How Tim Allen Checked an Entry Off His Bucket List With a ‘Tonight Show’ Appearance

by Joe Rutland

Tim Allen had a dream just like all comedians who did stand-up for a living back in the 1990s: Get on The Tonight Show. Of course, this was in the time Johnny Carson was the King of late-night television. Imagine being Allen, who has had his own struggles in life, and finally reaching that point in his career. Talk about a bucket list item right there. So, it must have been a great time for him, right? Oh boy. Let’s let the Home Improvement star shed some light on his appearance as part of the classic NBC talk show.

“I bombed,” Allen said in an interview for PBS’ Pioneers of Television series. “I went on there and didn’t have my glasses, which I wear, and I couldn’t see. He said, ‘Do you see where you stand?’ He quickly opened the curtain and I lied because I wanted to be a pro. I said, ‘Yeah!’ I had no idea where he was pointing. So when they opened the curtain, I walked out and stopped. There’s booms moving and cameras adjusting because I hadn’t…and that took me. I went, ‘Oooh, what’s happening?'”

Tim Allen Would Hear Some Interesting Comments From Johnny Carson

“I had to start my act,” Allen said, adding that he got off on the wrong foot “and I just died. It was just death.” He also shares a little inside comedy stuff about being on The Tonight Show. “And then Johnny sits down and in between the break he said, ‘You gotta be funnier than that.'” Ouch. Hearing Carson saying that probably didn’t sit too well with him. But getting the chance to be in a seat right next to Johnny would be a memory. It’s one that Tim Allen can hold on to for the rest of his life. Of course, newer fans probably know him from Last Man Standing.

Well, how about a little look back at Home Improvement? Allen would refuse to kill off his on-screen wife Patricia Richardson, who played Jill Taylor. The whole thing started picking up steam when Richardson said that she was leaving the show. Upon hearing that news, producers seemed to come up with an idea. “They went to Tim, and they said, ‘Let’s do it with dead Jill,'” Richardson said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “And then Tim was like, ‘I don’t think we can do that.’ So then he went out and said, ‘Well, I think it’s time to end Home Improvement.'” While Richardson, who simply grew tired of being in sitcoms in her career, is enjoying retirement, she did show up with Allen again. It happened to be in an episode of Last Man Standing.