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When hit TV series come to an end, it’s never a great thing, but it does allow for fun co-star reunions to happen down the road. Last Man Standing fans will get to see another one of those at some point soon, as Tim Allen’s former Home Improvement ball and chain Patricia Richardson will be returning to the ABC sitcom.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many details to dig out of this Twitter announcement, beyond the fact that the appearance is happening next year. Hear it from the actress herself.
I guess we also now know that Patricia Richardson likes to give away Christmas presents an entire week early. We can also assume that Richardson will show up before Season 5 ends, since there hasn’t been a Season 6 renewal yet. That conclusion didn’t take a Sherlock, I admit.
We can probably expect some more grunt-intensive Home Improvement in-jokes, as Richardson will be reprising her role of Helen Potts, who first showed up in the Season 4 episode that kicked off the 2015 winter season. Helen was/is a neighbor of Chuck’s who knows her way around home projects, as her ex-husband was a total clown when it came to those kinds of things. (Echoes of Tim Taylor dancing through everyone’s heads.) To no one’s surprise, she and Mike don’t really get along, and it’s all made worse once she and Vanessa click.
Richardson is hardly the only Home Improvement star to hammer out a path to Last Man Standing. The “Helen Potts” episode also featured Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a character named Randy, though he also appeared multiple times previously as Kristin’s boss John. We’re also seen Richard Karn as an architect who’s been in business with Mike for a long time. Too bad Earl Hindman isn't still around to cameo as a guy whose face is always obscured.
Last Friday, Season 5 of Last Man Standing aired its last episode before winter hiatus, and fans can catch back up with Mike and Vanessa when the show returns to ABC next year, with Richardson in tow.