Fox sitcom Last Man Standing featured a double dose of Tim Allen this week, who played two separate characters in an eye-popping Home Improvement crossover.
Allen (also famed for portraying Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause franchise) reprised his character Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor opposite Mike Baxter, who he’s been playing for almost a decade now.
Baxter’s wife Vanessa hired the DIY expert to handle a list of home repairs, before he and Mike finally came face-to-face for a bizarrely meta conversation.
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Chatting to TVLine, Last Man Standing showrunner Kevin Abbott opened up on this most unexpected of crossovers.
“We had already broken the first seven episodes when Fox, as they always do, asked, ‘Hey, is there some big event, or something grabby you can have as your premiere?’ And I just hate those,” he recalled.
“I tend to think of our show as a small show, you know? We tell small stories – so, by definition, something big and stunty really doesn’t happen on our show.
“It was [writer] Jon Haller who said, ‘We’ve had a lot of the Home Improvement people on, and the only major character we haven’t had is Tim Taylor,’ and I went, ‘That’s brilliant.'”
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Further along, the series boss highlighted Allen’s input for the episode’s tribute to late co-star Earl Hindman, who played neighbour Wilson.
“It was interesting, because the whole episode moved Tim. He was affected by it. He said to me, ‘You captured some of the things that we’re all going through, which is looking at our run here, moving on, and recognising how good things have been…’
“I think he brought a lot of personal emotion [to the episode], and it was really quite powerful.”
Last Man Standing airs on Fox in the US.
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