John Walker's Electronic House

Dirty Jobs – Best Thing On Television

by on Dec.01, 2007, under Television

Nothing but nothing but nothing fills me with more glee than Dirty Jobs.


Here’s the concept: Mike Rowe (the voice of the fantastic fellow Discovery show, Deadliest Catch) spends his days doing the dirtiest jobs imaginable. “Doing the kinds of jobs that make civilised life possible for the rest of us.”

At that level, it would make for an interesting show. But it works out that the programme is much more about simply enjoying watching and listening to Mike Rowe be very, very funny.

Sample dialogue:

“We’re just a couple of guys squeezing the poo out of chickens.”

“Normally my chief concern would be protecting my lungs from corrosion. Sadly, I left my lungs in tank number two.”

“You might be tough, captain, but if my mother sees this she’s going to track you down and kick your pirate ass.”

“I can’t finish my thought because I have to put my finger in this alligator’s bottom.”

“They eat their poo? Now we’re getting somewhere. We get the kelp, we feed it to the abalone, the abalone eat the kelp, the abalone poo the kelp. Then they eat the kelp again just to let them know they’re serious. Mm, sure could go for a big steamy pile of my own poo.”

Anything for a shot.

So he might be cleaning septic tanks, making soap out of goat milk, painting bridges, inspecting sewers, wrangling pigs, but what you enjoy most is how Rowe interacts with the people who do the job every day, and indeed how the crew gets involved. Refreshingly, rather than pretending the film crew aren’t there, they get heavily involved, sometimes a lot moreso than they planned.

Constantly mocking his camera guys, and mostly his producer Dave Barsky, they get as dirty as Rowe, and they don’t hold back on flipping the cameras around to show the mess they’re in. In fact, for season six Mike has his own mini camera to up the ante on crew mocking. This was never better/funnier than when they were taking eggs (for legitimate reasons) from alligator nests in Florida swamps, and the crew’s hovercraft tipped over, $100,000 worth of equipment destroyed. You know, alligator-infested waters.

It’s just non-stop fun. I makes me grin throughout, from the awesome opening (different each episode) to the hilarious outtakes during the closing credits. My undying thanks to Kim and Nick for introducing me to it. Now everyone, watch this show. Seriously, it’s the best thing on television.

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