'Dirty Jobs' host speaks to 3,135 at Show Me Center

Thursday, January 28, 2010
Mike Rowe entertains a crowd of 3,135 people with his experiences from his Discovery Channel show, "Dirty Jobs," Wednesday night at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Mike Rowe has performed more than 250 jobs on his Emmy-nominated television show but doesn't consider himself an expert on any of them.

"'Dirty Jobs' may be the simplest job on television," Rowe said Wednesday night. "I am an apprentice and assume the role of apprentice with regular people."

The host of the show "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel, Rowe spoke to 3,135 people at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. Called "Dirty Talk with Mike Rowe," his speech was part of the Southeast Missouri State University Speaker Series.

Mike Rowe tells the audience how his television show, Dirty Jobs, grew from three specials into a Discovery Channel series Wednesday night at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Among the jobs Rowe discussed was castrating sheep in Craig, Colo. Beforehand, Rowe sought advice from the Humane Society on the proper method for castration. However, Rowe said he quickly learned the family of sheep ranchers had a different, better way to do it.

"It was an amazing moment, and that's when 'Dirty Jobs' changed for me," Rowe said. "I realized that the experts I had gone to were wrong. I realized what I thought I knew was completely wrong."

Rowe said jobs he features on his show each week are designed to highlight the hard-working American. His jobs have included window washing, maggot farming, alligator egg collecting and coal mining and have been in nearly every state.

Before creating "Dirty Jobs," Rowe was the host of Evening Magazine on CBS. He has been a professional musician on Broadway and host on QVC shopping channel. Rowe's other experience in television included being a writer, actor and host on programs on such networks as Fox, PBS, TBS and the History Channel.

Rowe said he does not anticipate ending "Dirty Jobs" anytime soon.

"It's tough to find a job really unique and interesting that most people don't know about," Rowe said. "It's not a show about dirt or jobs. It's about people, and we won't run out of people anytime soon."

Most in attendance were students, faculty and staff from Southeast, but some came from outside the area.

Jeani Murtaugh flew from New Orleans for her sixth Rowe speech.

"Each time he gets better and better," Murtaugh said.

Tanya Scallan, of Hessmer, La., was part of a group that threw a birthday party for Rowe in Hot Springs, Ark. Scallan said Rowe's personality is part of the reason for his success.

"He's a wonderful, heart-warming person," Scallan said. "He doesn't realize how he brings people together."

Davye Cash, who posts on Rowe's message board every day, said she drove to the event from the Little Rock, Ark., area. She called his speech inspiring.

"He doesn't know what he does for others," Cash said. "He brings hope."



Pertinent address:

1333 N. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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