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A Battle of WheelsSeason One, Episode Twenty One

A Battle of Wheels (1992) | Home Improvement

A Battle of Wheels

On This Episode of Home Improvement…

Not wanting to spend her time in the dank basement, Jill has moved her pottery wheel into the garage, in order to better channel her creative energy. This comes to the chagrin of Tim who claims the garage to be his domain – the man’s domain. The argument quickly arises over who’s time and interests are more important, and Jill attempts to schedule blocks of time for each of them to occupy the garage.

Meanwhile, on Tool Time, Al has become disgruntled over Tim’s constant joking and making fun of him on the air, and claims that anyone can do what Tim does. Tim, wounded by this, poses that on the next episode they switch positions: Al hosts while Tim assists.

On This Episode of Grunt Work…

Truman and Landen discuss locational gender divide within the household, take a surprising stance with Team Tim, and bask in the glory that is the role reversal on Tool Time.

Episode Cast

Earl Hindman | Home ImprovementEarl Hindman
Jonathan Taylor ThomasJonathan Taylor Thomas
Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson
Patricia RichardsonPatricia Richardson
Richard Karn | Home ImprovementRichard Karn
Taran Noah SmithTaran Noah Smith
Tim AllenTim Allen
Zachery Ty Bryan | Home ImprovementZachery Ty Bryan
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Birds of a Feather Flock to TaylorSeason One, Episode Twenty

Birds of a Feather Flock to Taylor (1992) | Home Improvement

Birds of a Feather Flock to Taylor

On This Episode of Home Improvement…

Jill and Tim butt heads over whether or not she informed him of Saturday plans to attend a fundraiser for the opera. He claims she didn’t, she claims she did. Tim takes this battle to Tool Time where two auto-assembly retirees Hick and Eddie (Jack Elam and Ernest Borgnine) come down from the audience to divulge their ‘expertise’. Meanwhile, Jill talks to Wilson about the situation, and comes to realize she might have been too hard on Tim. Ultimately, they decide to compromise and spend half of Saturday night at the fundraiser, and the other half drinking with Hick and Eddie.

On This Episode of Grunt Work…

Truman and Landen fondly remember the careers of Jack Elam and Ernest Borgnine, and really dig deep into the state of the editing transitions.

Episode Cast

Earl Billings | Home ImprovementEarl Billings
Earl Hindman | Home ImprovementEarl Hindman
Ernest Borgnine | Home ImprovementErnest Borgnine
Jack Elam | Home ImprovementJack Elam
Jonathan Taylor ThomasJonathan Taylor Thomas
Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson
Patricia RichardsonPatricia Richardson
Richard Karn | Home ImprovementRichard Karn
Taran Noah SmithTaran Noah Smith
Tim AllenTim Allen
Zachery Ty Bryan | Home ImprovementZachery Ty Bryan
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Unchained MaladySeason One, Episode Nineteen

Unchained Malady (1992) | Home Improvement

Unchained Malady

On This Episode of Home Improvement…

Tim receives a chain letter in the mail that says if he doesn’t forward it to ten people something bad will happen. Thinking it silly, Tim discards the letter against the advice of everyone around him, and bad luck begins to emerge. His car battery dies. He dyes his hands green. He gets punched in the face by Jill.

Meanwhile, on Tool Time, Tim and Al have special guest George Forman to help them build some stairs, and at home Randy crashes his brand new bike and is afraid to tell his parents.

On a Theory-Heavy Episode of Grunt Work…

Truman and Landen explore more the idea that Tim might be cursed, whether or not Wilson existed in the time of vampires and werewolves, and if the cast of Home Improvement were cars, which cars would they be.

Episode Cast

Betsy Randle
Earl Hindman | Home ImprovementEarl Hindman
George FormanGeorge Forman
Jonathan Taylor ThomasJonathan Taylor Thomas
Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson
Patricia RichardsonPatricia Richardson
Richard Karn | Home ImprovementRichard Karn
Taran Noah SmithTaran Noah Smith
Tim AllenTim Allen
Zachery Ty Bryan | Home ImprovementZachery Ty Bryan
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Jill Taylor’s ‘Hillbilly Hot Chocolate’ Recipe

Jill Taylor’s ‘Hillbilly Hot Chocolate’ Recipe

This is the perfect camping treat should your husband have lost the car with all of the food in it, and all you have on hand is your children’s stash of candy.

