Tim Allen's Last Man Standing has featured a lot of guest stars over its long run. There were some particular Home Improvement stars (Allen’s on-screen wife, Patricia Richardson, and son Jonathan Taylor Thomas) along with many others. Of all the famous faces who have appeared, there is one person that springs to Allen's mind that he'd like to have come back for more episodes.
Who is this sought-after actor? Well, let us just say that he plays a close member of Mike Baxter’s family, although not one that fans have seen a lot of over the series’ run, which will eventually include a ninth season. Hopefully you guessed that it was former Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe! Here's how Tim Allen explained it to Fox News:
Certainly I miss Mike Rowe, who played my brother in maybe one or two episodes. He's been so busy.
Yes, Mike Rowe is who Tim Allen would like to have back on Last Man Standing. The Dirty Jobs vet and current Returning the Favor host played Mike’s younger brother Jimmy during a single episode back in 2012. Clearly it was not a huge run, but Rowe and his portrayal of Mike’s brother clearly left an impact on Allen. There is undoubtedly room for Jimmy to return, too.
For Season 9, Last Man Standing will be prepping to react to the impact of lockdown amid COVID-19, among other topics, and you can bet that Jimmy's life also gets affected. So that could easily be a starting point. Of course, his niece Kristin was on the verge of welcoming another child when the last season ended early, so visiting the newborn could be another path. Of course, it would just be excellent for Jimmy just to be seen period, regardless of the full context, considering the Baxters have a lot going on.
Jimmy’s other niece, Mandy, is also expecting a child with her husband Kyle. Meanwhile, his wise-cracking niece, Eve, is set to temporarily be back for the Season 9 opener. With so many familial developments, it would make sense for Uncle Jimmy to stop by and see how everyone is doing when next season starts. Plus, how amazing would it be to have Kaitlyn Dever and Mike Rowe return for the same Season 9 episode if not even more installments throughout?
While Jimmy has not been on-screen a whole lot over Last Man Standing’s run, Mike mentions him every so often, so he is never far from the sitcom audience's mind. None of those references could beat actually seeing Jimmy return, though. Tim Allen acknowledged that Mike Rowe has been busy, which plays into the lack of Jimmy Baxter in viewers’ lives.
Of the many roles that Mike fills within Last Man Standing's episodes, seeing him get to be a big brother to Jimmy again would undoubtedly be a welcome reprisal for fans. That said, Mike Rowe is not the only guest star that I'd want to see in Season 9 and beyond.
For instance, I imagine that a visit from one of Ed’s daughters would also be neat. Like Jimmy, Ed’s kids get mentioned regularly enough, but there is nothing like actually having them around in person.
Tim Allen has teased that Season 9’s premiere will be something to look forward to. With or without Jimmy Baxter there to join Kaitlyn Dever's Eve Baxter, Last Man Standing fans have a lot to be excited about!
Stay tuned to find out who will be popping by when Last Man Standing returns for Season 9. In the meantime, catch up with this summer’s premieres on Fox and everywhere else on the small screen. While you wait for the Tim Allen starrer to arrive, you can check out re-runs (probably including Mike Rowe’s episode) on CMT, while Rowe's Returning the Favor can be streamed via Facebook Watch.