Tim Allen likes “poking” at liberals who have a very little sense of humor about themselves.
The actor and star of “Last Man Standing” told IndieWire he likes “pissing people off” and finds that is easily accomplished with a “smart, funny conservative” character.
Allen’s character, Mike Baxter, is a conservative-leaning husband, father and businessman in the Fox hit series which was canceled by ABC in 2017 after six seasons. Fox made the decision to pick up the sitcom and it has paid off big-time, becoming the network’s highest-rated Friday show in 18 years.
“I like pissing people off, and I said there’s nothing, especially in this area, that pisses people off more than a very funny conservative, a smart, funny conservative that takes shots and is certainly self-effacing,” Allen told IndieWire.
“The left-wing point of view is so pervasive that they don’t even realize it’s a point of view. It is just a point of view,” he said. “I think this character likes that, he likes to have another point of view. It makes him sharper and more interesting. But we don’t push it.”
The actor remarked that he gets frustrated that he is often confused with his character, as Baxter’s beliefs don’t necessarily echo his own.
“I think it’s more now than I’ve ever seen it,” he said. “These are actors. I don’t know where it got confusing. I’ve done interviews where I have to ask, ‘Are you asking my character this question?'” he added.
He noted that his character, and the show, have not “mentioned pro or con Trump once” but that poking fun at liberals is something he enjoys.
“Two years ago, it was the conservatives, or whatever it is. But right now liberals, particularly progressives, hide behind large concepts. 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, whatever,” Allen told IndieWire. “And I said that doesn’t fit. But I like pushing that and sometimes these guys let Mike Baxter say it, and he’s more of a pragmatist. He reminds me of my grandmother. He just hates big government.”
The actor and comedian had speculated about whether ABC had canceled the show because of his political stance, though the network claimed otherwise. And in the wake of the demise of “Roseanne,” as ABC fired its star Roseanne Barr following a derogatory tweet, picking up “Last Man Standing” was a smart move by Fox. The Sept. 28 premiere of the show’s relaunch averaged a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49, IndieWire reported, and has given a six-week consecutive winning streak for Fox among adults 18-49 on Friday nights.
Allen sees the family focus, and not political focus, of the show as part of its success, contrasting it with the CBS relaunch of “Murphy Brown” which is “stuck in this angst” against the current administration.
“What we’ve done is we’ve moved on. ‘Murphy Brown,’ unfortunately, I loved that show [but] they’ve kind of stuck along with, forgive me… they’re still stuck in this angst, in this hatred,” Allen said.
“I can’t remember what comedian said it, but comedy’s about surprise. And there’s no surprise anymore. I know you hate the current administration. I know there’s hate, venom, we’re all going to hell, and the world’s all racist. I’ve heard this so much there’s no surprise, there’s no joke, there’s no drama,” he added.
“So there’s a lot of us, we’ve moved on. We’re writing a sitcom, we’re not trying to change the world,” Allen concluded. “We’re just having an enjoyable time. Our job is to make you laugh.”
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