Few TV shows from the 1990s were bigger than Home Improvement. Starring a popular up-and-coming standup named Tim Allen and lampooning the American man’s image, the show made stars of Allen, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and several other members of the cast. Twenty-two years later, many of the castmates are still working hard at their craft.
What was Home Improvement?
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Home Improvement was the first attempt at capitalizing on Tim Allen’s standup comedy. Focusing on similar themes of masculinity, the differences between men and women, and the culture around the American man. The series was about Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, the host of a fictional called Tool Time, as he balanced his place as an All-American man with family life.
Tim, Jill, Randy, Brad, and Mark, were on the air for nine years alongside Tim’s co-hosts Al and Lisa, and his neighbor Wilson. The series left the air in 1998 and remains popular in syndication today.
Allen has maintained a steady career in the last 22 years. While hardly reaching the level he had during Home Improvement, his Last Man Standing recently left the air a decade after it premiered. Now, he hosts Assembly Required beside his former co-host Richard Karn. His outspoken conservative politics have made him a lightning rod from time to time, but Allen remains the most prominent presence in the Home Improvement spotlight.
According to an interview with Today, Richardson has maintained steady work on television and the stage since Home Improvement left the air. While none of these roles garnered even a fraction of the press that the sitcom she helped anchor did, she’s a regular on seasonal Christmas movies and television shows around the. Richardson, like many other Home Improvement alums, guest-starred on Last Man Standing.
Like Richardson, Karn maintains a steady line of work on low-budget made-for-cable and home video releases. His most significant role outside of Al Borland was as host of Family Feud from 2002 to 2006. His reunion with Allen will likely lead to more exposure. Karn has also worked with Tim Allen on the History Channel’s upcoming series, Assembly Required.
The faceless neighbor of the series, Wilson Wilson, Earl Hindman’s never-fully-seen harbinger of wisdom, was among the most popular sitcom characters of the nineties. Unfortunately, as Pop Culture notes, Hindman died five years after the show’s release. Luckily, his work on Home Improvement keeps his legacy alive.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
The most famous of the Taylor kids, Randy, Thomas, famously left the series to pursue new endeavors. While he’s occasionally popped up in sitcoms like Last Man Standing and Eight Simple Rules, Thomas spends time behind the scenes working with young stars of the current era. According to The List, he went to three elite schools and uses his time in the spotlight to teach about the dangers of child stardom.
Zachary Ty Bryan
The eldest of the Taylor siblings, Brad, Zachary Ty Bryan, had some film work following the series. His biggest, a small role in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, failed to bring him back into the spotlight. Bryan made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he was arrested for domestic abuse in 2020. According to USA Today, the actor was found guilty in February.
Taran Noah Smith
Taran Noah Smith shunned the spotlight after Home Improvement left the air. However, according to The Things, his relationship with a much older woman got lots of attention, as did his parents’ feud. Smith has remained mostly silent in recent years.
Replacing a soon-to-be-superstar, Pamela Anderson, Dunning continued steady, albeit less popular work. Her last notable role came as the host of a travel show called Debbe Downings Ranch Round-Up, which premiered in 2017, according to Insider.