Mike Rowe Answers Your Questions

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Q: What about your poor camera crew? And how do they protect their equipment from the filth of it all? Some of those places you went were pretty nasty and every time I watch the show, I'm impressed with the camera work and feel bad for your film crew.

A: Our cameramen are awesome and committed to their work. If you want to admire or pity someone, Doug Glover and Troy Paff deserve more of both than me. I have suggested on numerous occasions that they trade in their full-size rigs for smaller handheld cameras. It would simplify their lives dramatically, but they refuse, citing quality issues. (Is that not hysterical? The sewer needs to look as good as possible!)

Anyway, the cameras do take a beating but they are replaceable, and it's not something I worry about.

Doug and Troy have the dirtiest jobs in television and deserve whatever sympathy and admiration you can muster. Seriously, they are as talented as they are filthy.

Q: Was it difficult to find a crew (lights, camera and sound staff) to go on these dirty jobs with you?

A: Yeah. Early on, we burned through a number of squeamish personnel. Then I got lucky. The current Dirty Jobs field crew is top-notch — competent and fearless. Two cameramen, named Doug and Troy, go wherever I go, oftentimes in front of me. Rhea is a lovely, dirty girl who runs the audio. Adam is a large, former Marine who provides varied logistical and tactical support, and Dave is the field producer, a stern taskmaster and the only one among us who truly and genuinely enjoys the grime. All of them are talented, and in desperate need of a shower.

P.S. We can't afford actual lights.

Or makeup.

Or food.

Q: Who comes up with the show ideas? Do you or the show producers come up with the jobs you'll be doing?

A: Ideas come from many places, including a research staff in L.A., the entire crew and my own head. Most though, come from viewers who seem to take a perverse thrill in sending me to some godforsaken pit of despair. Everybody seems to know somebody that has a dirty job. Sooner or later, I hope to meet them all.

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