For the last 10 years, Last Man Standing has brought comfort, laughter, and family values to countless viewers. But fans almost called the show by a different name.
Mike Baxter and his family have become iconic in American households. But the show didn’t always have the popular name it’s known by today. When the show was first created, it was called Man Up. Before production started, creators changed the name to The Last Days of a Man. They ultimately landed on Last Man Standing. And we’re glad they did, that title just rolls off the tongue so much more smoothly than “the last days of man.”
A Network Note Led To One Of The Best Episodes Ever On Last Man Standing
The second episode of season nine titled “Dual Time” featured a Home Improvement crossover. During the episode, Last Man Standing’s Mike Baxter met Home Improvement’s, Tim Taylor. Tim Allen played both characters and the interactions were hilarious. But how did such a genius idea come about? Turns out, a network note from Fox executives inspired it all.
During an interview, showrunner Kevin Abbott talked about the writing process for the episode. The writing team had already planned out the first seven episodes of the season when Fox sent their feedback.
“Fox came to us and said, ‘We’d love it if you could come up with some big promotable event.’ And I always hate that, especially on this show, where we tell smaller stories about family interaction. Plus, it’s difficult to come up with some huge promotable event that happens in our little world,” said Abbott. “And so as I was bitching and moaning about it, my writers were actually thinking about it. And Jon Haller came back and said he’d been thinking about stunt casting and said, ‘You know, we’ve had almost all the names from Home Improvement on the show and the one we really haven’t had is Tim Taylor.’ And I went, ‘That is just brilliant. That is brilliant.'”
During the episode, Vanessa hires a home improvement repairman, Tim The Toolman Taylor, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mike. The two meet for the first time and are amazed by how much they look alike. They spend a good amount of time poking fun at each other and referencing Home Improvement‘s “Tool Time.” You’ll have to watch the full Last Man Standing episode to see the rest.
We’re already almost halfway through the 21 episodes of the final season. Tune in on Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c to catch all your favorite Last Man Standing Baxter family members.