Mike Rowe Pitches His Idea on How to Get ‘Americans to Talk to Each Other’: ‘Nothing Magical’

Mike Rowe believes there are a few things that bind us all together, and we need to focus on those rather than our differences. The Dirty Jobs host says there’s no “magical” solution to solve America’s growing cultural divide, just some hard work and compassion.

Rowe spoke with News Nation Now’s Ashleigh Banfield earlier this year about his new show Six Degrees with Mike Rowe. The show is about connecting points in America’s history. Banfield was curious if he could also help Americans reconnect with one another. Yes, he said, but it’s “nothing magical.”

“There’s no new ideas, but in general when things become this heated, the quest becomes to find the thing that can still keep people — more or less — connected,” he said. “In other words, what is it that we all still share? Dirty Jobs is going back into production because work is one of those things we can all talk about. Returning the Favor was a show I did for years on Facebook was a rumination on decency. Somebody’s Got To Do It, which I was doing on CNN with you back in the day, that was a look at hobbies and avocations. Six Degrees is just a look at our shared history.

“There aren’t many things that still connect us all intrinsically, but work and play and kindness and a shared history, those are the themes that I typically gravitate toward.”

Rowe said he created Six Degress of Mike Rowe as a tribute to his late father, who was a history teacher. But he also wanted to create a history show for people who don’t normally watch them as a way to connect more Americans with their shared history.

Mike Rowe Talks ‘Dirty Jobs’ Reboot During Pandemic

Mike Rowe said rebooting his show Dirty Jobs took on new meaning during the pandemic. Especially as the nation discussed what was — or was not — an “essential” job. Rowe explained that’s not how we should look at work.

“Everybody is essential to somebody, even if it is just themselves,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “And there is no such thing as non-essential work. That is a different message than the one I started with 20 years ago. It is still hard, it is still dirty, it is still smelly, the shows I work on still have that element to them, but I no longer believe that there is anything non-essential about any job.”

Discovery canceled Dirty Jobs in 2012 after eight seasons. But the show has stayed around popular culture. Rowe believes that’s because the show focused on the people rather than the politics or the economy.

“[Dirty Jobs] wasn’t a lecture, it wasn’t a sermon, it was an honest look in the day on the job not of a host, but as a guest,” Rowe told THR. “I was basically an avatar on that show.”