‘Dirty Jobs’ star Mike Rowe reveals new gigs that tested his gut: ‘My dreams were feverish and vivid’

Mike Rowe eagerly took jobs which are not for the faint of heart – or stomach. This season, the popular TV personality insisted her guts were being tested like never before.

“Dirty Jobs” back at Discovery in January, almost a decade after its initial end. Over the years, the 60-year-old has tried plenty of messy, smelly, and downright dangerous gigs.

The new season, which premieres on Sunday, will continue to chronicle Rowe’s determination to meet unsung heroes from across the country. But Rowe admitted he didn’t even know why he got involved this time around.


Mike Rowe filming dirty jobs

Mike Rowe said he has always looked forward to meeting our nation’s “unsung heroes”. (Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images/Getty Images)

“It’s a very dirty season,” Rowe told FOX Business. “I mean, we see things that will make your stomach roll. But the one that freaked me out in an interesting way was…there’s a guy named Ed Currie who grows the Carolina Reaper, which is a hot pepper, one of the hottest peppers ever made. In fact, it does a thing called ghost pepper. A drop of this stuff on the tongue can really ruin the whole day.”

Caroline Reaper

Carolina Reaper peppers growing in a field. Mike Rowe was advised not to try this beauty. (Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images/Getty Images)

“I worked with him all day, bringing in the harvest, making these hot sauces,” Rowe recalled. “And I was supposed to record a song that night. I was recording a song with John Rich. And the guys that were working there with Ed, they all pulled me aside, and they said, ‘Mike, don’t Don’t put that in your mouth because you won’t be able to talk. You can’t sing. Drop it.’ Anyway, my producer ended up trying some and he threw up in his beard. [He] hallucinated. I haven’t slept for two days.”

But it wasn’t the worst for Rowe.

“It’s not every day that a licensed vet gives you a scalpel and neuter a cat“, did he declare. “Neutering feral cats is a huge undertaking. I went to…a facility in Texas that is focused entirely on neutering these feral cats to keep their population from exploding. I mean, just on a personal level, to remove another creature’s testicles… Let’s just say my dreams that night were feverish and vivid.

A stray cat

“Cats are boycotting this season,” Mike Rowe joked to FOX Business. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

“Cats are boycotting this season,” he joked.

Aside from the feral cat fixer, some of the other jobs Rowe will try his hand at this season include beaver relocator, deer urine breeder and pool line fixer cleans up 17 years of built-up dirt.


There was even a job that prompted Rowe to do a double take – hotel soap recycler.

Mike Rowe host of Dirty Jobs

Mike Rowe is giving a hotel soap recycler a shot, among many new jobs this season. (Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images/Getty Images)

“I love the irony of this segment,” Rowe explained. “Soap cleaning, basically soap recycling. That’s pretty big. When you think about the average amount of soap used in a hotel, it’s once or twice, and then they throw it away. And then a new bar So what happens to all those…hundreds and hundreds…of soaps that have only been used once?

“They melt it. It’s hot. And then they create new bars of soap. A lot of it gets shipped to third world countries where hygiene is a real issue and soap is really scarce. We have profiled an organization in Florida called Clean Up the World. They shipped millions of bars of soap everywhere. It’s pretty awesome.”


Rowe said at this point he didn’t need to look for work. Jobs come to him. The star said he receives many emails and letters from people wanting to showcase their unique business.

“I stopped watching many years ago and handed it all over to the viewer,” Rowe said. “Most of the ideas we get come from people who write to us, who’ve watched the show for years, and say, ‘Do you think this is dirty? Come neuter a cat.’ Or, “Do you think it’s dirty? Come clean a pool that hasn’t been cleaned in 17 years,” and so on. All the ideas come from the spectators.”

Mike Rowe builds

Mike Rowe insisted he’s always looking for a challenge. (Discovery/Fox News)

And Rowe insisted that he is always looking for a challenge.

“I tried rod breaking last season, and it’s maybe one of the toughest construction jobs out there,” he said. “I did, and then I walked weird for about two weeks. Sometimes you just look at the title of a job and say, ‘OK, this probably needs to be attempted. And other times the titles look mundane. Like, ‘Bridge maintainer – how hard can that be?’ Then you’re 600 feet in the air…and scared to death. You never know until you show up and do it.

“Dirty Jobs” originally aired on Discovery from 2005 to 2013. It was rebooted in 2020 as a limited series titled “Dirty Jobs: Rowe’d Trip.” By popular demand, Rowe has brought the series back, and he can’t wait to see what else awaits.

Mike Rowe surrounded by trash

“Dirty Jobs” back by popular demand. (Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images/Getty Images)

“Beneath all the exploding toilets and feces of all species, mishaps and breeding lurks an honest look at a day’s work,” Rowe said. “And people will always be interested in ways to make money. And I think today, in particular, there’s so much talk about the definition of a good job.

“There’s so much interest in how to thrive as a result of learning a new skill that’s in demand. We’ve always talked about essential work, but now, after the confinements, the essential work truly made the headlines. ‘Dirty Jobs’ was there. It never really went away.”

The new season of “Dirty Jobs” premieres December 11 at 8 p.m. on Discovery.

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