In a recent interview with IndieWire, film and television star Tim Allen reacted to the astounding success of his current TV sitcom “Last Man Standing.”
During the interview, the actor provided some insight into his approach to comedy writing and delivery, particularly his use of humor directed at left-of-center ideology.
“I think it’s funny to make fun of people that are full of themselves. Liberals have a very small window of sense of humor about themselves, so I love poking at it,” Allen said.
Allen brought up a current practice in which many liberals routinely engage; that is, the avoidance of rational debate via the mallet of identity politics.
“[R]ight now liberals, particularly progressives, hide behind large concepts,” Allen noted. “If you don’t agree with them, if you don’t agree with that position, then you hate women, and you hate gay people, and you hate pro-choice people…”
Revealing a bit about the motivation behind his style of humor, Allen said, “I like p***ing people off,” adding that “…there’s nothing, especially in this area, that p***es people off more than a very funny conservative.”
“A smart, funny conservative that takes shots and is certainly self-effacing. The left-wing point of view is so pervasive that they don’t even realize it’s a point of view,” Allen said.
Allen’s show is in its seventh season, having enjoyed six successful seasons, until ABC inexplicably canceled it and Fox brought it back. The Fox network picked up “Last Man Standing” and has been running away with it in the ratings. The actor has rightly questioned whether ABC chose to get rid of the successful sitcom because of Allen’s personal political positions, an explanation that is certainly within the realm of possibility.
“When we knew Tim was up for doing it, we jumped at the chance,” Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn said. “He’s obviously a huge TV star, and we felt the show could resonate for our audience.”
Helping with the decision was the huge ratings success of the reboot “Roseanne.” It was certainly not lost on the Fox executives that both shows were family-oriented comedies, with lead characters that possess conservative political views.
Ironically, “Roseanne” was also canceled by ABC. And ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey, who terminated sitcom star Roseanne Barr, is now on her way out amid ABC corporate parent Disney’s pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox and the planned reorganization of Disney television.
Adding to ABC’s headaches is the fact that the replacement series for “Roseanne,” “The Conners,” is tanking in the ratings. The network has committed to only one additional episode, sparking rumors that the show may be canceled. Additionally, it has been reported that two of the shows stars, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, have been asked to take a pay cut.
Meanwhile with “Last Man Standing” Fox is basking in the sunlight of sitcom success. The show’s Sept. 28 debut was Fox’s most-watched Friday telecast in 18 years, with a whopping 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.4 million multi-platform viewers. Fox has been at the top in the difficult Friday night lineup for six weeks, its longest streak in more than seven years.
“I certainly bumped into a number of people who had never seen the show when it was on ABC, that had found it in syndication. So I was hoping it would get maybe a little bit of boost. I did not expect that number,” Allen said.
Reportedly, Fox plans to place “WWE Smackdown” on Fridays next year, so “Last Man Standing” will likely move to a mid-week spot next season. Until then you can still catch it on Fridays at 8 p.m. on Fox.
In an age of cord cutting and streaming entertainment, Allen still sees advantages in traditional broadcasting. The actor loves the ability of traditional broadcast television to be capable of incorporating current events and issues into the programming. He refers to this attribute as “fresh television.”
“I think eventually, you come back to broadcast television,” Allen said. “This isn’t streaming. Streaming to me is processed food. You don’t know when that was made, you don’t know, there’s no expiration date on it. This stuff was made recently. You get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and to all of us on broadcast, we’re doing this right now. This is fresh television.”