‘Last Man Standing’: Why Kaitlyn Dever’s Departure Was ‘Really Hard’ for Tim Allen

by Caitlin Berard

The beloved sitcom Last Man Standing followed the daily life of Mike Baxter (Tim Allen), a hardworking man who, through sheer chance, found himself surrounded by women. The Baxter household is made up of Mike, his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters: Kristin (Amanda Fuller), Mandy (Molly McCook), and Eve (Kaitlyn Dever).

Like most TV series, Tim Allen‘s Last Man Standing mirrored reality in many ways. Each episode depicted a new addition to the Baxters’ story, including typical family drama, career struggles and successes, and the highs and lows of childhood.

And while Tim Allen has been open about his love for realistic series like Last Man Standing and Home Improvement, one topic on the former series hit a little too close to home.

In the show, Mike Baxter shares a particularly close bond with his youngest daughter Eve. Season 6 slightly alters that bond, however, as Eve leaves home to join the Air Force Academy.

While this, of course, fills her parents with pride, watching their youngest leave the nest is also a difficult pill to swallow. And for Tim Allen, the storyline was heart-wrenchingly reminiscent of watching his real-life daughter leave home for the first time.

“We had an episode…where we had to change Eve’s room and it reminded me of real life,” Allen explained in an interview with Fox News. “You know, your kid’s not coming back. They’ll visit, they’re not going anywhere, but they’re not coming back to the bedroom they grew up in. It was a really hard one for me to do based on my oldest daughter when she left.”

Tim Allen Had ‘Health Problems’ Leaving ‘Last Man Standing’

To say Tim Allen loved his time on Last Man Standing would be an understatement. He and his Home Improvement co-stars have talked about how difficult it was to accept the series’ end in the past, but Last Man Standing was so difficult for Tim Allen to let go that he claims he suffered “health problems.”

“I had health problems letting go of this one,” Allen explained in a 2021 interview with UPI. “I’m literally just feeling better. I loved every second of this experience.”

Though he knew the end of Last Man Standing was on the horizon, Tim Allen believes the long goodbye was even worse than an unexpected finale. “You just don’t know how much affection I have for all of [my co-stars], the people behind the scenes, everybody involved in this thing,” Allen said.

“These were not comfortable weeks. I was counting off the hours. I did not do well with this. In a very moralistic way, I’m glad it’s done because I can’t feel this way anymore.”