A Home Improvement update! During the Thursday, January 7, episode of Last Man Standing, Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) hires a handyman to come fix the garbage disposal. Enter Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (also Allen), who no longer hosts a TV show but now works for Binford Tools and is in Colorado for business. When he heard that there was a man in town who resembled him, he had to respond to the call.
“I had this TV show for eight years called Tool Time. They called me ‘The Toolman,’” Tim says to Mike during the episode before doing that famous grunt. “It was kind of my thing.” Mike then responds that the grunt is “a little annoying.”
Later in the episode, Mike’s wife, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), tells her husband about her talk with Tim. “It turns out he has three grown kids, only boys. He’s smart, he’s funny,” she says. “You guys are a lot alike.”
Although Tim calls for “more power” — another Home Improvement nod — he ends up blowing up Mike’s disposal. When he comes over to apologize, Mike is outside, standing behind a wooden door, only showing the top half of his face.
“That more power stuff worked better on my show and not so good at my house either,” Tim tells Mike, who peeks over the door. “It’s always been easier to open up when I’m just talking to the top half of another man’s face. … I did it with Wilson.”
Wilson Wilson was Tim’s neighbor in 202 episodes of Home Improvement who only ever revealed the top half of his face. Earl Hindman, who portrayed Wilson, died in 2003 of lung cancer at age 61.
“I shared a lot of stuff with him. He passed away,” Tim says. “I miss Wilson. I miss a lot of stuff.”
The episode ends with Tim visiting Mike at work, and the two finally see eye-to-eye after Mike looks up old episodes of Tool Time.
“I just want you to know, I think these are great. Well produced, clever, funny,” Mike says, with Tim noting that he misses the show. With that, Mike tells him that maybe they should do a reboot with “more power.”
The comedian previously opened up with Us Weekly exclusively about reprising the role, which he played from 1991 to 1999.
“It seemed weird and put on and phony” bringing back Tim and grunting again, the Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man author said. “The grunting was part of his deal and he kind of cops to that. He’s gotten old and he’s moved on.”
The Santa Clause star added that it wasn’t as simple as he thought it’d be to revisit Tim.
“I didn’t even think about what it’d be like playing a character that I developed from my stage act 20 years ago,” Allen told Us. “I love comedy laid on top of drama or drama laid on top of comedy.”
Last Man Standing airs on Fox Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET.
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