By Gillian Flynn
August 08, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
Dirty Jobs: Paul Souders
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  • TV Show
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Ever wonder how sausage is made or what the inside of a waste-disposal center looks like? Semi-heroic, entirely hapless Mike Rowe knows. As the host of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, now in its second season, Rowe profiles folks ”who earn an honest living doing the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us.”

Rowe, who also narrated Discovery’s American Chopper, goes about his work with respect, curiosity, and casual humor. If anyone can get a chuckle out of a dubious, taciturn coal worker, it’s Rowe, who’s never patronizing. ”Doing it right is an absolute art,” he says of a woman who expertly shucks oysters. The host attempts most jobs himself — retrieving dead turkeys at a foul fowl farm or dismantling moldy floats a month after this year’s rainy Rose Bowl Parade. He moves among hardworking people with the aplomb of a genuinely decent political candidate: asking questions, rolling up his sleeves, and sometimes getting frustrated like a real human being. ”Why are the floats decorated with food?” he demands of one Rose Bowl float constructor. ”Tradition, schmition, you covered Styrofoam with fruit!”

The show offers much-needed insight into jobs we too often ignore, and a wonderful lesson that nobody’s life is boring — like the skull cleaner who’s boiled the flesh off more than 3,000 animals and announces proudly that he’s only puked twice. Rowe has a way of getting people to open up, and he has the credentials, too. As the Dirty man himself once said: ”I know about poo on hot days.”

type
  • TV Show
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Status
  • In Season
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