Think your 9-to-5 bites? Tell it to Mike Rowe. As the host of Discovery Channel's strangely captivating Dirty Jobs (Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET), Rowe has sampled for our viewing discomfort more bad gigs than you can shake a septic-tank hose at and has come up smelling like… something very wrong. Tonight the happiest disgruntled employee ever heads to a tannery for even more odorific employment.
TV Guide: So, a simple Google search shows that you've become the sex symbol of the Discovery Channel.
Mike Rowe: Weird. [Laughs] You know what's really funny? The show had such low expectations initially.... Then the numbers started coming back for females and just caught everybody by surprise. But really, I don't think people are tuning in to see my gross, broken-down, 45-year-old frame trying to flood through another mile of crap. [Laughs]
TV Guide: You also work on Deadliest Catch, but it seems the dirtiest part of that job is getting drunk with the sailors.
Rowe: Nice work if you can get it. [Laughs]
TV Guide: What about tonight's visit to a tannery?
Rowe: Yeah, in Montgomery, New York. That'll be remembered for years as one of the worst.
TV Guide: Why? Please don't tell me you have to start with live animals.
Rowe: Well yeah, you do. You're not gonna see that on the show because [there's] a couple million kids watching, and this would just haunt them for an eternity. It smells like a rotten egg wrapped in a giant turd.… By the time we left, I was limping, bleeding and suspiciously smelly. You just can't get it off your skin.
TV Guide: You definitely get the prize for most fascinating résumé.
Rowe: [Laughs] Yep, it's a good one. I won't lie to you: My father calls it a monument to schizophrenia — 155 dirty jobs, fired from every one of 'em!
Clean up on Dirty Jobs clips in our new Online Video Guide.
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.