Mike Rowe Leads Discovery’s Update of Classic ‘Boom De Yada’ Promo (VIDEO)
Warning: The song will get stuck in your head, and a tear may come to your eye.
Discovery has revived its memorable, musical 2008 ad campaign “The World is Just Awesome” to remind us there’s beauty all around us, even during the current pandemic. As with the original promo — set to the melody of the campfire song “I Love the Mountains” — “The World Is Still Awesome” enlists some of the network’s biggest names to sing about what they love, leading into the catchy “Boom de yada” chorus.
Twelve years ago Mike Rowe, then host of Dirty Jobs, filmed his “I love real dirty things” while in a sewer with rats. Today, the Deadliest Catch narrator and After the Catch host kicks off the 2020 update crooning “I love the sky above, I love its birds and bees” as the sun sets near his home north of San Francisco. (He’s a former opera singer, so don’t be surprised he sounds that good!)
“I think the reason it struck a chord [back then] is because it was just so humble,” Rowe says of the initial hit, which has more than 10 million views on YouTube. “You’re talking about the entire world, but it’s being sung about in a campfire song by people who, in many cases, can’t sing, which is kind of like what the world is, right? It’s just well-intended, joyful people who don’t really care whether they can sing or not jumping into a simple melody that hopefully unites everybody who hears it. It was a good and smart thing to do in 2008; today, it’s an essential thing, I believe.”
See below for the original 2008 promo:
Among those joining Rowe as featured vocalists in the new promo are Adam Savage, who famously set his former MythBusters cohort Jamie Hyneman aflame in the ’08 version; Deadliest Catch‘s Capt. Sig Hansen and his daughter Mandy, who duet; Diesel Brothers‘ Diesel Dave, who cedes his moment to his young daughter and her adorable “I love mom and dad”; Animal Planet favorites Robert Irwin and Forrest Galante, who serenade kangaroos and a tortoise, respectively; BattleBots ring announcer Faruq Tauheed, who busts a move; Expedition Unknown‘s Josh Gates, who’s hosting his own virtual talk show, Josh Gates Tonight, from home; and other familiar faces like Street Outlaws‘ AZN, Alaska: The Last Frontier‘s Charlotte and Jane Kilcher, and “The Wild Twins,” Amber and Serena.
Viewers with a good ear will catch Guardians of the Glades‘ Dusty Crum and Moonshiners‘ Steven Ray Tickle in voice-over before they spot them among the even larger group of network personalities in the massive Zoom-style end collage. An extended version of the on-air promo will be released online.
See below for the 2020 promo:
The 🌎is still awesome and we will bring it to you. pic.twitter.com/LSLesaZ9km
— Discovery (@Discovery) May 18, 2020
Looking back, Rowe—who also thinks the time is right to revive Dirty Jobs, given our new understanding of what it means to be an essential worker—says no one could have predicted how iconic the original promo would become. He remembers being in Greenland, filming something for 2008’s Shark Week, when the ad went viral. “I was outside on a glacier for three or four days in -30 temperatures and just so completely isolated. I just wanted to get the hell out of there, honestly, I was freezing to death and in the middle of nowhere,” he says. “I flew down into Nova Scotia, checked my machine and I have all these urgent messages from Discovery saying, ‘Look, you’ve got to come to the Upfronts that are happening in New York in like 12 hours. We’ve got a sold-out auditorium of advertisers and media writers, and we want all the talent on stage to actually sing the song—and you gotta open it.’ And I’m like, ‘What the hell? Are you serious?'”
They were. He hopped on a plane, and after running through a shower, found himself bantering on stage before pulling a handheld microphone out of his back pocket to lead the Deadliest Catch captains, Bear Grylls and others in song—while backed by a children’s choir. “I am literally hallucinating from exhaustion, singing ‘Boom De Yada’ in front of my new boss, every media writer, every advertiser in town,” Rowe says with a laugh. “And I just remember walking off the stage, shaking my head thinking, If it gets any weirder than this, I don’t know what to do.”
But in all seriousness, he does believe in the campaign’s message, especially now. “I don’t know if we’re all in the same boat necessarily, but we’re certainly all in the same storm,” he says. “And when you show the world like that, in all of its wonder, and then these recognizable people in a little sing-songy way tell you that it’s all gonna be okay, it’s part lullaby, part comfort song, and, hopefully, part prophecy.”