At the height of its popularity, Home Improvement attracted an astonishing 36.3 million viewers. So it’s hardly a surprise that fans went crazy when a candid shot of our photo shoot went viral this summer. But we weren’t the only ones to consider ourselves lucky that we managed to get the old gang together: Until EW’s Reunions shoot in August, Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson hadn’t laid eyes on Jonathan Taylor Thomas in 12 years.
Tim Allen (Tim Taylor)
Seeing the cast again was weird for Allen. Now that he’s starring on ABC’s Last Man Standing opposite Nancy Travis, the 58-year-old actor felt like he was cheating on his new ”wife” and ”children” when he reunited with the Home clan. ”It’s only because I take this so seriously,” says Allen. ”Pat [Richardson] goes, ‘Why don’t you all come over for dinner?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know if Nancy would like that.’ And they’re like, ‘What? Who’s Nancy?”’ Allen still has lots of respect for his alter ego Tim Taylor, a guy who ”you never knew was smart or stupid, though he was smart enough to have a TV show and raise those kids.” As a result, he continues to have a soft spot in his heart for the three Taylor boys, even though he observes that Jonathan Taylor Thomas ”looks like a pirate,” referencing his longer locks. ”I have all girls, so they are like my sons,” says Allen, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jane Hajduk. ”It’s kind of creepy how much I like them.”
Patricia Richardson (Jill Taylor)
It didn’t take long for Richardson to fall back into the role of mom Jill Taylor and invite her onscreen boys to her house for dinner. Though she’d seen Taran Noah Smith and Zachery Ty Bryan at a TV Land reunion in 2009, she hadn’t seen Thomas since 1999. ”It was so cool. We hung out for hours and talked. They are such interesting guys, and so smart!” says Richardson, 60, who later starred on Lifetime’s medical drama Strong Medicine and costars with Aimee Teegarden in the upcoming film Beautiful Wave. ”They don’t look that different to me. These three are my other kids in some strange way and always will be.”