January 9, 2020 | Kyle Climans

38 Handy Facts About Tim Allen

“While awaiting sentencing, I decided to give stand-up comedy a shot. The judge had suggested I get my act together, and I took him seriously.”—Tim Allen.

Whether you know him from television or film, Tim Allen has cemented his place in pop culture. His roles have ranged from iconic fathers in Home Improvement and Last Man Standing to beloved childhood character Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story movies. Allen made his career as a comedian for the family to enjoy, hooking his wagon with Disney for many of his feature films. However, Allen’s preference for sillier humor has sometimes backfired, leading to him becoming a punchline for such films as Christmas with the Kranks, The Shaggy Dog, and Zoom. Despite any critical flops, though, Allen’s career has never truly faltered, and he’s still on TV to this day. Here are 38 handy facts about Tim Allen.

 Tim Allen facts

Tim Allen Facts

38. Last Home Standing?

In Allen’s two shows, he plays a befuddled father dealing with three very different children. On Home Improvement, his children were all boys. On Last Man Standing, his children were all girls. The parallels were sometimes inserted into Last Man Standing as meta-humor, even leading to some cameos by Allen’s former co-stars on Home Improvement.

 Tim Allen facts

37. Aging Like Wine?

When Allen and the rest of the writing/producing team behind Home Improvement were still developing the series, they originally planned to call the series Hammer Time, a play on MC Hammer’s famous catchphrase at the time. Safe to say it was a good thing they changed their minds.

 Tim Allen facts Hallmark Channel

36. Partner-In-Crime

When it comes to Allen’s film career, he has worked on four Disney films with noted child actor Spencer Breslin. Three of those films (The Shaggy Dog, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, and Zoom) were all released in the same year!

 Tim Allen facts IMDB

35. Jeremy Clarkson Wants a Word

Allen is a devoted car enthusiast. In a 2013 interview with GQ, Allen admitted that he had an “eclectic car collection” which included “more cars than necessary.” To be honest, anything more than one or two cars is probably more than necessary for anyone!

 Tim Allen facts The News Wheel

34. Nostalgia

In further regards to his car collection, Allen admitted that he had a specific fondness for American motors, particularly the cars from his childhood. Among his car collection is a 1933 Ford Roadster and a 1965 Shelby Cora S/C.

 Tim Allen facts Rolex magazine

33. Thanks, Jim!

Twice in his career, Allen nabbed roles that Jim Carrey had turned down. The first was Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story, while the second was Joe Scheffer in Joe Somebody.

 Tim Allen facts Getty Images

32. Jolly St. Tim

As of 2018, Allen has appeared in a total of five Christmas movies: The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2, Christmas with the Kranks, The Santa Clause 3: Escape Clause, and El Camino Christmas. He’s basically a one-man Christmas film machine.

Tim Allen factsHD Wallpapers 5K

31. Let’s Not Go on a Trip…

In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show, Allen reflected that he bought a customized RV for his wife’s birthday. She had apparently wanted to go on an RV trip, which Allen obliged. However, Allen pointed out that traveling around in an RV did have a couple of unexpected downsides, especially the fact that having an RV involved “taking care of [his] family’s sewer”!

 Tim Allen facts Huffington Post

30. Plan B for Life

Allen initially didn’t intend to be an actor, but he began appearing in commercials while he was performing stand-up early on in his career. Interestingly, he didn’t intend to be a stand-up comedian either!

 Tim Allen facts Lied Center

29. Star-Struck

In 1999, Allen’s Star Trek parody film Galaxy Quest was released to critical and commercial acclaim. According to Allen himself, though, one highlight of working on that film was that he got to work with Sigourney Weaver, who had starred in the sci-fi horror film Alien. Allen even got her to autograph some Alien memorabilia that he owned!

 Tim Allen facts Getty Images

28. That’s a Long Way Away…

Although the show Last Man Standing supposedly took place in Denver, Colorado—which is also Allen’s home town in real life—the show was filmed in Los Angeles.

 Tim Allen facts Just A Car Guy

27. The Great Lake State

Allen considers Michigan to be his home state, so when he worked on Home Improvement, Michigan colleges were encouraged to send in sweaters for Allen to wear as free advertising. This rule—apart from two exceptions—only applied to Michigan colleges, and Allen would make sure to wear any which he received.

