‘Making It’ Judge Simon Doonan Talks All of the Laughter (and Tears!) on Set

Dayna Isom Johnson, Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, and Simon Doonan in Making It - Season 1
Paul Drinkwater/NBC
Dayna Isom Johnson, Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, and Simon Doonan in Making It.

Eccentric Brit Simon Doonan, famed for fashioning spectacular window displays for Barneys New York, is having a blast helping judge arts-and-crafts competition Making It hosted by DIY fans Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.

“I’m blown away by the players’ level of craftsmanship,” says Doonan. Still, he was “bewildered” by this week’s first task — build the best snack stadium — because he didn’t know making replica football arenas with carrot linebackers on a guacamole field is a thing.

MAKING IT -- "Home Sweet Home" Episode 102 -- Pictured: (l-r) Simon Doonan, Amy Poehler -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

Eyeing one entry, “I thought, ‘Wow, what a lot of salami watching a game on a hot day!'”

He forfeits all quipping matches, though, to Poehler and Offerman. “They’re humor machines. I’m always [redoing] my makeup from shrieking with laughter,” he says. The contenders leave him a different kind of misty: “Once people start making stuff with their hands, their guard comes down. They tell you their struggles.”

Doonan put away his professional glue gun five years ago (he’s now Barneys’ “creative ambassador”). But he does keep the New York home he shares with his husband, design guru Jonathan Adler, sparkly.

“We had this china cabinet that was looking a bit drowsy, so I decoupaged the glass doors with vintage fashion magazine covers. It’s a great trick. You can do it using TV Guide Magazine covers!”

Making It, Tuesdays, 10/9c, NBC