What’s life like for Mike Rowe without a network television show?
Since “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” is no longer on CNN, Rowe has had his privacy violated by a drone, the former host of “Dirty Jobs” survived the rumors of his own death swirling about the internet, and in the home stretch of an ugly presidential election, he worries more than ever about unemployment, the skills gap, and a widespread loss of meaning in American life.
Yet Rowe himself remains more popular than ever. Days after Rowe read a letter from his mother detailing how she lost her purse at Wal-Mart, the post went hyperviral. It was seen by over 100 million people – “a third of the country!” he exclaims. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Rowe tells Reason TV, “I’ve talked to people at Facebook who said they’ve never seen anything like it.”
Rowe has also found a way to turn C.R.A.P – that’s Collectables, Rare and Precious – into philanthropy. His auction of a swanky Trump Tower bathrobe, signed by The Donald himself, fetched a cool $16,000 on eBay. The money then trickled down from the alleged billionaire to The Mike Rowe Works Foundation, which funds “work ethic scholarships” that provide out-of-luck workers with valuable skills for the modern economy.
Nick Gillespie caught up with Mike Rowe in Nashville, Tennessee to chat about his affection for the Second Amendment, his adventures in podcasting, the 2016 election, the secret to extracting semen from a prize racehorse, and more.