 Tim Allen facts Daily Mail

26. Was Steve Martin Involved Too?

Incredibly, Allen was one of nine children! That’s only three away from becoming a real-life Cheaper by the Dozen.

 Tim Allen facts Watch movies online

25. Steve and Tim Hang Around

Interestingly, Allen had a close friendship with none other than Apple co-founder and tech legend Steve Jobs. According to Allen himself, he and Jobs were able to bond over “technology… life, and religion.” However, things turned a bit cold when Allen allegedly began making suggestions to change the Apple font. A lot of people could have warned Allen about daring to do that to Jobs.

 Tim Allen facts The Funniest Animals

24. Where Would Ned Stark Have Ranked?

On June 20, 2004, TV Guide published a list of the top 50 fathers in television. Allen’s character of Tim Taylor in Home Improvement was ranked a respectable #20 on the list!

 Tim Allen facts Pinterest

23. Allen Goes AA

Allen was arrested in Birmingham, Michigan in 1997 after he was found to have a 0.15 blood alcohol content. Allen managed to avoid prison, and was instead sentenced to a one-year probation. Another condition of his sentencing was that Allen enter a rehabilitation clinic for alcohol abuse. According to Allen, he has been able to stay sober in the 20 years since that alcohol-related arrest. Good for him!

 Tim Allen facts The Mercury News

22. Mind Your Own Business, Dad!

One of the main stars of Home Improvement was Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played one of Allen’s sons in the show. For the eighth and final season, Thomas left the show. According to Allen, he was confused and upset by the fact that Thomas reasoned that he wanted to go to school, but he ended up making films instead. When Allen confronted Thomas on this inconsistency, Thomas took umbrage. Maybe that factored into why he didn’t come back for the show’s finale?

 Tim Allen facts JTTArchive

21. The End!... Never Mind, to be Continued!

In May 2017, Allen’s show Last Man Standing was canceled abruptly by ABC without a final episode. This sparked an outcry amongst the show’s fans, some of whom accused the network of canceling the show because it promoted conservative and libertarian values which mirrored Allen’s real-life political views. The official reason was given as being business-related, however. As for the fans, they can rest assured, as Last Man Standing was picked up by Fox in May 2018.

 Tim Allen facts RandallsBPU

20. The Voice

Aside from providing the voice for Buzz Lightyear, Allen has also used his vocal skills to be the official voice for both the Chevrolet Cruze in 2010 and Campbell Soup’s “It’s Amazing What Soup Can Do” campaign.

 Tim Allen facts Aldea Villana

19. The Master of Keys

One of Allen’s early passions was classical piano. In fact, when he was attending Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan, Allen was enrolled in music classes—along with theater, of course. Shame that Allen never got to become the next Beethoven or Mozart of our time!

 Tim Allen facts THE ONE Smart Piano

18. Man of the Land

If there’s one thing Allen likes, it’s spending time in the great outdoors. He was once so determined to keep 26 acres of campground in Michigan from being developed that he purchased said land for $2 million!

 Tim Allen facts Gear Junkie

17. When Your Hero Says “Nope”

Allegedly, Allen was first drawn to the role of Buzz Lightyear because Pixar had first offered the role to Chevy Chase, who was one of Allen’s comedic inspirations. Chase turned the role down, leading the producers to eventually approach Allen. No doubt Allen sent a thank-you to Chase along with his fan mail.

 Tim Allen facts Variety

16. A Reunion That Could Have Gone Better

In 2010, Allen released his directorial debut, Crazy on the Outside, which follows a character named Thomas Zelda, who is paroled from prison after serving time for movie piracy. The film reunited Allen with several actors with whom he’d worked on in other films, like Kelsey Grammer, Ray Liotta, Sigourney Weaver, and Julie Bowen. However, the film was a disappointment critically and commercially.

 Tim Allen facts Movie Web

15. You Won’t See Him Doing Shakespeare Anytime Soon

According to Allen himself, he is fully aware of his limited acting abilities. Allen once remarked that he could “only play a part if [he] can draw on personal experiences, and that well can go dry pretty quickly.” Given his mixed track record when it comes to films, his comment seems quite astute!

 Tim Allen facts Homelivings Decor Ideas

14. Nine Isn’t My Number…

Given how successful Home Improvement was during the ‘90s, it should surprise nobody that ABC would want to keep that train rolling for as long as the ratings justified it. Amazingly, though, Allen turned down a whopping $50 million to participate in a ninth season for Home Improvement!

