Tim Allen said reprising his role as Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor for the last season of his Fox show Last Man Standing was “weird, creepy … (and) unusual.” Allen starred as Taylor for eight seasons on the popular ABC show Home Improvement.
“It was very peculiar to do both parts, I’ll tell you that. It was challenging for me to do both parts and kind of emotional,” Allen told Entertainment Tonight.
That’s because the episode touches on the death of Earl Hindman. Hindman, who played Tim Taylor’s wise neighbor Wilson on Home Improvement, died in 2003. He and Allen were close friends.
“I adored the man, and we kind of brought that up in the story,” Allen told ET. “I started thinking about all the history I had with that TV show, how I compare it to my life on this show. It’s all about loss, is all I kept saying in that episode.”
Allen wouldn’t go into detail about the plot of the episode. But he explained that the character’s life is much different than when we last saw him.
“Taylor lost his TV show. ‘Tool Time’ is over,” he said. “He had a neighbor that passed away. He’s now working on the corporate side of Bedford Tools. That’s what he does.”
Allen, who played Taylor from 1991 until 1999, said ultimately he was glad he got to return to the character. You can see a first look at Mike Baxter meeting Tim Taylor in the trailer below. There’s also a reference to one of the comedian’s other famous roles in the preview.
Tim Allen: Filming Episode Was Difficult for Other Reasons
Tim Allen said the episode also proved to have a number of logistical challenges as well. It was the first episode of Last Man Standing filmed under COVID-19 restrictions. That meant altering how they’ve filmed the show for the previous eight seasons.
“That was the first episode back,” he said. “So getting used to no crowd, and then having people direct me in a character I developed 20 years ago and then was kind of done with, it [was hard].”
The cast and crew were also required to take daily COVID-19 tests. Something Allen mined for comedy on Twitter.
Last Man Standing returns to Fox for its ninth and final season on Jan. 3.