8 Questions With … Chris Grundy

1. What’s been your strangest fan encounter?

Chris Grundy, host of DIY Network’s Cool Tools: I was on an airplane, and someone walks by, they gave me a look, and I didn’t know if they knew me from high school or if they knew me from TV. Well … he had bought one of the products [endorsed on the show], and he didn’t like it. … He was like, “I bought it and it sucked! It doesn’t work for me!” He was a little bit mad at me. He bought it because I said, “Hey, this is cool.” … I couldn’t wait to get off that plane. I was flying from Colorado to Chicago, and luckily he didn’t come at me until about Iowa.

2. When was the last time you were starstruck?

This was probably about three years ago, and I had rented a house on the beach in Malibu. I’m just standing in the water, hanging out, and there’s nobody around. After about 10 minutes, I hear somebody walking, and I look to my right and it’s Matthew McConaughey. He’s just walking down the beach. I said, “Hey, man.” And, you know how he talks, “Hey, man, how y’all doin’?” I didn’t know what to say. For a second, I was a little bit tongue-tied.

3. If you’re at a magazine rack and you can pick three magazines, which ones do you pick?

I do like a little Sports Illustrated. Selfishly, I’m a contributing editor for Popular Mechanics, and I know a bunch of the writers, so that would be there, too. The third one is going to depend on who’s on the cover. That’s going to be a game-time decision.

4. If you could only have three shows on your TV other than your own, what would they be?

Flashpoint. Nikita — I would be starstruck if I ever met Maggie Q. I also like shows like Unplugged, where a band is playing.

5. What’s your favorite sports team?

I’m from Chicago, and I love hockey, so the Chicago Blackhawks. But I live in Denver, so I like the [Colorado] Avalanche. And, for college football, it’s the Oklahoma Sooners.

6. Of all the tools you’ve featured on Cool Tools, do you have an all-time favorite?

That just changes for me all the time, but one thing I actually use a lot is a miter saw table by Delta. You bolt your miter saw to it, and it raises and lowers your miter saw, and it’s on wheels, so it goes around wherever you want to go. It makes it so much easier. … I love that thing.

7. How does your background in improv comedy help you on Cool Tools?

It’s a huge help. So many times, that’s the show. I try not to meet people before the camera is there, because I want it to be fresh, I want it to be live. … It keeps me from freaking out if things don’t go right, because in improv, that’s it. Things aren’t going right, and you make the best of it, and hopefully it’s fun and entertaining.

8. Ever have any close calls with the tools on the show, as far as injury?

There was a nail-gun incident. … It was connected to the compressor, and I knew it was unloaded, but the rule is, “All guns are always loaded.” I got careless and I touched my leg and pulled the trigger and, if there had been a nail in it, it would have gone right in the middle.