Tim Allen's career-making character on his hit television series "Home Improvement" evolved out of his popular stand-up act, which focused on men's obsession with power tools.
The 1990 winner of an ACE award (cable TV's version of an Emmy) for best performance in a comedy special, Allen's premise, reflected in both facets of his career, is that all men are Neanderthals whose sole purpose in life is vehicle maintenance and lawn care.
"My mom says men aren't men until they can get to Sears by themselves," Allen says in his act. Indeed, Allen's vision of heaven is a trip to the Sears tool department to buy a heavy-duty leaf-and-garden shredder.
His whole act is a celebration of maleness, punctuated by his trademark grunts and snorts.
The former creative director of a Detroit ad agency who broke into stand-up comedy in 1975 calls himself the leader of the "masculinist" — as opposed to the feminist — movement.
As he has explained it: "It's a celebration of men's stuff: gunk, gaskets, Lava soap, aluminum boats, bass fishing, V-8s and blowing your nose with your thumb over a nostril."
It's no wonder one critic labeled Allen "the comic poet of the manly arts."
He has transitioned to a successful career in film, starring in such movies as "Galaxy Quest." He is the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the smash "Toy Story" movies and appeared as Santa in "The Santa Clause" series.