Tim Allen: The Drug Bust And Jail Time That Honed His Comedy

By | November 23, 2020

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American actor and comedian Tim Allen in a mug shot following his arrest for cocaine possession, Kalamazoo, Michigan, US, 2nd October 1978. (Photo by Kypros/Getty Images)

He's famous as Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, Buzz Lightyear, and the king of Christmas movies, but successful Tim Allen has come a long way since 1978's drug bust Tim Allen. Allen's upbringings were not as family-friendly as his roles in entertainment. Before becoming Santa Claus and a superstar TV dad, Allen faced serious trouble with the law, so much that he spent years in the tank after being caught dealing narcotics. Allen kept his scandalous past hidden from his fans to protect his innocent image, but his rough upbringings inspired him to turn his life around for the better.

Tim Allen’s Father Inspired His Future Passion

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Tim Allen was born Timothy Dick in 1953 in Denver, Colorado. His classmates teased him for his last name, and Allen used humor as a defense mechanism which helped him grow in his comedy. Allen and his father Gerald Dick had a strong bond, and Dick taught his son everything there was to know about cars, which inspired Allen’s passion for automobiles and mechanics. Tragedy struck when Gerald Dick was killed when he was hit by a drunk driver, and Tim’s grief caused his involvement in trouble as he grew older. He eventually attended Western Michigan University to earn his degree in film and television, but in order to afford life’s luxuries he began dealing drugs in his spare time. Along with his side hustle, Allen was also beginning his career in comedy in 1975, and was gaining local attention in Detroit through his stand-up, especially when he appeared in some local commercials and cable shows including Some Semblance.