Tim's neighbor Wilson (Earl Hindman), whose face is always obscured by the fence between their yards, proves to be a font of Iron John-style wisdom--wisdom that Tim comically garbles when he puts it into practice. Allen and Patricia Richardson (as Tim's prickly but tolerant wife, Jill) immediately established a cozy but smart banter with enough bite to rise above the bland bickering of too many sitcoms. Some jokes degenerate into schtick--Tim's manly grunting becomes rote by the second episode--but Allen and his writing team consistently found surprises in this familiar territory. The capable supporting cast also includes Tim's sensitive and woefully single assistant Al (Richard Karn), his three cute sons (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Zachery Ty Bryan, and Taran Noah Smith), and Tool Time's eye-candy (future Baywatch sex bomb Pamela Anderson).
Cast & Characters
- Tim Allen as Tim Taylor
- Patricia Richardson as Jill Allen
- Zachery Ty Bryan as Brad Taylor
- Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Randy Taylor
- Taran Noah Smith as Mark Taylor
- Earl Hindman as Wilson Wilson
- Richard Karn as Al Borland
- Pamela Anderson as Lisa (1991-1993)
- Debbie Dunning as Heidi (1993-1999)
Broadcast HistoryFirst Telecast: September 17, 1991
Last Telecast: May 25, 1999
Original Network: ABC
Number of Seasons: 8
Number of Episodes: 203
Original Primetime TV Schedule:
- September 1991- August 19992, ABC, Tuesday 8:30-9:00pm
- August 1992- September 1994, ABC, Wednesday 9:00-9:30pm
- March 1994- May 1994, ABC, Wednesday 8:00-8:30pm
- September 1994- May 1999, ABC, Tuesday 9:00-9:30pm
Theme Song & Opening Credits
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Home Improvement TriviaThe first choice for the series title was "Hammer Time". Tim Taylor's tool show would also have been called "Hammer Time". There was some concern that viewers might think the show was starring "M.C. Hammer" and the wrong audience would tune in. So the names were changed to "Tool Time". Then, the concern became that audiences might be confused by the series and the show "inside" the series having the same name, so the series title became, "Home Improvement".
One novel aspect of the Home Improvement TV show was that the studio audience was also the audience you saw during the "Tool Time" segments!
Patricia Richardson came from a military family. Her father was a jet fighter pilot and a test pilot for the Navy! Her father's father was an Admiral in the Navy and her mother's father was a Marine Corps General! Patricia was born at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland and grew up at her father's many assignments all over the world! She was nominated for 2 Golden Globe Awards and 4 Emmys for her role as Jill Taylor on Home Improvement. There were a few slow years for Patricia after the series ended and then she landed the role of "Dr. Andy Campbell" on the series, "Strong Medicine"! At the time of this writing (2008), she's filming a movie titled, "Lost Dream".
Tim Allen would often wear t-shirts and sweaters with college logos on them when colleges from Michigan would send them to him.
Remember Wilson on Home Improvement? Tim's neighbor whose face was never shown? Tim Allen based that character on one of his childhood neighbors. You see, Tim was so short at that time that he couldn't see over the fence between his yard and the neighbor's house. Wilson was portrayed by Earl Hindman. Comically, Hindman would come out with the rest of the Home Improvement cast for curtain calls, but he'd hold a miniature picket fence in front of his face! Actually, audiences did finally get to see Wilson's face during the curtain call on the very last episode.
Did you realize that Richard Karn's wife, Tudi Roche, appeared on five episodes of the Home Improvement TV show? She played the role of Jill's sister Carrie. The episodes she appeared in (below) were #98, 104, 134, 150, and 179.
Anytime a corporate logo was seen on Home Improvement, it was covered over with the letters "WLS" which is ABC's affiliate station in Chicago, Illinois.
In episode #151, "The Kiss & the Kiss-Off", Pamela Anderson returned to Home Improvement to reprise her role as Lisa! Tim re-hired her as the Tool Time Girl without even mentioning it to Heidi, the current Tool Time Girl!
Tim Allen performed stand-up comedy for the first time at the Comedy Castle in Detroit, Michigan when a buddy dared him! His early routines mostly centered around the "Men are from Mars ... Women from Venus" type jokes and that was still evident in his role on Home Improvement.
The Tim Taylor character came in at #20 in the June 20, 2004 issue of TV Guide's, "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" list!
Lisa the tool girl was originally meant to have been a major character on Home Improvement. Ashley Judd was originally awarded the role, but changed her mind after her agent convinced her that she had a shot at a career in the movies and did so mere days before the pilot was to have been filmed! The script was quickly re-written with Pamela Anderson ("Baywatch", "V.I.P.", "Stacked") starring in the diminished role.
During the series run, it was revealed that Tim had five brothers. Their names were Jeff, John, Marty, Rick, and Steve. Jill had four sisters named Carrie, Linda, Robin, and Tracy.