Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

One Home Improvement Allen Needs Is an Emmy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

One Home Improvement Allen Needs Is an Emmy

Article excerpt

Home Improvement When: 8 tonight Where: Channel 30

JUST when it seems you've got the blueprint for success nailed down, someone throws a spanner into the works. Ask Tim Allen. He'll tell you.

In fact, the notoriously sharp-tongued, cheerfully foul-mouthed star of the ABC hit sitcom "Home Improvement" has been telling just about anyone who would listen how deeply ticked off he is that his show - sort of a "This Old House" on caffeine - did not snag an Emmy Award nomination this year.

Of course, Allen, best-known to TV viewers as the testosterone-charged, power-mad, Tim "the Tool Man" Taylor, did not use those words, exactly.

Even when he's not irritated, Allen tends to turn the air azure with his language. And, sitting in his suite at the Peninsula Hotel here on a recent afternoon, wolfing down a club sandwich and a plate of fries between interviews, Allen, 42, clearly is in a prickly mood.

Forget that "Home Improvement," now in its fifth prime-time season, has just moved into the lucrative land of syndication. Forget that Allen, star of "The Santa Clause," fourth highest-grossing film of 1994, has starring roles in two upcoming movies.

Forget that he's in town to promote the paperback version of his best-selling 1994 comic autobiography, "Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man," which Hyperion has just released in an initial printing of more than 1 million copies. Forget that the Hart Tool Co. has just cranked out the Tim Allen Signature Hammer. A shapely nickel, steel and ash number, it is just the first in a toolbox-full of Tim Allen-designed implements for the upscale professional home workshop, some proceeds from which will go to charity.

What more could the man want?

An Emmy. At the very least, a nomination. "As for me, I can deal with it," Allen says tightly. "What I care about is that most of my crew doesn't earn what I earn, doesn't get any accolades. This is what they do and this is respect from the industry for what they do. It really hurts me."

That perceived lack of respect, a commodity Allen believes is woefully lacking when it comes to him and his show, long has bothered him.

"From the beginning, we've felt this prejudice. It sounds like I'm paranoid and there's this conspiracy. I certainly don't mean that at all," he says, conceding that he wasn't even in the running for a nomination last year because his show forgot to file the requisite paperwork.

He sighs, restlessly crossing the room to tap the keyboard of his Powerbook computer. …

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