Brings a smile to any disgruntled family member!

  1. Bring 5 Handfuls of Snow to a Boil
  2. Add 1 Milk Chocolate Candy Bar
  3. For a Minty Finish, add 1 dab of Toothpaste*
  4. Stir Occasionally Until Smooth and Silky

*Toothpaste is not actually consuamble, Do not add toothpaste. Don’t do it.

Episode Cast

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Theory: Could Wilson Be the Father of Jason Voorhees?

Theory: Could Wilson Be the Father of Jason Voorhees?

Anyone who listens to our show is no stranger to our penchant for fan theories. (Is Al Borland a secret Russian spy? Is Randy a psychotic sociopath?)

Well, we discovered a theory this weekend that ties Home Improvement to one of the most prolific horror franchises in history. But before we go into the evidence, let’s take a look at one of our longest running theories:

Is Wilson God?

Almost since the inception of the show, we have speculated whether or not Wilson is, in fact, God. His worldly wisdom seems endless. His constitution infinitely empathetic. And that fence eerily resembles a confessional.

But let’s break this down a little more:

Wilson’s wisdom seems to emanate more from nostalgia than reverence. If he is God, he would be omnipotent, and would be able to see and know all things at all times. However, we also speculate that if he is God, and has taken a human form, that he might also be immortal, and has lived to experience firsthand the wisdom of the people he so often quotes.

Wilson is also notorious for never showing his face, which is typically obscured by the fence that separates the Taylor’s yard from Wilson’s. A loose translation from Exodus 33:20 states, “‘But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.’”

He is a man of nature over science. In one episode, he’s seen inhaling willow bark to remedy a headache instead of taking aspirin. He’s mentioned that he does not own a television. He often speculates about the expansive nature of the universe, and even gazes out at the stars through a telescope.

He is often seen tinkering with “God’s Creations”, i.e. animals. Showing benevolence to those he captures, but also having a plan for those who’s time it was to perish (mostly using their skins for various purposes).

In one particular episode, Wilson seems to be in two places at once – both behind the fence, and also as the visage of Santa Claus, (perhaps calling into question whether Santa is Wilson’s sibling, and whether they are celestial beings, or perhaps demonstrating Wilson’s ability to be everywhere at once).

At another point, he is carving ducks (and a penguin!), which he may or may not give life to later. And during even another episode, he’s creating a scarecrow in his own image.

As one reddit user pointed out, Tim also is a Christ-like figure, a carpenter of sorts, guided by the word of his “father”.

The list goes on and on, and this is only from season one. We will be continuing to develop this theory more as the series continues.

Now, let’s pause to take a look at…

 

A Brief History of Friday the 13th *SPOILERS*

Fans of the horror franchise might already see where this is heading, but let’s examine the history of Friday the 13th a little bit.

The first film, which takes place on Friday, June 13th, 1979, depicts the first murder spree of camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake. Poised as a gruesome murder mystery, the killer is revealed to be Pamela Voorhees, the mother of Jason Voorhees, a disfigured child who drowned in the lake on Friday, June 13th, 1958.

Aside from the final jump scare in the original film, it’s not until the second film that we are introduced to who would become the titular character, Jason Voorhees.

As the series of films progresses, we learn quite a lot about Jason. He, at least initially, dishes out penance to sinners who commit any of the seven deadly sins. He is consistently murdered and resurrected by supernatural, or perhaps “divine”, forces. And, he certainly likes to keep his face concealed.

Fans of Friday the 13th are also well aware that there is never any mention of Jason’s father throughout the entire franchise. This could be because Jason’s father was a monster who forced himself upon Ms. Voorhees, resulting in Jason’s birth, though there is no direct evidence to support that one way or another, so it could easily be speculated that Jason was an immaculate conception.

However, even if Pamela was impregnated by a flesh-and-blood person (mortal or otherwise), speculation exists at the outset of Jason Lives that someone from Jason’s family paid to have Jason interred in a graveyard, and to keep it continually cleaned and guarded. (In fact, an unused plot line actually brought Jason’s father into the mix, but it was scrapped.)

As far as the franchise is concerned, there is a lot of room for theories of all sorts regarding Jason’s biological father.

Now, let’s start to mix these two elements together and see what we come up with…

Is Wilson Jason Voorhees’ Father?

