Tim Allen may have come to prominence in the TV series Home Improvement but it will be his 10 weekends of appearances at The Venetian that will prove that you can handily judge a man by his tools.
In this case, those assets, which include a great sense of humor and comedic timing, are being used to give rise to a new phase of his career for the talented actor – one in standup comedy in a casino forum. For the past two years, Allen has been building his repertoire and honing it to Vegas standards and now he’s ready to hammer his humorous perspective on life home.
“Doing this was a big decision that I made with my family,” he relates. “I have a baby girl who is 1.8 years old. But this started two years ago when I hosted a charity event with Mary Hart of Entertainment Tonight. It was so much fun. I had forgotten about doing standup and couldn’t remember my own material. So I went back to my old stuff and began updating and adjusting it and adding fresh material. I then did a concert tour to establish my act and played comedy clubs and some casinos on the East Coast. My wife kept talking about Vegas, saying that it was the best of all possible worlds because I can get back and forth in an hour and she can come and stay here.
“I’m not one to shock and I’m not offensive,” Allen, who will be appearing at the hotel on March 3-4 and March 11-12, adds about his act. “I grew up in a family of seven children and I’ve always been a mischievous kid. I can take care of your house, kids and car but the kids will be doing arm farts when I’m through. I’ll teach them some mischievous tricks. In the movies I’ve done, I’ve always been the perfect straight man for other people. I’ve never really been this funny guy although in Santa Claus 2, I got to let go. But whether with my family, on movie or TV sets, or in public, I’m just a smart ass.”
Allen notes that his act is just his point of view on everything from cars, women, men, and politics to farting, presented in his own style. With creativity being his driving force, Allen says that he is the type of person who can’t stay still.
“I love making something new out of nothing,” he says. “I recently challenged myself by being the producer, director, and financial person behind the movie Crazy on the Outside. It was a great film with big laughs and although it premiered on the day of the big financial crash, it still did very well. It’s still on Blockbuster, too. I have more guts than I sometimes give myself credit for.”
The comedian states that his goal is to make people laugh as hard as his idols Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce made him laugh. He claims that Pryor was “funny in his heart in the best of ways.” Allen does have someone who writes for him and with him – her name is Kim Flagg and he always runs things by her.
“I make her crazy,” he laughs. ”Sometimes she comes up with the ideas and sometimes I’ll call her at midnight with ideas. I am in my heart a little more serious person than I used to be – I’m not so flippant about myself anymore. I really do care about this world and particularly about what is going on in the Middle East. There’s just so much in my life that isn’t funny. But I can still joke about it.”
While Allen says that his comedy is observational, he takes it one step further by following an observation to its source. He maintains that it is somewhat in line with Lenny Bruce’s comedy, which Bruce termed “codeification.” Allen explains that with this joke: Since 2003, it’s been against the law to defecate in the streets of New Delhi. That means for thousands of years it was okay – what was the tipping point?
“I was a philosophy major and I love searching for paradoxes,” Allen smiles. “I’m kind of a comedy reductionist. I take complex ideas and try to make sense of them and bring them to an absolutely ridiculous level. As I said, I’m still that mischievous, misbehaving boy – I haven’t changed that much. Tim Taylor of Home Improvement, Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story and Santa Claus all come from me. I am the Tim Taylor of my family. In Santa Claus 2, I let out the Bad Santa – and there is a lot of me in that Bad Santa. I love giving kids a hard time. Adults are really just large children.”
Allen is currently in the midst of negotiations for a movie that he says is a “really big, big idea.” But being a really superstitious guy, he won’t say anymore about the project until it’s a signed deal. But he acknowledges that he’s also looking at TV scripts, heralding the fact that both TV and sitcoms are back. In regard to Home Improvement, he expresses that it was so successful because it displayed love and affection between the husband and wife as opposed to constant barbs and cynicism. In addition, he says, it celebrated men’s skills and the art of being able to fix and repair things.
In his personal life, Allen has been happily married to his wife, June, since 2006 (all told, they have been together 10 years) and family comes first. He reveals that he is funny and loud around the house and that his wife always tells him that he’s very patient, which he never thought about himself. Still, it’s evident that with all the various aspects to his life and career, he has plenty of sources from which to draw his comedy act.
“I’m really looking forward to being in Vegas,” he sums up. “It’s not financially driven. I’m there to make people laugh.”
Obviously, it’s time to throw a wrench into everyday life – one that will have audiences splitting their sides with laugher.
This article appears by courtesy of Vegas Insider Daily.com.