“I like to see where the edge is. When there’s a big red button that says ‘Do not touch,’ I right away go to touch it,” says Tim Allen.
The actor-comedian happily (and hilariously) tests the limits of tools in the new series More Power — the title was, of course, his catchphrase on Tool Time, the handyman show-within-a-show on his 1991–99 sitcom Home Improvement.
He’s joined by buddy Richard Karn, who played his cohost, and DIY pro April Wilkerson. (The trio previously hosted the History competition Assembly Required.) They present an iconic tool, its origins — and some very creative applications. Allen plugs us in.
In the June 29 premiere, which covered pneumatics and hydraulics, you and April had a basketball-dunking contest in dueling bulldozers. What trouble do you get up in the July 6 episode? We know there’s a crisscrossed laser beam alarm system like something out of a spy movie!
Tim Allen: I saw the maze being put together, and I figured out a way I could get in there. They had a hole in it that they didn’t realize. We also get into laser sighting, laser measurements, laser surgery — but I could not get answers to all my questions about military stuff!
(Credit: History Channel)
Anything super mind-blowing coming up?
Magnets! [The July 13 episode.] I’ve been a freak for magnets since I was a kid. Especially rare earth magnets — they’re so damn powerful that they’re dangerous. What’s going on with a piece of metal you find in the ground that’s attracted to other pieces of metal?! An old philosophy major like me gets into the fundamentals.
How do you, Richard, and April work as a trio?
She’s very quiet — it’s perfect for a bigmouth like me. And she’s a great teacher. Richard would bring stuff in and look at it very cautiously. And she goes, “No, just jump in.” But all three of us are OK with screwing up.
While you cover topics such as batteries, compressors, and “lift & load,” you take field trips to meet industry professionals. Were you awestruck?
I will mess with anybody…but I would get amazed at the people I was talking to. How did you even learn how to do this? We went to a place in Orange County, California, that [uses heat to] bend huge pieces of glass [in the August 17 episode]. You don’t even think about that! Curved buildings, the corner office…
When did you get curious about making things go?
I was always fascinated by the underside of cars — and the boiler room in my elementary school!
More Power, Wednesday, July 6, 10/9c, History