Why Tim Allen Thinks Last Man Standing Is Still So Popular

tim allen smiling last man standing
(Image credit: fox press)

When 2020 kicks off, Last Man Standing fans won't have very long to wait for the arrival of Season 8, which will make its highly anticipated debut on Thursday, January 2, marking its second season as part of Fox's comedy offerings. The sitcom arrived on Fox's airwaves last year after taking a year off following its cancellation at ABC, and audiences turned out in droves. As grateful as star Tim Allen is for the popularity, he doesn't seem all that surprised by it.

Having spent 2019 celebrating the huge success of both Last Man Standing's seventh season and Toy Story 4's box office winnings, Tim Allen is ready to bring fans a new season of fun and foibles from the Baxter family. It appears that having the show off the air for a while really goes to prove to the cast and crew just how much people love it and miss it, and Allen has ideas about why the show attracts such a large following. In his words:

It’s doing what Pixar did and what Home Improvement did. It’s funny, but it’s also respectful of family, of religion, of parents. We’re not placating. We’re not going to pull anything. The funny is just laid on top of that. Our writers all love family. Some of us are religious. Some of us aren’t. We just respect stuff that’s made this country.

To be sure, Last Man Standing has gotten cheeky with some of its political humor in recent years, with Tim Allen widely known to skew conservative where partisan leanings are in play. That said, Last Man Standing pokes stereotypical fun at its targets without getting overtly mean or disturbing, which goes a long with with viewers who aren't so interested in network TV mirroring cable's mature content.

While Tim Allen's stand-up act has been known to get quite ribald and profanity-laced, the actor has almost universally chosen films and TV shows that appeal to broad demographics, as opposed to sticking with R-rated comedies and dramas. Sure, Home Improvement may have tipped the scales to appeal to men who enjoy grunting on high-powered lawnmowers, but it still ticked the other boxes by being a family comedy on ABC with a strong female lead and charismatic kid stars.

Similarly, his film career is filled with all-ages fare such as The Santa Clause films, the Toy Story movies, Galaxy Quest and more. There are some exceptions, of course, but for the most part, Tim Allen knows how to appeal to wide audience swaths, which he'll continue doing on a weekly basis with Last Man Standing.

And people will almost definitely keep tuning in. As Tim Allen put it to Madison.com in an interview:

[It works because] you don’t have to worry that there’s something inappropriate.

So no worries about Last Man Standing kicking off Season 8 with Mike and Vanessa going across the country as part of a deadly sex cult, at least until the point when that kind of plotline isn't considered "inappropriate." Instead, fans will likely see the every-growing Baxter family dealing with issues much closer to home.

The 11 Best TV Shows Premiering In Early 2020

Last Man Standing will premiere Season 8 on Fox on Thursday, January 2, 2020. To see what other new and returning shows are popping up soon, head to our Summer and Winter 2020 premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.