Home Improvement was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1990s, airing from 1991 to 1999. The show was a major success, winning numerous awards and launching the careers of several cast members. While the show was known for its humor and heartwarming family moments, there were also some behind-the-scenes facts that may surprise you. Here are 20 shocking behind-the-scenes facts about the hit show Home Improvement.
- The Show Was Based on Tim Allen’s Stand-Up – Home Improvement was loosely based on Tim Allen’s stand-up comedy routines, which often focused on his experiences as a father and husband.
- The Tool Time Set Was Real – The set for Tool Time, the fictional home improvement show within the show, was a real set with real tools. The show’s creators wanted everything to look as authentic as possible.
- Tim Allen’s Arrest Was Referenced on the Show – In 1978, Tim Allen was arrested for drug trafficking. The show referenced this incident in an episode where Tim’s character is arrested for having drugs in his possession.
- The Show Was Almost Canceled After Season One – Despite its eventual success, Home Improvement was almost canceled after its first season due to low ratings.
- Pamela Anderson Got Her Start on the Show – Pamela Anderson, who would later become a famous model and actress, got her start as a Tool Time Girl on Home Improvement.
- Jonathan Taylor Thomas Was Initially Not Interested in the Show – Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played Tim’s son Randy, was initially not interested in the show and turned down the role multiple times before finally accepting it.
- The Show Featured a Lot of Guest Stars – Home Improvement featured a long list of guest stars over the years, including future stars such as Zachery Ty Bryan (who played Tim’s son Brad), Jim Parsons (who played a hospital patient), and Woody Harrelson (who played a friend of Tim’s).
- Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson Had a Tense Relationship – Despite playing a loving married couple on the show, Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson reportedly had a tense relationship behind the scenes.
- The Show Had a Massive Budget – Home Improvement had a budget of $1.5 million per episode, making it one of the most expensive shows on television at the time.
- The Boys on the Show Were Actually Allergic to Cats – In one episode, Tim’s sons adopt a cat. However, all three boys on the show were actually allergic to cats and had to use fake sneezes and itchy eyes for the scenes.
- Tim Allen Was Almost Not Cast in the Show – Tim Allen was not the first choice to play Tim Taylor. The role was originally offered to actor Stephen Tobolowsky, who turned it down.
- The Show Was Banned in Turkey – Home Improvement was banned in Turkey because the show’s producers refused to edit out scenes featuring the character Al Borland (played by Richard Karn) wearing a hat with the Turkish flag on it.
- The Cast Had to Wear Earplugs During Tool Time Scenes – The sound of the tools on Tool Time was so loud that the cast had to wear earplugs during filming.
- The Show Was Filmed in Front of a Live Audience – Like many sitcoms of the era, Home Improvement was filmed in front of a live studio audience.
- The Show Was a Ratings Hit – Despite its initial struggles, Home Improvement eventually became a huge ratings hit, regularly finishing in the top ten most-watched shows on television.
- The Set Was Almost Destroyed in a Fire – The Home Improvement set was almost destroyed in a fire in 1994. Luckily, it was quickly put out and no one was injured.
- Tim Allen and Richard Karn Are Good Friends – Despite their on-screen rivalry as Tim and Al on Tool Time, Tim Allen and Richard Karn are good friends in real life. In fact, Karn later went on to star in Allen’s reality competition show, “Assembly Required.”
- The Show’s Theme Song Was Written by Dan Foliart – The catchy theme song for Home Improvement, “We’re Gonna Take It Higher,” was written by composer Dan Foliart.
- The Show Addressed Real Issues – Despite its comedic nature, Home Improvement often tackled real issues such as domestic violence, racism, and sexism.
- The Final Episode Was Emotional for the Cast – The final episode of Home Improvement was an emotional one for the cast, who had worked together for eight seasons. The final scene, which featured the cast saying goodbye to the audience, was filmed in one take.
Even though the show ended in 1999, Home Improvement’s legacy continues to this day. The show is still widely syndicated and has been referenced in other popular TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory.
In conclusion, Home Improvement was a groundbreaking show that resonated with audiences for its relatable themes and characters. While the show was known for its humor and heartwarming moments, these 20 behind-the-scenes facts prove that there was much more to Home Improvement than meets the eye.