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Lessons from the Dirt

AKA Mike Rowe’s Fake Talk Show…

CAT and Mike were shooting a commercial a few weeks ago and got bored. So Mike decided to take a break, interview the crew and create a fake talk show.  Mike’s old pal Chuck does a pretty good impression of a bad announcer. Matt, the copywriter from the advertising agency is a terrible banjo player, and proves it repeatedly.  Then Mike asked his friend Beth to throw a set together real quick (she loves last-minute requests), and waited for someone to say “action.” This is what happened next…

FIRST, a word from our sponsor…  Lessons From the Dirt is made possible in part by the generous support of CAT (the big yellow machine guys, not the pet)

In this first episode of Mike’s Fake Talk Show, Mike sits down with Tony B. who is an actor (isn’t everyone these days?), but considers himself first a skilled tradesman… and a builder… and a roofer… and a mechanic… and a handyman. You may recognize him as the Dejected Guy from the Work Smart NOT Hard poster (aka The Worst Advice In The World).

In episode 2 of Lessons from the Dirt, Mike sits down with Ryan and Taylor. They do all sorts of things on productions like this and all require skill. Ryan’s a PA but ends up the model “University Graduate.”  He talks about starting at the bottom of the movie biz and how he’s in no hurry to rise to the top. Taylor’s a cameraman but Mike thought he was good looking enough and decided to make him the model “Skilled Tradesman” for the revised version: Work Smart AND Hard.



In the long history of bad advice, you’d have to look pretty hard to find something dumber than “Work Smart Not Hard.” It first appeared years ago as part of a recruitment campaign for college. It was bad advice then, but today, it’s just plain dangerous. Go ahead and Google “Work Smart Not Hard” and you’ll see just how far this idiotic cliche has wormed it’s way into our collective conscious over the last forty years. It’s repeated daily by millions of people like some timeless chestnut of conventional wisdom. Is it possible we actually believe such nonsense? You bet it is. To learn more about the mikeroweWORKS campaign for hard work, click here.

Now, as far as I know, no one has ever stopped a television commercial production to ask the film crew about their thoughts on work, but that’s pretty much what happens on Lessons from the Dirt. This is a fake talk show with one topic and a random assortment of guests you’ve never heard of. They are nevertheless interesting to watch and fun to listen to, in spite of the amateur asking the questions.