Mike Rowe knows how to play dirty — as host of the Discovery Channel series “Dirty Jobs,” he did it professionally for eight seasons. Now Rowe, a one-man variety show who’s worked as a narrator, actor, host and opera singer, has cleaned up his act in his current series “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” which opens its second season on CNN tonight. The show follows a similar format as “Dirty Jobs” but with a broader lens. The show, along with Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” has been a big part of CNN’s push to add more unscripted series to its news and talkshow mix.
So the second season of your show is about to start… can you preview the first episode?
The first episode is three stories — one couldn’t be more different than the other. The first happened in Chicago at a professional bull-riding event. So the real focus of the day, for me anyway, was to find the guys responsible for getting the bull away from the rider after he’s bucked off. And in the rodeo traditionally these guys are rodeo clowns, but these guys don’t wear makeup. They’re all business, and they’re awfully good at what they do. I got in the ring, and they basically taught me what to do, which, the short version is run toward the bull — make the bull charge you, and then don’t let him gore you. It’s absurd. But as you watch an entire event unfold, you watch the same three guys out there literally saving the cowboy’s life over and over again.
What about the other two stories?
The next piece actually was kind of an accident. I was in Iowa late last year giving a speech for something or other, and walking down the street I saw a man dressed like Abraham Lincoln — I mean exactly like Abraham Lincoln. And when you host a show called “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” you can’t just ignore a guy who looks like Lincoln. So we ended up hanging out for a while, sat down and had a talk. It’s a quick little story about a guy who loves Lincoln so much, he simply decided to assume his identity.
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