It’s been 30 years since “Home Improvement” became a TV sitcom staple, making stars out of Tim Allen and Richard Karn — and as they told TODAY on Wednesday, they’re ready to do it all over again!
According to both actors, if the stars should align (and that’s a big if), they’re up for a reboot.
“We’ve talked about it before, and the relationship … with studios and creators and networks gets very complicated,” said Allen, who’s now in the ninth and final season of his show “Last Man Standing.”
But, he added, “I’d love to see where Al and Tim are, where ‘Tool Time’ is right now, have the boys all grown up now with kids, I think it’s a great idea.”
Karn, who played Al Borland opposite Allen’s Tim Taylor on the in-series home improvement show “Tool Time,” was more succinct about his enthusiasm for a new and improved series. “Absolutely,” he said.
At one point, Allen held up a toy version of his Buzz Lightyear character from “Toy Story” during Karn’s comments, quipping, “I just got a little Buzz.”
“He’s been upstaging me for over 30 years,” said Karn good-naturedly.
But the pair have reunited, thanks to their new reality competition show for History, “Assembly Required.” On the series, they co-host and coach builders through DIY challenges like constructing a fire extinguisher.
Allen said he’d had the idea for “Assembly” for years, because he’d hoped to mentor kids by showing them positive things they could do with their hands. After the show evolved to focus on adults, his manager suggested he bring Karn in to co-host.
“It didn’t seem like something he’d be interested in, even though we see each other quite a bit … it turned out we share an interest in celebrating people who fix things instead of break things,” said Allen.
“Home Improvement” was an old-fashioned sitcom, shot in front of a studio audience, and focused on Taylor’s family, his show “Tool Time,” and his love for gadgets. It aired from 1991 to 1999, earning seven Emmys and one Golden Globe. And, as Allen acknowledged, his “Last Man” character Mike was something of an “evolution” of his “Improvement” role.
And even on “Last Man,” it was impossible to keep the two co-stars apart: Karn guested on the show in 2013 as an architect. As he recalled, they really felt the long-standing love for the show the day he shot his scenes.
“When I came on (Tim’s) show … the audience went crazy,” recalled Karn. “Tim and I were standing there for 30 seconds, looking at each other!”
“Assembly Required” airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on the History Channel.