‘Last Man Standing’ Cast and Crew Emotionally Reflect on Series’ End

by Chris Haney

On May 20, Last Man Standing is coming to an end after nine seasons, and the cast and crew recently opened up about the series coming to a close.

After 10 years, two networks (ABC & FOX), and 194 episodes, the hit sitcom is nearing its series finale. This upcoming Thursday, Last Man Standing will air its last new episode. Recently, Variety spoke with some of the stars and producers of the show. The guests included star of the show Tim Allen, actors Nancy Travis and Hector Elizondo, and executive producers Kevin Abbott and Matt Berry.

During the collective virtual interview, Allen was asked about his feelings as the show wrapped up. He clearly is going to miss the cast and crew, and is already looking back on the last decade of the sitcom with great fondness.

“None of this happens without — you’ll hear it a million times — it’s such a great team,” Allen said to Variety. “I was extremely fortunate to have attracted such a team that put it together… That said, it has not been an easy three, four weeks for me. I adored this show, adored this cast, this crew, [everyone].”

Saying goodbye to the people involved with the show has been tough. But it’s been equally challenging for Allen to say so long to the characters themselves.

“I said the other day that the characters are gone, and that made me very, very sad,” Allen added. “When I said to Ed (Elizondo) in the last scene, I’m sure it’s in the cut, and he said, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow, Mike,’ and I said, ‘Not in this world.’”

‘Last Man Standing’ Actor Shares Difficulties of Saying Goodbye During Pandemic

Although our country continues to inch closer to a more normal way of life, the COVID-19 pandemic’s lingering effects still changed the way the cast and crew said their goodbyes. Actor Hector Elizondo shared why ending the show during the pandemic made it that much harder. He says not being able to make physical contact and share your emotions more personally was difficult.

“It was very painful. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house – in our house anyway,” Elizondo explained. “Pulling the tape off, it was awful. And the worst thing is that we couldn’t make physical contact. We couldn’t connect that way. That was a big challenge emotionally and physically because I’m a hugger if I like you; if I don’t, I punch you. It’s very simple. No gray areas.”

Showrunner and executive producer Kevin Abbott said Last Man Standing ending doesn’t seem real yet. However, he is at least satisfied with the sitcom’s conclusion and is glad they were able to tie things up nicely in the end.

“It’s like asking somebody would you rather die suddenly or have a long, lingering illness,” Abbott said. “It’s never a good answer. But the thing that’s good about knowing, as we did when we started the season, that it would be the end, it allowed us to do a number of things. And one of those was sort of tie it together and say something at the end about what the family was.”