Michael Gregory "Mike" Rowe (pronounced /ˈroʊ/) (born March 18, 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American media personality. He is the host of the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs, as well as the narrator for other programs including The Ultimate Fighter, Deadliest Catch, American Chopper, Ghost Lab, Swamp Loggers, The Most and most recently How the Universe Works.
Rowe has said in commercials for Dirty Jobs that the inspiration for the show was as a tribute to his father and grandfather. Rowe became an Eagle Scout on January 2, 1979 in Troop 16 in Baltimore. During his service project for Eagle Scout at the Maryland School for the Blind, he read aloud for students, and he cites this as one of the reasons he became interested in narrating and writing. 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..."'
As a child, Rowe attended Kenwood Presbyterian Church in Baltimore. He went to Overlea High School, where he excelled in both theatre and vocal music under the tutelage of choir director Freddie King, whom Rowe credits for first interesting him in performing. After graduation, he attended Essex Community College, and briefly sang with the Chorus of the Chesapeake, which at the time was directed by King. He later graduated from Towson University with a degree in Communication Studies.
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.
Rowe currently resides in San Francisco, California.
In the early 1990s Rowe hosted a time slot for QVC selling various items. 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 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.
Rowe claims that QVC fired him three times. When told in a 2008 episode of Dirty Jobs that the gourds he was working on would be sold via QVC, he dryly stated he was familiar with the corporation and proceeded to ad-lib a sales pitch for them.
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, 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 software publisher 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 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. 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.
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]"
Rowe was originally tapped to be the on-air host of the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch, a show about crab fishing in the Bering Sea, and had shot show-host footage onboard several of the crab boats in addition to working on narration for 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 two shows would be airing back-to-back on the same night, thus, "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". Rowe chose to accept the Dirty Jobs role and narrate Deadliest Catch instead, and the footage of him on the boats was not used in the series, although Rowe does appear on camera on one of the season finale episodes of Deadliest Catch, interviewing the captains. Rowe hosted another show about life on the Bering Sea, a 2007 miniseries, After the Catch.
Other narration work by Rowe includes Mystery Diagnosis, Drydock: A Cruise Ship Reborn, Southern Steel, Powertool Drag Racing, Scavengers Rock (Animal Planet), and the opening of Ghost Hunters, a show from the producers of American Chopper, on Syfy. Additionally, Rowe has done voiceover work for the reality television show The Ultimate Fighter and the NASCAR pre-race show on ESPN.
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.
Rowe is also known for doing voiceover work. He can be heard on the Staten Island Ferry as he voiced the pre-recorded safety announcements.
Mike Rowe spoke to over 70,000 scouts, leaders, and visitors at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree in Fort AP Hill, Virginia. 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.
In 1998, Rowe was the television spokesperson for Epic Pharmacy, a Baltimore-area association of independent pharmacies.
In 1999, Rowe was the radio spokesperson for Al Edwards Oatmeal, a short lived product sold exclusively in the Tidewater region of Virginia.
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. In the summer of 2009, he appeared in advertisements for Ford and Lincoln-Mercury vehicles that used the tagline: "Why Ford. Why Now."
In 2010, Rowe appeared in television 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 also appeared in television spots for Lee.
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". These interactions will be featured at Cat dealers as well as on the Caterpillar website.
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.
Mike Rowe teamed with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) on Capitol Hill in Washington on September 19, 2010 to kickoff “I Make America,” a national grassroots effort to dramatically strengthen American manufacturing jobs right here in the U.S. to improve our economy and our country’s global competitiveness. Every day America’s manufacturing base – the backbone of a strong economy – keeps shrinking. 
The message of I Make America is that America needs a new manufacturing policy that creates jobs by doing two fundamental things; one, generate economic activity by rebuilding and modernizing America's infrastructure – roads, bridges, sewer, clean water and flood control systems, and two, help our farmers and manufacturers create more jobs in the U.S. by exporting their products to new markets around the world.
Sign up in support at www.IMakeAmerica.com
- ↑ "Biography of Mike Rowe". discovery.com. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "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.
- ↑ "Transcript of March 7, 2006, Online Chat with Mike Rowe". Discovery Channel. 2006-03-07. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- ↑ "Sure it's a dirty job, but...". Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- ↑ "Mike Rowe Interview". Barbershop Harmony Society. Retrieved April 2010.
- ↑ "You Ask, He Answers (Dirty Jobs FAQ)". Discovery Channel. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- ↑ "The Towerlight - The Dirt on Mike Rowe". The Towerlight. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- ↑ Banks, Susan (28 January 2007). "TV Review: Mike Rowe dishes up "Dirty Jobs"". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
- ↑ "Mike Rowe bio" on Discovery.com
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Sure it's a dirty job, but...". Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- ↑ The Complete Dirty Jobs Show Guide from Discovery Channel.com
- ↑ You Spoof Discovery (2007) (TV)
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ "A much cleaner job for Mike Rowe, the voice of World News with Diane Sawyer" on MediaBistro
- ↑ "American Dad!" Meter Made (2007)
- ↑ Sesame Street episode on which Rowe appeared
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huprYW6NIq8&feature=related
- ↑ Bowes, Mark (5 August 2010). "2010 Scout Jamboree comes to an end". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
- ↑ "The commercial in which Rowe was featured".
- ↑ Bernstein, Marty (2007-03-01). "Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe To Tout Ford Trucks as Spokesperson". The Auto Channel. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- ↑ Greenberg, Karl (2009-10-12). "Mike Rowe Doing Tidy Job For Ford Trucks". MediaPost. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- ↑ Kenny, Kate (2010-07-26). "Mike Rowe Is Ready to Hit the Dirt with Caterpillar Customers and Dealers" (PDF). Caterpillar. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
- ↑ mikeroweWORKS.com
- ↑ 'I Make America' Campaign Kicked Off by AEM and Mike Rowe of 'Dirty Jobs' [ http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20100929/pl_usnw/DC72968]
- Mike Rowe's official website
- Mike Rowe at the Internet Movie Database
- Mike Rowe #4 on Maxim.com's 2007 list of Top Dudeliest Dudes
- Mike Rowe presenting at the 2008 EG conference