Home Improvement came along in the early 90s and was a breath of fresh air as it introduced us to Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor and his family. The running gag being that he is a home improvement expert with his own show who is actually totally inept at home improvements!
Let’s take a look back at this classic show with some facts about Home Improvement you may not have known…
1. Jill was originally different
The character of Jill was perfectly played by Patricia Richardson, and perfectly balanced the character of Tim, but it was actually Frances Fisher initially cast in the role!
2. The change was down to the audience
It was a weak reception by audiences when filming for the pilot that changed the casting of Jill, as Frances Fisher played the character too whiney and desperate and the audience couldn’t relate to her.
3. One fictional character was real
During the Tool Time segments of the show, Tim would sometimes ask someone off screen, Klaus, to play some music – Klaus Landsberg worked on the sound department.
4. Wilson was based on a real character
When Tim Allen was growing up, he was too short to see over his fence and so couldn’t see his neighbour, this was the inspiration for Wilson!
5. The audience on screen were real
During the Tool Time segments of the show, the Tool Time audience were the real studio audience watching the show being recorded.
6. The show originally had a different name
The Tool Time segments were originally called Hammer Time and so the whole show was actually going to be called Hammer Time initially, too.
7. They decided on a change
After MC Hammer became hugely popular with Hammer Time, they decided to change the name to avoid confusion, renamed the segments Tool Time and the whole show Home Improvement.
8. Tim was a great dad
Tim Taylor was officially a great dad, being ranked at number 20 in TV Guide’s 2004 list of the 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.
9. There is a nod to Home Improvement in Toy Story
Tim Allen wonderfully gave life to the Buzz Lightyear character in Toy Story and eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed a Binford tool box in the film, a nod to Home Improvement!
10. One actor was a new parent
Just 3 months before filming began on Home Improvement, Patricia Richardson gave birth to twins and even brought them to her audition!
11. It had an unusual spin-off
Home Improvement had a Super Nintendo video game based on it, though it bore little resemblance to the show with Tim fighting TV sets and tools in the studio!
12. The video game had a joke nodding to the show
In the instruction manual for the Super Nintendo video game, parts of the instruction book is blanked out saying “Rea Men Don’t Need Instructions”!
13. Tim was sent costumes for the show
Tim Allen would get sent sweatshirts sent to him from colleges and universities in Michigan, and would wear them in the Tool Time segments of the show!
Were you a fan of Home Improvement? Is it a show you like to watch again now? How does it compare to other comedies from the time? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments as always!