Mike Rowe: The Missing 7.2 Million Male Workers

The Dirty Jobs host is freaked out by the number of men who have dropped out of the workplace.


Today's guest is Mike Rowe, the bestselling author, Emmy winner, and podcaster best known for his stint hosting The Discovery Channel's long-running Dirty Jobs, where he performed the sort of work we all rely on but don't want to think about too much.

From cleaning septic tanks to putting hot tar on roofs to disposing of medical waste, he's done it all—and loves to talk about the value of the hard, honest work that he thinks is devalued by a society fixated on sending everyone to college. I caught up with Rowe at FreedomFest, an annual gathering held this year in Memphis. 

We talked about how his mikeroweWORKS Foundation matches young people interested in learning trades with employers dying for applicants, why men continue to fall further behind women in school and work, and how Rowe's booze brand Knobel Spirits, named after his maternal grandfather, is fueling his nonprofit's impact.