The Toolman

Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (Tim Allen), Jill (Patricia Richardson), Al (Richard Karn), Heidi (Debbe Dunning), Brad (Zachery Ty Bryan), Randy (NU applicant JTT), Mark (Taran Noah Smith) and, of course, Wilson (Earl Hindman). Sure, the “Home Improvement” actors typecast themselves into oblivion (video here), but we remember and appreciate the laughter they gave us somewhere in the mid-’90s. What we probably have never realized, however, is the show’s effect on the toolmen of America and the world. “What?” you say. “I never realized that!” Indeed. Toolman Antonio Guerra of Monterrey, Mexico, writes:

Though I’ve seen mostly dubbed in Spanish episodes, it’s the best show on home and work safety. While funny, you can get a message of safety just by watching Tim as an accident-prone individual. I still watch re-runs of this, and have used this as an introduction to safety lectures at my work site. The whole cast is balanced and really look the way they are in the show.

In the show’s passing, men in this line of work have lost their hero, their foothold in pop culture. Now they are toolmen, not Toolmen. Everyday moments in the sun have become fraught with pain and frustration, no more evidenced then when a team of electricians worked at my office yesterday.

One electrician stood in the hallway, drawing up plans. Walking by, an office worker remarked upon the many tools in this man’s toolbox. He replied with a hearty laugh:

Toolman: Yeah, just like Tim the Toolman on TV!”

Office worker: [polite smile]

Toolman: [polite follow-up chuckling, as his puffed-up chest receded]

Glory days, they’ll pass you by. Come on, Wilson, what advice do you have now??

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