Comedian Tim Allen coming to Manistee

By Dave Yarnell
Special to the News Advocate

MANISTEE — One of America’s funniest comedians, Michigan native son Tim Allen, will bring his stand up act to Manistee’s Little River Casino Resort on July 14. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday.

Allen’s performing career began at open mic nights at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak. To this day he continues to appear at the club when he is in the Detroit area.

He moved from stand-up to acting, staring as Tim the Tool Man Taylor in the ABC TV show “Home Improvement,” a sitcom he helped create.

His success with “Home Improvement” led to movie roles, such as the series of “Santa Clause” m

Comedian Tim Allen will perform at 8 p.m. on July 14 at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee. Tickets go on sale Friday. (Courtesy photo)

Comedian Tim Allen will perform at 8 p.m. on July 14 at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee. Tickets go on sale Friday. (Courtesy photo)

ovies and the “Toy Story” movies, for which he is the voice of astronaut Buzz Lightyear.

Allen has had a variety of roles in dozens of movies through the years, most recently in a dramtic role in the 2017 film “El Camino Christmas.” His next movie role is as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story 4,” to be released in 2019.

Allen’s most recent TV series was ABC’s “Last Man Standing,” which ran from 2011 to 2017. The conservative media believed that ABC canceled the show due to Allen’s comments on it as a conservative himself, which ABC denied. In various interviews Allen said his main concern was for the many people who lost their jobs because of the cancellation.

“For ‘Last Man Standing,’ liberals and conservatives got together to make a good show,” Allen said. “I never said anything about it ending,” but I felt bad for the people.”

Allen has been the voice of the Pure Michigan tourism advertising campaign from its start in 2008 by the Travel Michigan division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Travel Michigan vice president David Lorenz interviewed Allen on the 10th anniversary of the campaign. Lorenz noted that Allen had told the publication Advertising Age that his work on the Pure Michigan was one of the things he is most proud of in his career.

“I grew up around Ron Rose Studios (in Royal Oak) and I always wanted to be a voice-over talent,” Allen said. “Some of the best are in Detroit. Voice-over requires a specific skill set and I never got there. It wasn’t until I was challenged to do Pure Michigan that I stepped outside of my comfort zone so now I feel like I have the skill set. It has changed how I do my other work, such as Buzz Lightyear.”

Allen has been nominated for many awards through the years, including for an Emmy as outstanding lead actor in a comedy series (“Home Improvement”) in 1993. Also nominated for the award in that comedy-rich era was John Goodman of “Roseanne,” Ted Danson of “Cheers,” Jerry Seinfeld of “Seinfeld” and Garry Shandling of “The Larry Sanders Show.” Danson won the award.

Allen won People’s Choice Awards for his work in “Home Improvement” as the favorite male actor in a new series in 1992 and as the favorite male actor in a TV series from 1993 to 1999.

He won a Golden Globe in 1995 for best actor in a television series musical or comedy, and Kids’ Choice Awards for favorite male TV actor from 1994 to 1997.

He also won awards for his work in “The Santa Clause” and “Toy Story 2.” He received a TV Guide award in 2012 for favorite comeback for “Last Man Standing.”

Allen has written two books — “Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man” in 1994 and “I’m Not Really Here” in 1996. “Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man” reached No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Allen was born Timothy Alan Dick in Denver, Colo., where he lived until the age 11, when his father was killed in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver. Allen and his five siblings moved to Birmingham, Mich. when their mother married her high school sweetheart.

Allen graduated from Seaholm High School and enrolled at Central Michigan University, later transferring to Western Michigan University. In 1976 he received a WMU degree in radio and television production with a minor in philosophy and design. In 1998 he an honorary doctorate degree from Western Michigan.

Allen pointed out the irony of his 1997 DUI arrest in an interview with Elizabeth Vargas on the ABC News show 20/20.

“It was humiliating. By the grace of God I didn’t hurt anybody in the years I was drinking and driving. I could have been that guy who did that to us,” he said, referring to the accident that killed his father.

Allen speaks freely during interviews of his drug related arrest in 1978 for which he spent two years in prison.

“The experience taught me that I am a survivor and my sense of humor is clearly my ally,” he said. “My life has been filled with irony. One day I’m talking with my parole officer and he tells me things have been going fine and I’m going to be released from parole, and the next day I get a call from Disney’s Jeffrey Katzenberg, which led to the development of “Home Improvement.”

“I’m still a person of excess,” Allen continued. “Luckily it’s not food or gambling or sex – it’s mostly cars.”

Allen’s website, www.timallen.com, discusses his love of cars.

“As a kid growing up in the Motor City, the itch to tinker with cars was unavoidable,” he said. “One of the first cars I worked on was a Volkswagen-based dune buggy and I haven’t stopped loving cars since.”

It is stand-up comedy that continues to be Allen’s first love. His friends convinced him to make his first appearance on March 23, 1979 at the Detroit-area Mark Ridley Comedy Castle. By the mid 1980s he had become one of the most requested comedy headliners on the national circuit. His 1988 Showtime special “Men are Pigs” cemented him as a favorite with his signature grunting and observations about men and women.

Allen continues to perform throughout the country He is a regular at The Mirage in Las Vegas and has shows later this month in Detroit and Nashville and in May in San Diego and Tucson.

Tickets for Allen’s July 14 show at the Little River Casino Resort are available at the casino’s box office, online at LRCR.com or by phone with Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737.

Leave a Reply