Over ten years since the final season of “Home Improvement,” Tim Allen is back dominating the boob tube.
Don’t worry, our favorite dim-witted family man and drug-trafficking comedian isn’t adapting “Old Dogs” for the small screen. He’s not starring in any cringeworthy Twitter-adapted TV shows like other washed up TV stars (cough, Shatner, cough). No, far worse, my friends. Allen has crossed over to the dark side: He’s a newly minted commercial spokesman.
Tim Allen proved that in Hollywood it only takes one break to be financially comfortable for the rest of your life. Between 1991 and 1999 Allen starred as loving father, TV personality, and professional klutz Tim “the tool man” Taylor on “Home Improvement.” The show was extremely successful and it spawned Allen’s family friendly roles in “The Santa Clause” and “Toy Story” that have defined his career. It’s comfortable to say that he peaked in the mid-90s, even though he was paid a mammoth $1.25 million an episode during the final season of “Home Improvement.”
All and all he hasn’t done much else, nor has he stayed relevant in pop culture, even with the enormous success of “Toy Story 3″ this summer. Animated movies don’t keep an actors face in the limelight. However by divine intervention or epic screw up, Allen has continued to collect pay checks, for things easier than appearing in “Old Dogs.”
Over the past couple weeks there has been a familiar voice emanating from the picture box during Chevy Motors and Campbell’s Soup commercials, and that voice belongs to none other than Buzz Lightyear himself. If there is a more bizarre choice for a commercial spokesman I’ve yet to hear it. What does the man who played Scott Calvin offer to Chevy and Campbell’s that makes him an appropriate and attractive voice for their product?
“Mad Men‘s” Jon Hamm narrates Mercedes Benz commercials, but his voice oozes class, luxury, elegance, and sophistication. Kevin Spacey lends his voice to Honda advertisements, but he represents a steady calm and safety. If Spacey assures you that a Honda Accord will get you 900 miles to the gallon and will be able to drive you to the moon, for some reason you’re going to believe him. If Jon Hamm said the only way to be taken seriously in life is to drive a Mercedes, plenty of people would lease one tomorrow.
But Tim Allen peddling soup and Impala’s just sounds weird. Campbell’s has recently launched a $100 million advertising campaign and they chose Allen? Gilbert Gottfried is just as likely to make people switch back from Progresso.
Chevrolet tapping Allen as a spokesperson makes sense, he’s the tool man and a car guy, but it’s not the mid-late 90s. Allen’s voice isn’t going to be manlier than Mike Rowe’s “Ford Tough” commercials. “Home Improvement” doesn’t even air on TBS anymore!
We’re talking about an actor who is best known for being the voice of a delusional, yet lovable, toy astronaut, a reluctant Santa Claus, and a clumsy handyman. Oh, and he also went to jail for over two years for drug trafficking and rehab for alcoholism.
Star command? Come in Star Command?