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Home Improvement stars Tim Allen and Richard Karn on reunion for new series: a live version of Tool Time




“Home Improvement” had one quality that all sitcoms look for: the chemistry between chefs Tim Allen and Richard Karn.

Allen, now 67, and Karn, now 65, starred together in the hit comedy series for eight seasons from 1991 to 1999. They played Tim Taylor and Al Borland respectively – hosts of the fictional television series “Tool Time” .

Now the two are reuniting for a new reality TV series, “Assembly Required,” for the History Channel, which will see them overseeing contestants repairing and refurbishing daily household items.

During the show’s TCA panel on Thursday, the co-stars reflected on their onscreen chemistry.


“When we started doing ‘Home Improvement,’ we had an audience watching ‘Tool Time’ that hadn’t seen the show at all,” Kern recalls. “Our relationship sort of happened before we knew what it was about. We took inspiration from the audience’s reactions, but we didn’t know there was something really exceptional about the way we were. we were playing against each other. “

The actor added that he and Allen were just doing their job, but “the writers got to look at that and lean into it and write for it.”

Kern also recalled that Allen once admitted that he “would never be friends with Al” when they started working together.

“We were really not in the same circle of friendship at the time, but they continued to write in it, to lean into it,” he added. “And as we’ve gotten to know each other, I think this relationship just blossomed.


Allen went on to congratulate his co-star, calling him a “consummate professional and a genuinely calm person” who helped move him to the live format of “Assembly Required”.

The “Last Man Standing” star said their relationship is now very similar to what it was during the days of “Home Improvement”.

“It’s the most unusual experience,” said the comedian while filming a reality TV show. “But [Karn] was able to bring it back and be exactly as we were at “Tool Time”. It’s amazing how much of an expansion this relationship is. “

Tim Allen (left) and Richard Karn (right) in

Tim Allen (left) and Richard Karn (right) in “Home Improvement”. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archive / Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

Getting together after three decades was a big deal for the duo as well, although when Allen was developing the series he “never” thought about involving Karn until someone suggested that he reach out and get him. offer a co-host concert.

“He jumped at the chance,” Allen said. “It became the two of us, kind of like a live version of ‘Tool Time’, if you will.”

Allen also wondered if he was really a handyman himself, and although he says he likes to “take things apart” and even has a store at his house, there is a remodeling project. which always seems to surprise him.


“Oddly enough, I’m very confused about the plumbing. I don’t know what it is about the plumbing,” he admitted. “We just got our big sink plug and found a wad of something in there. … Plumbing is my big deal.”

The star said his interest in handling was a “natural thing” for him as he followed in the footsteps of his late father, a car enthusiast.

“I’ve always loved store classes, I’ve always loved building things, and I’ve always run around store professors spending excessive time in setup and cleaning some of it,” he said. Explain.

One of the challenges the duo faced was filming in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which they did from a distance, filming from people’s stores. However, it wasn’t that bad.

Richard Karn (left) and Tim Allen (right) come together for a series of home improvement contests,

Richard Karn (left) and Tim Allen (right) come together for a series of home improvement contests, “Assembly Required,” for History Channel. (Photo by Leon Bennett / FilmMagic)

“It was an unintended positive consequence of going to these people’s stores,” Allen said, noting that “all protocols were kept in place.”


Karn added: “Because we were forced to do it in our separate space, you also realize across the country that Wi-Fi and the ability to access the outside world is not as easy for everyone. I mean, schools are finding out right now. But we … had to wait awhile sometimes to make sure the wi-fi and the cameras and everything, we get all the information to each other. “

He explained that viewing projects from a distance before seeing them in person resulted in “a bit of disconnect” as they realized that applicants’ projects were more complex than they originally appeared.

The shooting was also a moving experience.


“It got pretty emotional. I’m not a big fan of judging art, movies or anything, and it was really hard because the interest and dedication to these men and women were amazing, ”Allen said. “However, we prepared the show to have a winner and it became very difficult for me … to judge people.”

“Assembly Required” begins airing on February 23.

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