The man who made “more power!” a household grunt wants decidedly less power given to the federal government — and offers up a colorful metaphor about one family’s quest to grasp it for life. Tim Allen, star of the long-running sitcom Home Improvement and the new Last Man Standing, talked to the Hollywood Reporter about his conservative political orientation and its emergence in the show. Despite having a “liberal” writing staff, Allen pushes to express his own point of view, albeit somewhat more moderated than in real life:
Do you have more comedic leeway now than you did on Home Improvement?
Definitely. But you know what? I’ve earned it. I don’t say that lightly. I’ve been on a successful show and learned from the best. But I find Last Man Standing actually rougher than Home Improvement. We’re getting away with a lot of stuff. I’m really shocked. This is a meaner, sharper comedy than I’m used to. There’s a lot of times our very liberal writing staff will come up with stuff that even my character would say, “I don’t know if I can say that.”
When asked why Last Man Standing has taken slaps at Hillary Clinton but none at Donald Trump, Allen expresses skepticism about Trump’s staying power, which might make the jokes stale. The Clintons will never fade away, Allen argues memorably:
It’s a little surprising to me. We have a very liberal writing staff, so I’m surprised they haven’t taken a shot at him. But we’re not sure he’s going to last, whereas the Clintons are like herpes: Just when you think they’re gone, they show up again.
That’s the headline shot, of course, the kind of one-liner that a comedian would be expected to deliver about a politician. Allen takes his politics a little more seriously, though, and especially his disdain for what he calls “free-s**t” demagoguery:
What riles you up the most?
Unearned responses, unearned praise, unearned income: I have opinions about it. When you watch the debates, on both sides you see clowns who say shit that ain’t ever going to happen, but lately one party is the free shit party. They are just telling people they’re going to get all sorts of free shit. When you say you’re going to get free education, free health care — f—, free brown loafers — of course everybody’s going to say yes to that. But you don’t mean it. That’s how you rack up debt, and debt is killing us. Whatever party is going to get us out of debt is my party.
Allen isn’t backing Trump, and calls his remarks about immigrants “ignorant,” but says Trump might be a worthwhile choice for one particular area — infrastructure:
Trump can’t send everybody to Mexico or whatever the f— he said. But give that guy the roads, bridges, infrastructure, power grid — just have him fix that shit for four years. He’s good at that. And he’s a businessman so he understands how debt load works. Forget the stupid shit he says about immigrants. That’s just ignorant. But he might be able to do the stuff that really needs fixing.
Be sure to read it all. Perhaps Allen might get inspired to speak out more on conservative issues; he certainly feels pretty fearless at the moment. That’s remarkable enough in Hollywood for conservatives to note the moment.