Let’s look at a moment from the episode Baby, It’s Cold Outside, from season one:

It’s Valentine’s Day, and Tim is tasked with going camping to demonstrate the new Binford line of camping gear. However, he had also booked reservations for him and Jill at an exclusive lodge. Torn, Tim conjures up the plan to do a quick pitstop at a camping ground on the way to the lodge.

Where does he learn of this campground? From Wilson.

What is this campground called? Crystal Lake.

In Baby It’s Cold Outside, Wilson claims that he visits Crystal Lake every Valentine’s Day.

In 1992, Valentine’s fell on a Friday.

While in the Friday franchise, the location of Crystal Lake is widely debated, it’s more than likely located in New Jersey (with some reports in Connecticut), and the Taylors live in Detroit. It might be a bit of a stretch, but not completely implausible that they would take a nine-hour road trip to the East Coast.

Wilson, being the consummate outdoorsman, would certainly have cause to be wandering around an outdoor camp in 1945-1946, the year that Pamela Voorhees conceived, and gave birth to Jason. (And if Wilson is, in fact, God or immortal, his age and timeline wouldn’t be a consideration.)

Both Jason and Wilson love using outdoor tools to do their work. Both are extremely isolated figures. Wilson was 6’2” while Jason’s height has varied from 6’3” to 6’5”, not a far genetic deviation.

If Wilson is God or immortal, could he have passed his powers onto Jason? Could Wilson be Jason’s father? What do you think? We’ll be updating this theory as the evidence rolls in.

Episode Cast

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Baby It’s Cold OutsideSeason One, Episode Eighteen

Baby, It's Cold Outside (1992) | Home Improvement

Baby It’s Cold Outside

On This Episode of Home Improvement…

It’s Valentine’s Day! On Tool Time, Mr. Binford unveils his new line of camping gear, and mandates that Tim go on a weekend trip to record home movies in order to promote them. However, this conflicts with Tim’s surprise gift to Jill, reservations at Stone Creek, an exclusive resort. Thinking he can do both, Tim sets out to sneak a side trip into a lake on the way to Stone Creek, but finds that it’s much harder than he initially thought to please everyone at once.

On This Chilly Episode of Grunt Work…

Truman and Landen reminisce about their childhood days of camping, Valentine’s Days of adolescence, and ask the important question: Could Wilson Be the Father of Jason Voorhees?

Episode Cast

Earl Hindman | Home ImprovementEarl Hindman
Jonathan Taylor ThomasJonathan Taylor Thomas
Noble Willingham | Home ImprovementNoble Willingham
Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson
Patricia RichardsonPatricia Richardson
Richard Karn | Home ImprovementRichard Karn
Taran Noah SmithTaran Noah Smith
Tim AllenTim Allen
Zachery Ty Bryan | Home ImprovementZachery Ty Bryan
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What About Bob?Season One, Episode Seventeen

What About Bob? (1992) | Home Improvement

What About Bob?

On This Episode of Home Improvement…

Mr. Binford visits the set of Tool Time to inform Tim and Al that he has booked a special guest – the one and only Bob Vila – to appear on the next episode for a friendly trivia competition. Threatened by this, Tim scurries home to study with Jill in order to beat Bob the next day. However, when the time comes, Bob being the consummate, knowledgable professional that he is, bests Tim on every question. Tim’s disdain is tangible, so when he accidentally clocks Bob in the back of the head with a 4×8, his intentions are in question.

Meanwhile, Randy is in trouble for stripping the shoes off an annoying neighborhood kid and filling them with Cheez Whiz. As penance, Jill forces Randy to invite him over to apologize and join them for dinner.

On This Black Mirror-y Episode of Grunt Work…

The origins of Grunt Work are revealed! Truman and Landen take about the inception of the podcast stemming from an episode of Black Mirror, briefly explore Bob Vila’s legacy, and really have a lot to apologize for to Germans. All of the Germans.

