Dark Secrets The Cast Of Home Improvement Tried To Hide

Very few shows are as synonymous with the
’90s as Home Improvement. The hit sitcom put Tim Allen on the map and
had magazine cutouts of Jonathan Taylor Thomas taped to millions of bedroom walls. The show won audiences over week after week
with its family-friendly depiction of the power tool-obsessed Tim Taylor trying to raise
three rambunctious boys with his no-nonsense wife. “Thank you America!” But behind the scenes, there were still some
pretty dark secrets. Here’s what you might not know about the cast
of Home Improvement. Behind bars In 1978, Tim Allen was arrested at at Michigan
airport for possession of 650 grams of cocaine. He was reportedly a well-known dealer at the
time, which made him an easy target for an undercover sting operation. Despite turning informant, Allen would spend
two years and four months in federal prison, which encouraged him to clean up his life
and focus on his stand-up comedy career, which would ultimately land him on Home Improvement. However, the days of being in prison still
haunt Allen. He told Esquire, “When I went to jail, reality
hit so hard that it took my breath away, took my stance away, took my strength away. I was put in a holding cell with twenty other
guys […] and I just told myself, I can’t do this for seven and a half years. I want to kill myself.” But Allen’s time in prison didn’t entirely
scare him straight.In May 1997, during the height of Home Improvement’s success, Allen
was picked up going 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Things went from bad to worse when Allen failed
a field sobriety test and had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. To his credit, he didn’t contest the charges
and entered rehab as part of his sentencing in 1998. He’s spoken glowingly about Alcoholics Anonymous
ever since. Bad dad While there’s no doubt that Home Improvement
rocketed Allen into Hollywood fame, it was almost as a much of a career boost for Jonathan
Taylor Thomas, better known as “JTT” in teen magazines during the ’90s. But unlike Allen, Thomas became wary of the
spotlight and bailed on the eighth season to prepare for college. He told People, “I’d been going nonstop since
I was 8 years old. I wanted to go to school, to travel and have
a bit of a break.” Thomas’ on-screen mom Patricia Richardson
was supportive at the time. “I’m sorry Mom I just thought that I was getting
a raw deal.” “Well, you were.” She revealed in a Reddit AMA years later,
“I think that it was very fortunate that Jonathan is so smart and well balanced. When he left the show, he ended up going back
to school and got a really good education and thought a lot about what he wanted to
do with his life.” Allen, on the other hand, was not happy that
Thomas chose to focus on his education instead of the series. Things got so bad that Thomas even skipped
the series finale after the two had a confrontation while filming a holiday episode. Of course, Allen put it more gently by telling
TV Guide, “I mentioned that I was confused [about the reasons for his departure]. I don’t think he liked that.” Regretful exit After Jonathan Taylor Thomas left the show,
Patricia Richardson made the decision not to return for a ninth season despite reportedly
being offered as much as $25 million. Allen was offered $50 million to return, but
he refused to do the show without Richardson. Home Improvement would tearfully end after
eight seasons, but according to an interview with Richard Karn, who played Tim’s bearded
assistant Al Borland, Allen had second thoughts about pulling the plug. He said, “I think immediately Tim regretted
that. Sometimes you get in a kind of tunnel vision
of life when you’re doing this and you don’t realize how wonderful the situation is until
you’re outside looking back.” “Excuse me” “ow!” Child star syndrome Of the three child stars on Home Improvement,
no one suffered the pitfalls of early fame more than Taran Noah Smith who played Mark,
the youngest of Allen’s on-screen sons. In her book, Stardom Happens, Smith’s mother
recalled a terrifying anecdote about her son’s time on Home Improvement. “In his first year, Taran was 7 years old,
we were in Santa Monica, and a man grabbed my arm. Taran was maybe 20 feet from me. He said, ‘Listen, I need to talk to you. I work for the FBI, and the three boys from
Home Improvement are the top target of pedophiles in the world. You can’t just leave him alone. Don’t ever let him out of your sight.'” Unfortunately, that major scare wasn’t the
last of it for Smith and his mom. In 2001, Smith ran away from home at the age
of 17 and began a series of legal battles against his parents to gain control of his
$1.5 million trust fund. To further complicate matters, that same year,
Smith wed vegan chef Heidi Van Pelt who, at age 33, was 16 years older than Smith. Van Pelt had been welcomed by Smith’s family
before she began encouraging him to make a move for his trust fund. Things went to bad from worse when the couple
divorced in 2007. Smith’s completely trashed house was foreclosed,
and he’d later be arrested for DUI and drug possession in 2012. However, Smith eventually rekindled his relationship
with his mother. Bad for business Zachery Ty Bryan also experienced a series
of setbacks after the show’s end. Not only did he star in a terrible version
of Thor, but in 2010, he sued two of his business partners for allegedly siphoning funds from
Big Wangs, a sports bar that Bryan co-owned in Hollywood. Bryan claimed his partners used the restaurant
as their own piggy bank to buy expensive cars, trips to Hawaii, and even a house in the Hollywood
Hills. Bryan also alleged they even used money to
open a competing restaurant. Ripoff or reboot? After Home Improvement ended, Tim Allen found
commercial success with big screen franchises like Toy Story and The Santa Clause. But what he longed for most was another small
screen sitcom. He told NBC San Diego, “I don’t know why we
would not do a version of the same show.” Eventually, his next long-lived series Last
Man Standing was born. He admitted, “It isn’t rocket science, what
I’m doing. Instead of tools, it’s sporting goods and
guns and ATVs and boats, and I come home to four women.” The show has stirred up its own sort of controversy,
of course, but at least he knew what formula would work for his fans. A reunion? While the cast of Home Improvement may have
had their ups and downs grappling with the success of the show and its aftermath, in
2011, everyone gathered together for a happy Entertainment Weekly photo shoot with the
exception of original Tool Time Girl Pamela Anderson and the late Earl Hindman, who played
Wilson, the next door neighbor with the always-hidden face. A few years later, Allen and Thomas would
show that they officially buried the hatchet after Thomas appeared on a much-publicized
episode of Last Man Standing. Meanwhile, Richard Karn had also made a cheeky
cameo on Allen’s new show… “Ah, it’s gonna be great working with you
again, buddy!” “Man!” And Patricia Richardson also made a cameo
in 2016, which only further fueled rumors of a Home Improvement reunion down the road,
despite her previous assertion that it wouldn’t happen. “Do you think there will ever be a Home Improvement
reunion?” “Never.” “Really?” “No.” With Last Man Standing’s controversial cancellation
announced in 2017, a revival series like Fuller House could be just the project Allen’s looking
for to add “more power.” Thanks for watching! Click the Nicki Swift icon to subscribe to
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