If you’re a fan of “Tool Time” and are ready for more power, you are in luck. Disney+ will soon begin streaming seasons 1 through 8 of “Home Improvement.” Whether you tuned in to watch the series every week in the 90s, enjoyed catching reruns on TV several years later, or have never even heard of the series, get ready to binge-watch it on Disney+ starting on June 28th, 2023.
Our very own Bob Vila made three guest appearances, plus a few cameos throughout the run of the show. Bob and Tim Taylor are ready to welcome a whole new generation of viewers into the comedy that centers around renovation and remodeling projects. All of us here at BobVila.com are certainly ready to marathon-watch our favorite episodes.
About “Home Improvements”
“Home Improvement” was a television sitcom that ran from 1991 through 1999. It starred Tim Allen, who played Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor. In the series, Tim hosted a home improvement television series called “Tool Time,” alongside his co-host Al, played by Richard Karn.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that it was based on the concept of ‘This Old House,’” Bob said during a 2010 interview with the Television Academy. “I don’t think Tim’s character is based on me, but I think Karn’s character is very much based on Norm. The plaid shirt and the paunch. Yeah, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”
Tim was well-known for his shenanigans, in which he tried to use “more power” where it wasn’t really necessary. Throughout the series, he would regularly go too far and cause some sort of disaster that his co-host Al couldn’t help but shake his head at.
“He was the fumbling bumbling home improvement guy,” Bob said. “One of the first shows that I remember, he was putting some sort of turbo on a garbage disposal. And we did another one where he had put a helicopter engine on a lawn mower and we were having a race.”
The series also followed Tim and his wife Jill (played by Patricia Richardson) as they raised their three growing boys: Brad (Zachery Ty Bryan), Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), and Mark (Taran Noah Smith). Tim would often seek advice from his insightful (but only visible from the nose-up) neighbor Wilson (Earl Hindman) to help get him through the challenges that came with running a television show while trying to become a good husband and father.
Tim Taylor was certainly one of Tim Allen’s most well-known roles. In fact, Taylor even made a brief appearance during the final season of Allen’s more recent show, “Last Man Standing.”
Bob Vila vs Tim Taylor: A Fictional Rivalry
“Tool Time” on “Home Improvement” was a parody of “This Old House,” which was hosted by Bob Vila from 1979 through 1989. While Al was clearly a huge fan of Bob Vila, Tim was clearly jealous of him. Throughout the series, whether implicitly or explicitly, Tim tried to outdo anything that Bob Vila did. When Bob Vila made guest appearances on “Home Improvement” and Tim’s show “Tool Time,” Tim’s attempts to do something bigger and better than Bob resulted in comedic gold for the viewers.
“I had a blast, had a terrific time, and the show was very well received,” said Bob. “They were all really nice people to work with. So for me it was a treat.”
Even after all of these years, it seems that Bob Vila still lives in Tim Allen’s head. Though, perhaps in a different way than the fictional rivalry that was portrayed in the series. In 2021, Allen started his own home improvement series with Richard Karn, only this time it wasn’t a fictional parody. “Assembly Required” pitted three contestants against each other building a mystery project in their own garage or workshop.
Don’t Miss the “Home Improvement” Episodes Guest-Starring Bob Vila
While you should try to watch the entire series, you definitely won’t want to miss the “Home Improvement” episodes with Bob Vila as a guest star. In addition to random cameos to watch out for, Bob has a speaking role in three episodes:
- Season 1, Episode 17 (What About Bob): Bob Vila is set to be the guest on “Tool Time,” making Tim nervous. What’s more, Mr. Binford, the founder of the tool company sponsoring the show, says that he wants Bob and Tim to face off in a competition to see who knows the most about tools and home improvement.
- Season 2, Episode 25 (The Great Race): After being voted the most popular guest on “Tool Time” by the show’s viewers, Bob Vila returns to help raise money for charity. Bob and Tim compete in a lawn mower race to see who will be the winner.
- Season 3, Episode 25 (The Great Race II): Bob Vila returns again, this time to participate in the Tool Man auction that Tim is holding to raise money for his wife Jill’s library fundraiser. When Tim’s ego is hurt after Bob raises more money than him in the auction, Tim challenges him to a hot rod race.