What really makes Dirty Jobs work is the charm and likeability of its host, Mike Rowe. He's an educated guy, and ex-opera singer, and with only very rare exceptions he gets in and does every aspect of every dirty job they look at, no matter how vile, hard, or dangerous. And he does it with great honesty, humour, and a fabulous turn of phrase.
Most importantly of all, he always shows respect for the people who do these things day in and day out. When he visited the San Francisco transfer station (processing and sorting garbage for recycling and landfill) he made a point of talking to a bunch of the people working there and getting them to list the physical cost of working in such a harsh environment - knee and back operations, bad cuts, lung problems, and so on.
Dirty Jobs is currently showing on ABC 2 at 6:30pm, Monday to Friday. Well worth the look.
Mike Rowe's TED talk.
One of his visits to the San Francisco dump