‘Home Improvement’: Behind-The-Scenes Details Producers Tried To Keep Under Wraps

In 1991 TV audiences were introduced to a charming new sitcom by the name of Home Improvement. It didn’t take long for the show to find its feet, and it went on to enjoy an eight-year run on the small screen: it became one of the top comedies of that era. But while Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor’s exploits with his family were wholesome on the surface, it was a slightly different story behind the scenes. And it’s time to spill the tea!

1. Tim Allen spent time behind bars before the show started

It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Tim Taylor than Tim Allen. While it was one of his earliest acting gigs, he totally owned that role: Home Improvement just wouldn’t be the same without him! Yet things could’ve so easily been different. 

Before Allen became a big-name actor, he had been a drug dealer, and it landed him in jail at the end of the 1970s. He was reportedly carrying 650 grams of cocaine when the authorities took him in.

“Reality hit so hard”

Now following his arrest, Allen did become an informant, but that didn’t save him from a federal prison sentence. The future star went on to spend a little over two years inside a jail cell. Reflecting on that time, Allen informed Esquire, “When I went to jail, reality hit so hard that it took my breath away.”

“I was put in a holding cell with 20 other guys, and I just told myself, ‘I can’t do this.’” It’s fair to say his life turned around in a big way once he got out!

2. Allen also got a DUI while working on the show

At the height of Home Improvement’s popularity, Allen branched out into Hollywood and enjoyed even more success. His lead roles in The Santa Clause and Toy Story made him a bona fide movie star!

But the actor found himself on the wrong side of the law again in 1997. That spring, Allen was taken into custody after driving under the influence close to his house in Detroit, Michigan.

Going to rehab

Allen accepted the charges that came his way, and went to rehab the following April. In the years since, the Home Improvement star has had nothing but positive things to say about Alcoholics Anonymous.

As Allen said in 2013 to HuffPost, “One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard recently was, if you want help, it’s the first thing you go to in the phone book. It’s a program that’s always got its doors open, there are no fees, there’s no leader, there's no organization. You’ve just got to go!”