The Rushmore Report: Tim Allen – ‘I’m Not the Same Guy’


The star of Home Improvement says he’s no longer the same guy. He is not the man he used to be. Like millions, I made it a weekly habit to watch “Tim the Tool Man” in prime time television. He always seemed like the consummate comedian who always had it all together. But like all of us, there was a side of Tim Allen others did not see. But now he is telling his story. And his is a story of second chances. Indeed, Tim Allen is “not the same guy.”

Tim Allen spent two years in prison, stemming from a drug trafficking conviction in 1978. He recently spoke of his time in federal prison, telling Closer Weekly, “It put me in a position of great humility, and I was able to make amends to friends and family and refocus my life on setting and achieving goals.”

After 20 years of sobriety, the 63-year-old star of Last Man Standing says that today he is “much more present.”

“I’m not the same guy I was the first time I was married, when I was hiding and doing what people do who drink too much. I was not connecting.”

Allen married his first wife, Laura Deibel, in 1984. The two had a daughter, Katherine, five years later. The couple’s marriage ended in 1999.

In 2006, Allen wed Jane Hajduk, and together they had a daughter, Elizabeth. He says his daughters don’t think he’s very funny. “The older one just stares at me – I think she’s done with me,” he says. “But I still try to play jokes and make them laugh.”

After all he’s been through, along with his unprecedented success, Allen said he feels “68 percent joyous, aiming for 70 percent.” He added, “I’m also extremely grateful for where I am today.”

Tim Allen is all of us. We all have made mistakes and we all have a past. But we have a God of a second chance.

After Jonah had run from God – as far and as fast as he could – God got his attention in the person of a fish. When Jonah was choked up onto dry land, he had a “Tim Allen” moment. He reconsidered where he was and what his goals were for life. Then the Bible says, “The word of God came to Jonah a second time” (Jonah 3:1).

Like Tim Allen – and Jonah before him – you are an imperfect human being in need of a perfect God. We serve a God of second (and third) chance. And that changes everything.


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