From September 17, 1991, to May 25, 1999, Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor and his family of five entertained millions of people around the world with their wholesome take on the modern sitcom family.
With neighbor Wilson always ready to give Tim a big helping of advice and Al Borland always the trusty sidekick, the TV series was a smash hit.
After eight seasons and 203 episodes, “Home Improvement” took its final bow. While the TV series is no longer airing new episodes, there is still a huge fan base for the show.
Whether you have always been a fan of the TV series or you are discovering it for the first time, you’ll love these fun facts and secrets from one of network televisions most successful show’s of all time.
Tim Allen Turned Down Big Roles For The Show
When Tim Allen started to gain some notoriety for his stand-up comedy, executive producers at Disney hunted him down and offered some big roles. Taylor was offered the starring role on a TV version of “Turner and Hooch” and the starring role in “Dead Poets Society.” When he refused those roles, producers started to develop a TV series based on his own stand-up comedy routines. They eventually hired “Roseanne” Creator Matt Williams as showrunner.
Jill Was Played By A Different Actress For The Show’s Pilot
Patricia Richardson and Tim Allen had amazing chemistry on the show and it’s hard to picture “Home Improvement” without its leading lady. That was exactly what happened in the pilot episode titled Hammer Time. The leading lady for the first episode of “Home Improvement” was none other than Frances Fisher. She’s best known for her dramatic work in films and on stage. Test audiences didn’t buy Fisher as Jill Taylor and she was quickly replaced. The pilot was re-shot for ABC and audiences loved the new leading lady.
Richard Karn Scored The Role Of Al Because Of A Traffic Violation
Al Borland was a fan favorite on “Home Improvement,” likely because of the deadpan delivery of actor Richard Karn. He may not have landed the role if it wasn’t for his bad driving practices. After rolling through a stop sign on a way to a Macbeth rehearsal in Los Angeles, Karn was sent to traffic school. While sitting through class he met an agent who told him about “Home Improvement.” Karn soon realized he knew people working on the show and landed an audition.
Ashley Judd Was ‘Too Talented’ For The TV Series
The actors and actresses featured on “Home Improvement” are well known these days but that wasn’t always the case. When Matt Williams auditioned a young Ashley Judd, he thought her career would be bigger than what the show could offer. “I called her agent and told him that she was so good, we would find a way to incorporate her into the series, period,” Williams told Entertainment Weekly. He went on to hire Pamela Anderson for a spot role on “Tool Time,” the show within the show. When Williams offered to work Judd into the series her agent turned down the offer, stating that Ashley believed she had the opportunity to star in feature films.
Randy Was Older Than Brad In Real Life
The three brothers cast for the show had an amazing dynamic but not everything was as it seemed. Brad Taylor (Zachery Ty Bryan) was featured as the oldest brother on the TV series but Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) is actually one month older than Bryan. At least Mark (Taran Noah Smith) was playing the youngest brother, a title he would have held with the other two boys in real life.
A Free Ride For Colleges And One Surprise
When “Home Improvement” was still being conceptualized it was determined that schools in Allen’s home state of Michigan would be given the opportunity to receive some free advertising. However, in the 1996 episode Al’s Video, you can spot Tim Taylor wearing a sweatshirt from Wofford College. The university is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The White House Tried To Get Hillary Clinton On The Show
A 1995 memo that was released years after the show went off the air revealed a fun political fan. Hillary Clinton’s press secretary, Lisa Caputo, contacted the show’s producers with the idea of having the first lady appear on an episode of “Home Improvement.” Caputo said she had the “wild idea” of having the First Lady appear on the “most popular television show on the air.” Producers for the series said they were “willing to do a show on women, children, and family issues or a show on whatever issues Hillary would like.” Unfortunately, this never occurred but will always be engrained in our imagination.
The Show Had Its Own Super Nintendo Video Game
‘Home Improvement’ had been on the air for three years when a Super Nintendo game was released for the show. “Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit” gave gamers the opportunity to play the role of Tim Taylor. In the game, Tim was required to travel from soundstage to soundstage in pursuit of his missing Binford tools. Along the way, players were forced to battle with actors dressed as dinosaurs and various other creatures.
Allen And Richardson Turned Down $75 Million
By the end of the eight season, “Home Improvement” had become one of the most successful and profitable TV series of all time. The executive team at ABC were desperate to keep their cash cow moving forward and offered the show’s two biggest stars an obscene amount of money. Richardson turned down $25 million or approximately $2 million per episode for a ninth season. Tim Allen turned down a $50 million payday. The TV series ended after eight seasons and 203 amazingly wonderful episodes.