Before he became Tim ďThe Tool ManĒ Taylor on Home Improvement, Tim Allen was getting famous touring the country being a ďMale Pig,Ē with his unique brand of standup comedy. These days, heís busy making hit movies, but if youíve never seen his standup show from back in the day, itís now available on DVD. Power tool and gadget-loviní guys (and who isnít?) out there will enjoy Timís humor involving do-it-yourself modifications, tweaks, and of course, more power! We caught up with Tim while on the set of his new movie and asked him some questions about the good olí days.
SOAK: How did you first get your start doing standup?
Tim Allen: I was working at a clothing store in Michigan and a co-worker encouraged me to do standup. When I say ďencouraged,Ē I mean, he dared me. I remember him repeating over and over, ďSo what are ya, chicken? You, a big chicken?Ē That night, I went down in my basement, wrote thirty minutes of material, and went to an open mic night. There were only twenty guys who showed up. Only five were funny at all and only three had any talent Ė so there really wasnít much chance of failure. And that night, one thing became clear. I am not a chicken!
SOAK: How did you come up with all that material for your standup shows?
Tim: You just have to keep your eyes open. People are pretty darn funny. You find an observation, add some imagination, and throw in a bit of exaggeration. Then itís all about timing. Also, just me being funny around friends generates material. The trick is remembering it. Writing material for these concerts was easier back then. I was younger and much hungrier. I fell into a zone once I found my hook Ė the grunting male perspective stuff.
SOAK: What do you like doing better, acting in movies or doing standup?
Tim: The truth is, Iím an entertainer. TV, film, standup Ė I like doing benefits, talk shows Ė hell, Iíd do a show in a mall. I simply enjoy entertaining, period. I think standup is most rewarding, because you get an immediate response and itís great to feed off the audiencesí energy. I love that, as well as the freedom Ė the material is yours, the creativity is yours Ė no one edits what you say. Film is much more collaborative Ė sometimes a good thing, sometimes not. But I really enjoy being on a film set. I like the camaraderie with the cast & crew. You become a family. Then just like summer camp, it comes to an end and everyone has to go home.
SOAK: Can we look forward to you returning to doing standup sometime in the near future?
Tim: I donít know. I would love to, but Iím always so busy. It took years to develop the acts on my DVD. Itís a lot of work to find a whole new hook. It takes a lot of discipline and working it out at comedy clubs. Once you get the material, you have to find the rhythm and you can only do that with an audience Ė over and over and over. Letís say, yes, I will do standup again. Just maybe not in the Ďnearí future.
SOAK: Everyone knows you're a big car enthusiast - what era of cars do you like the best, and which is your most prized car?
Tim: I really love the early Ferraris and the beautiful lines of old classics, but Iím a gadget guy. I love technology, and the older cars just canít compete with whatís happening today. I like driving current models, while looking at old ones. I am, however, presently building a Ď55 Ford with modern underpinning. I suppose whatever Iím currently working on is the car that Iím really into.
SOAK: If thereís a dream car out there that you don't yet own, what would that be?
Tim: Good question. The other day, I test drove a Z06 Corvette that really peaked my interest, but I donít know. Letís see. How about an early Ferrari Barchetta? Yes! Letís add that to my collection.