Episode Cast

Aaron Freeman | Home ImprovementAaron Freeman
Bob Vila | Home ImprovementBob Vila
Earl Hindman | Home ImprovementEarl Hindman
Jonathan Taylor ThomasJonathan Taylor Thomas
Noble Willingham | Home ImprovementNoble Willingham
Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson
Patricia RichardsonPatricia Richardson
Richard Karn | Home ImprovementRichard Karn
Taran Noah SmithTaran Noah Smith
Tim AllenTim Allen
Zachery Ty Bryan | Home ImprovementZachery Ty Bryan
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Jill’s BirthdaySeason One, Episode Sixteen

Jill's Birthday (1992) | Home Improvement

Jill’s Birthday

On This Episode of Home Improvement…

It’s Jill’s birthday, and Tim has forgotten. Not only that, but he has an awful track record when it comes to getting her gifts. This year, she pleas for him to get her something that she doesn’t have to plug in. (This comes back to bite her in the ass after the boys get her a repugnant perfume, and a lot of it.) After a few failed attempts, and some advice from Wilson, Tim finally searches his heart and finds her the perfect gift.

Meanwhile, on Tool Time, Tim and Al have undertaken the remote project of extending one lucky (or unlucky) fan’s living room, which goes awry when Tim backs the Tool Time truck into the front of the house.

On This Oedipal Episode of Grunt Work…

Truman and Landen lament their parental gift giving skills, pitch a biopic about the song Happy Birthday to Aaron Sorkin, and uncover some of Al Borland’s motherly sexual predilections.

Episode Cast

Earl Hindman | Home ImprovementEarl Hindman
Jonathan Taylor ThomasJonathan Taylor Thomas
Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson
Patricia RichardsonPatricia Richardson
Patrick Thomas O'BrienPatrick Thomas O’Brien
Richard Karn | Home ImprovementRichard Karn
Taran Noah SmithTaran Noah Smith
Tim AllenTim Allen
Zachery Ty Bryan | Home ImprovementZachery Ty Bryan
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Forever JungSeason One, Episode Fifteen

Home Improvement | Forever Jung

Forever Jung

On This Episode of Home Improvement…

Jill’s friend Karen, a progressive feminist, is over for an afternoon visit, and poses to Tim that men and the patriarchy are a source of destruction in this world. Tim, determined to prove her wrong, goes on Tool Time to prove his point that men can create as much as destroy. But, his best intentions distract him, and he ends up gluing his head to a table.

Meanwhile, Brad is prepping for his first date with Jenny Sudarsky, and is afraid of having his first dance with a girl.

Warning: this episode of Grunt Work bonds to skin instantly.

This week we cover Home Improvement, episode fifteen, Forever Jung, in which we imagine an alternate reality in which an Al Borland/Ron Swanson movie could have existed, we further develop the Frasier/Home Improvement crossover, and whether Jenny Sudarsky’s father is actually Robert Durst.

Episode Cast

Betsy Randle
Earl Hindman | Home ImprovementEarl Hindman
Jessica Wesson
Jonathan Taylor ThomasJonathan Taylor Thomas
Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson
Patricia RichardsonPatricia Richardson
Richard Karn | Home ImprovementRichard Karn
Taran Noah SmithTaran Noah Smith
Tim AllenTim Allen
Zachery Ty Bryan | Home ImprovementZachery Ty Bryan
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For Whom The Belch TollsSeason One, Episode Fourteen

Home Improvement | For Whom the Belch Tolls

For Whom The Belch Tolls

On This Episode of Home Improvement…

Tim receives a phone call from one of his old college roommates, Stu, who happens to be in town. It’s been many years since they’ve seen each other, and Jill isn’t too keen to see the relationship rehashed. Initially, Tim is quick to wax nostalgic, but soon recognizes that things aren’t how they once were. Stu still crushes beer cans on his head, plays Doo-Wah-Ditty in the tune of armpit farts, and reminisces about the “good ol’ days”. He tries to convince Tim to go skip out on family night and go out to a bar, but Tim is content with what his life has become. Through the support of Jill and wisdom of Wilson, Tim realizes that it’s time to let this friendship go.

On a “very special” episode of Grunt Work…

Truman and Landen take things way too seriously, and go through a bit of an existential crisis as they deal with their feelings (fair warning!) On Home Improvement, Tim’s college roommate shows up to crush beer cans, and reminisce, while Tim realizes the importance of growing up and letting go.

Episode Cast

Christopher McDonaldChristopher McDonald
Earl Hindman | Home ImprovementEarl Hindman
Jonathan Taylor ThomasJonathan Taylor Thomas
Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson
Patricia RichardsonPatricia Richardson
Richard Karn | Home ImprovementRichard Karn
Taran Noah SmithTaran Noah Smith
Tim AllenTim Allen
Zachery Ty Bryan | Home ImprovementZachery Ty Bryan
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