.televizzle.org/2006/09/07/100th_dirty_job_special.php#dirty_jobs_anthem. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 

See also

  • The Worst Jobs in History - a UK series that debuted in 2004 with a similar premise to Dirty Jobs except host Tony Robinson experiences "dirty jobs" that were common in British society centuries ago.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Dirty Jobs is a Discovery Channel television show that takes a look at different dirty jobs with a hands on approach.


Season 1

Bat Cave Scavenger [1.1]

Mike: That stinks a little.
Renee: You sure it's not you?
Mike: At this point, no.

Mike: This is what you did with your back room. And you could have gone with a computer office or a library...you've got a bat cage.
Barbara: Yeah, I've decided to go with the fruit bat motif.

Mike: [with his leg stuck in bat guano] What a stupid way to die.

Mike: There's really not a lot of difference between an octopus and like a giant pile of snot.

Mike: Are we walking in sand or guano?
Jim: That's powdered bat guano.
Mike: Holy shit.
Jim: I don't know if it's holy, but it's definitely shit.

Worm Dung Farmer [1.2]

John: Worms are low maintenance, real easy to take care of. They basically do three things: they eat, they poop, and have sex.
Mike: Man, that's a great life.

Mike: You know they throw poop at each other over at that other ranch. Just so you know.
Chris: We're a little bit cleaner facility.

Mike: [while he's inside a septic tank] Are you a religious man, Les? I'm about to become one. I'm going to be real good for the rest of my life because I don't want to come here when I die.

Mike: If I'm supposed to let it bite me, then who's fishing who?

Mike: [about the catfish] Jeez, it's like a giant hunk of snot.

Roadkill Cleaner [1.3]

Roadkill Cleaner: There's times that you have to either laugh or throw up, whatever comes first which you might as well laugh.
Mike: I'll tell you what. You laugh and I'll throw up.

Mike: [to golf ball diver] Did you ever lose your bag of balls? That's got to be frustrating.

Golf ball diver: You fan with your hands through the mud until you feel something hard and you grab onto it. It's gonna be a golf ball. And if it moves, you let it go.

Horse Breeder: [said while horse breeder was pulling out manure from the horse's butt] I can identify most of our horses from this angle.
Mike: You gotta get out more.

Chinatown Garbage Collector [1.4]

Mike: Nice warm day. Rough seas. The smell of freshly ground mackerel hitting you square in the face like a moist sponge. If you don't vomit in a situation like this, you never will.

Mike: That's going in my wine? Please tell me there's another process between here and the vineyard.

Mike: What's the coolest thing you ever found in a car you were disassembling?
Mark: One time I found a forty-five.
Mike: A forty-five... a weapon?
Mark: A weapon. I found a cassette box that was loaded with drugs.
Mike: What kinda drugs?
Mark: Green stuff in a bag, I guess it was...
Mike: Oregano, probably
Mark: Probably. Oregano to me...
Mike: What happened was that you probably got the car of an ex-cooking expert, probably.
Mark: And he was afraid someone was gonna steal his recipe and that's why he had the forty-five.

Mike: After eight hours with L.J. III, I was trashed.

Sewer Inspector [1.5]

Mike: Nobody makes a turd like that and lives.
Gary: Sure they do.
Mike: Come on, it's orange!

Gary: The first thing we have to do, Mike, is get acquainted with this tool right here.
Mike: What is this?
Gary: This tool here is called the Pooper Scooper.
Mike: This is called a garden trowel.
Gary: For us it's a Pooper Scooper.
Mike: You're not gonna tell me that were gonna scoop the poop out of the pot with a garden trowel?

Mike: Ho ho ho, three giant bags of poo. Who's been naughty? I'm the real bad Santa.

Mike: And while some people might have left their hearts in San Francisco, I can tell you from my experience today, that's not all they left.

Pig Farmer [1.6]

[Mike is pushing the pigs out of a fenced area.]
Mike: Go to where your friends are peeing... Join the urine parade.

Mike: They build a nest on top of their poo? How firm a foundation.

Mike: [Stumbles on roof] Another colossally stupid way to die: "What happened to Mike?" - "Ah, he fell off a building." - "What was he doing?" - "Ah, he was cleaning up pigeon poo. Tragic really, cut down in the sub-prime of his life."

Eric: Now, you're gonna wanna to take your hand and brush off the excess dirt off her vulva.
Mike: Right, with my clean gloves. Excess dirt? There's nothing here but... this vulva is encased in poo.

Eric: This is the nursery.
Mike: The nursery! What fresh hell are we in here?

Chick Sexer [1.7]

Mike: Yeah, that's a great sound. The ground is farting at me.

Tom: [brewery employee] We filter it while it's cold, it'll be clear while it's warm.
Mike: Filter cold, clear warm.
Tom: Yes. If one were to filter it warm, it might not be clear cold. Is that clear?
Mike: You're a complicated man, Tom.
Tom: Come on, you tell that to all the boys.
Mike: For a guy with a hose you tell a good story.

Mike: We're just a couple of guys squeezing the crap outta chicks.

[Mike and Dave have added hops into another vat.]
Mike: How hot is it in there?
Dave: About 212 degrees. Boiling point.
Mike: That's boiling, yeah. That's why you keep that [lid] shut.
Dave: Yeah.
Mike: Safety first.
[Dave agrees]
Mike: Where are your safety goggles, Dave?
Dave: Uhh…
Mike: Uh-huh. I'll have a chat with OSHA.

[Mike and Dave are looking down a vat that Mike is going to clean]
Mike: How hot is it down there?
Dave: 148 degrees.
Mike: Well it’s a dry heat.

Vexcon [1.8]

Mary: Roach Armageddon is about to commence.
Mike: Bring it on.

Mark: You know you're a farrier when you wash your hands before you go to the bathroom.

Mike: Now does it occur to the crab that the chicken, being a land based animal, has no business at the bottom of the river?
Bill: No, he's never seen a chicken.

Mike: Turns out shoes really do make the horse.

Sludge Cleaner [1.9]

Mike: You've seen worse, haven't you?
Matt: No, I haven't seen much worse, honestly.

Mike: We conclude with a sandjob?
Matt: Always.
Mike: I love a happy ending!

[Mike and Todd are shoveling sludge]
Todd: So how does it rate?
Mike: On the seven levels of hell? Six...and a half.
Todd: I'm glad I could accommodate you.

Mike: [referring to a drum of sludge] How much does it weigh?
Todd: About, uh, six hundred pounds. So let me get you the uh...
Mike: Yeah, get me something, like six other guys.
[Todd returns with a dolly]
Mike: Oh a dolly. Hello, dolly.

Mrs. Hunt: [while bottling honey in a bear] That's a two pound bear and that goes for $6.
Mike: So if a two pound bear goes for $6 and a one quart bottle goes for eight dollars, a one quart bottle must weigh over two pounds.
Mrs. Hunt: It's three pounds.
Mike: See? I did that all in my head!
Mrs. Hunt: Very good.
Mike: Thanks.

Unsorted quotes

  • A man who deliberately covers himself in poo is not sexy.
  • You know your ship has come in when you get your name on your own garbage can. And your own shovel.

External links

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