Premiering on History on Tuesday, reality competition series Assembly Required reunited Home Improvement’s Tim Allen (Toy Story, The Santa Claus) and Richard Karn (Pen15, Ctrl) for a real-life version of Tool Time on the ABC sitcom’s 30th anniversary. In Home Improvement, Allen’s Tim “The Toolman” Taylor hosted a fictional show called Tool Time with his best friend and trusty sidekick Al Borland, and part of Assembly Required’s appeal comes from its intentional similarity to the beloved show-within-a-show.
According to Yahoo! Entertainment, Allen enlisted Karn to join him as host on Assembly Required “due to its similarity to Tool Time.” Allen and Karn are joined on the series by April Wilkerson, a YouTuber and woodworking expert who provides insights into the show’s various projects and challenges. In Assembly Required, the three hosts put amateur builders to the test “as they compete to revamp household items” (Yahoo! Entertainment).
In reviewing Tuesday’s premiere, TVLine explained Allen and Karn’s unique position as hosts of a competition show during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Allen and Karn pop in virtually to deliver commentary from the studio,” TVLine described the show’s socially distance format “and oversee the makers’ work across two challenging builds.” The builders featured throughout season one’s ten-episodes will all complete their challenges in home workshops.
Allen and Karn’s Home Improvement reunion is a major selling point of Assembly Required, as USA Today described the 90s sitcom as a “ratings colossus” that still maintains a loyal fanbase to this day. In fact, Allen recently reprised the character of Tim Taylor on his sitcom Last Man Standing due to the lasting popularity of the character.
Allen described himself and Karn as “very similar to the characters we play in [Home Improvement]”, further lending to a comparison between Tool Time and Assembly Required, via USA Today. The two hosts told Entertainment Tonight about their lasting friendship in the decades following Home Improvement, a chemistry that translates to their Assembly Required workshop. In fact, Allen confessed that Karn’s inclusion as a co-host helped ground him when he became overwhelmed with the unique challenges posed by an unscripted series, via USA Today.
Both Allen and Karn have leaned into Assembly Required’s Tool Time similarities while promoting the series on social media. Home Improvement fans can get their Tool Time fix with Assembly Required Tuesdays on History at 10/9c.
Don’t miss the premiere of Assembly Required TOMORROW at 10/9c. pic.twitter.com/9Tr6Z54RQU
— HISTORY (@HISTORY) February 22, 2021