Mike Rowe Was Almost The Host Of ‘The Daily Show,’ Twice

Before Mike Rowe got Dirty, he had an even nastier job: QVC host. He lost that gig in 1993, probably because he spent most of his on-air time making fun of the products he was selling, and “for the next eight years,” as he writes on his blog, “I lived in New York and Hollywood, and auditioned for no less than two thousand gigs.” Including host of The Daily Show, twice.

The first time was 17 years ago, when the position came down to him and Craig Kilborn, who, spoiler, ended up with the job. “A year later,” Rowe writes, “Craig split, and the network called me back. I went in for another audition.” He killed it, and producers told him that the job was his, “unless – by some miracle – Comedy Central were to suddenly cough up the kind of money that could entice a proven entity like Dennis Miller or Jon Stewart.” Oops.

Last week, watching Jon’s final show, I thought about how sh*tty I felt when I received [a rejection letter from a decent Executive Producer at The Daily Show] 17 years ago. (If you look closely, you’ll see the tracks of my tears, long since dried.) Reading it today, though, I can’t believe how lucky I was to have been rejected. It was a critical step in a long series of failures that got me to the sewer, where my redemption awaited, and a new level of job satisfaction that I frankly, never imagined. (Via)

I’d like to see Rowe on The Daily Show, but what I really want is to watch Jon Stewart host Deadliest Catch: The Bait, or Wicked Tuna, or any of Rowe’s other million shows. You think coming up with new Arby’s material is tough? Wait until you hunt ghosts, uh, academy.

(Via Mike Rowe)