Last Man Standing is just weeks away from returning for its ninth and final season on Fox, and the first look at what's in store proves the show will get more bonkers than ever before it comes to an end. Tim Allen, who was best known prior to Last Man Standing for his role as Tim Taylor on Home Improvement, is reprising his Home Improvement character for the ultimate crossover that few could have imagined actually happening.
In the first look at the ninth season (seen above), Tim Allen is back as Tim Taylor, complete with a tool belt and Binford Tools t-shirt. The two iconic Allen characters shake hands to complete the Last Man Standing/Home Improvement crossover, and unexpected history is made. Hilariously, Tim Taylor makes his trademark grunt sound, which Mike Baxter thinks is "a little annoying."
Home Improvement of course came to an end back in 1999, so Tim Taylor on Last Man Standing is sporting some gray hair to show the passage of time, which at least makes it easy to tell the difference between the two Tim Allens! The sitcom star will appear as his Home Improvement character in the second episode of Season 9, when Vanessa hires a home improvement repairman with an uncanny resemblance to Mike. It's no Home Improvement revival, but it sure is something!
The episode will also see Mike struggle with an idea for his Outdoor Man 10th Anniversary vlog, which will evidently result in yet another callback to a previous iconic Tim Allen role: Santa from The Santa Clause. Unlike the Home Improvement crossover, Mike Baxter doesn't seem to actually meet Allen's version of Santa, but he's definitely sporting a beard that Santa would probably approve of. Maybe we should have seen this coming!
Last Man Standing has actually featured some familiar Home Improvement faces in the past courtesy of guest appearances from Patricia Richardson (who played Jill Taylor) and Richard Karn (a.k.a. Al Borland), although Richardson and Karn didn't play their Home Improvement characters. In a fun twist, Tim Allen and Richard Karn will reunite for another show following the end of Last Man Standing.
In a nice (although less mind-blowing) surprise courtesy of this promo for Last Man Standing Season 9, Kaitlyn Dever has a brief appearance early on as Eve in the Baxter family video call, so the premiere time jump clearly doesn't mean that Eve won't appear at all in the final season. All bets seem to be off when it comes to Last Man Standing's final season, which is actually moving to a new time slot.
The Season 9 premiere will deliver that time jump with an episode airing on Sunday, January 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox, with Last Man Standing making its time slot premiere later that week on Thursday, January 7 at 9:30 p.m. ET. Last Man Standing also isn't the only exciting show on the way back to television. Find more options on our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule!
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).