The star of such sitcoms as "Worst Week," "Perfect Couples" and "Romantically Challenged" pauses when asked if he knows what a spark plug is.
"I know what a spark plug does. I could probably find a spark plug. That'll be my mission today."
This maintenance-challenged persona is being transferred to the screen in ABC's new comedy, "Family Tools," premiering May 1.
Bornheimer plays a guy who doesn't know a lug nut from a cotter pin but who inherits his family's repair service.
It's a good thing that Bornheimer can act. But even there Bornheimer was a late bloomer. The Indiana native grew up loving movies and always harbored the dream that he might have something to do with entertainment. And while he wasn't the class clown, he was often in trouble at school for mouthing off.
"Thankfully I got into entertainment where that's acceptable to do that ... It hurt my grades."
Writing and directing were his goals. And he quit Purdue University after six months to test his luck in Los Angeles. Part of his plan was to star in a series of commercials. He became the laughingstock in ads for Geico, Staples, Imodium and T-Mobile.
"I had several jobs at the time. I waited tables and worked at a casting office and worked in a video store and did telemarketing -- all the stuff that many actors-writers do out here.
"I was getting jobs up to the time I booked my first TV series.
He says his wife, Ryan, was reassuring. "She was employed and very supportive and giving about my career and very confident in me.
"She had to take a leap of faith more than I did."
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