 Tim Allen facts True Pundit

13. Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage…

From 1984 to 1999, Allen was married to Laura Diebel, with whom he has one daughter named Katherine. On October 7, 2006, Allen married Jane Hajduk in a small ceremony after having dated for five years. Their first child, a daughter named Elizabeth, was born in 2009.

 Tim Allen facts

12. Wilson!

On Home Improvement, the beloved character of Wilson was actually based on Allen’s childhood memories of being too short to look over his fence to see his neighbors.

 Tim Allen facts Hallmark Channel

11. Go Speed Racer Go!

While Allen was still working on Home Improvement, he pursued his passion for cars by forming a racing team with Steve Saleen and Bob Bondurant. Known as the Saleen/Allen RRR Speedlab, the team raced Saleen Mustangs in the SCCA World Challenge. Allen, along with Saleen, was one of the drivers.

 Tim Allen facts Youtube

10. It’s Short for Richard!

Allen’s full name is actually Timothy Allen Dick, but he took his middle name as a stage name due to pressure from producers. At the start of his career, Allen secured a spot on a local talk show, and there was concern over his surname not being taken seriously—what are the odds that a comedian’s last name was Dick—as well as also being used as a dirty word. Allen promptly dropped “Dick” from his stage name so he could have a career as a comedian.

 Tim Allen facts Mr iZO

9. Making it Rain!

At his high point during Home Improvement, Allen was paid $1.25 million per episode! Safe to say that the 90s were a good time for him!

 Tim Allen facts Meme Generator

8. Taken Too Young

Allen’s parents were Martha Katherine, a community-service worker, and Gerald M., a real estate agent. Sadly, when Allen was eleven years old, his father was killed in a car accident with a drunk driver.

 Tim Allen facts Wallpaper Heart

7. I Ruled Entertainment Once…

The highlight of Allen’s career can arguably be identified as one week in November 1994. His book, Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man, was a #1 New York Times bestseller, his show, Home Improvement, was the #1 rated show on TV, and his film The Santa Clause was #1 at the box office! Sounds like that was a heck of a week, Tim.

 Tim Allen facts Pinterest

6. That Was a Good Game of Truth or Dare

Allen’s career as a stand-up comedian began when his friend dared him to give it a try. He first went onstage at the “Comedy Castle” in Detroit, and the rest is history.

 Tim Allen facts @ofctimallen

5. That’s Not Snow…

In a famous incident early on in his career, Allen was arrested on October 2, 1978 at Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport in Michigan. He was found in possession of nearly 1.5 pounds of cocaine. He was faced with life imprisonment, which led him to make a deal with the authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence of three to seven years instead. Allen pled guilty to drug trafficking and provided the names of other drug dealers. He was paroled after two years and four months in the Sandstone Federal Correctional Institution.

 Tim Allen facts Washington Times

4. What’s Your Experience?

Because the universe sometimes loves to make funny coincidences happen, Allen’s first ever credit in a feature film was the bit part of a baggage handler in the movie Tropical Snow. It was a drama film about cocaine smuggling! Maybe Allen was also moonlighting as an advisor on that film?

 Tim Allen facts Mubi

3. Please Ignore Santa’s Stint in Jail

Because of this criminal record, Allen nearly lost out the lead role in The Santa Clause. The company which produced the film, Disney, has a policy of not hiring ex-convicts. They deigned to make an exception with Allen’s casting, which resulted in Allen’s first lead role in a feature film, as well as a resoundingly successful Christmas film which spawned two sequels!

 Tim Allen facts Deseret News

2. A Nice Turnaround

According to Allen himself, spending over two years in prison actually became a very positive thing for him. Allen recently reflected that serving time in prison “was a watershed moment” which put him “in a position of great humility.” Having to pay for his crimes also allowed Allen to “make amends to friends and family” and redirect his energy to more positive goals—though it’s a shame that Christmas with the Kranks was one of those goals.

 Tim Allen facts Empire

1. Avoiding the Informant Treatment

Allen’s deal with the police to name other names led to him identifying 21 people with whom he’d worked while dealing drugs. That kind of behavior is naturally viewed negatively by people behind bars, so the judge in charge of Allen’s case decided to have Allen serve his time in a completely different state. He ended up serving his time in Minnesota—presumably alongside Jerry Lundegaard and Gaear Grimsrud.

 Tim Allen facts Youtube

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

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