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COMEDY | Tim Allen 

Culture Digest

We think of Tim Allen as a family man — as the not-skilled-at-fixing-anything Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor on Home Improvement or the voice of Buzz Lightyear. But what's most striking about the comedian, who brings his grunt-filled stand-up routine to the Northern Quest Resort & Casino this weekend, is how he transformed from Michigan bad boy into one of the most beloved family-friendly celebrities of the 1990s.

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Timothy Alan Dick (Allen's given name) was just 11 when a drunk driver killed his father. By his early 20s, an angry Allen was selling cocaine. In 1978, he was arrested for possession of 650 grams of the substance at the Kalamazoo airport, enough to put him away for life. Through a plea deal, he served 28 months in a Minnesota federal correctional institution.

People always thought he was funny; even the judge who sentenced him to prison suggested that the young Allen continue his comedy trajectory once his sentence was completed.

Through comedy, he was able to get his life back together. And as he'll show Saturday night, Allen's self-deprecating, "man's' man" stand-up routine is where it all began — it's where he was always able to relate most to his fans.

When he's not doing the occasional comedy performance, or lending his voice to those "Pure Michigan" commercials, Allen spends his time on his ABC sitcom Last Man Standing, a show that somehow has been on the air for four seasons. A fourth installment of Toy Story is in the works; thankfully, no sequels to Wild Hogs are on the horizon.

Tim Allen • Sat, May 9, at 7:30 pm • $65-$95 • Northern Quest Resort & Casino • 100 N. Hayford Rd., Airway Heights • • 481-6700

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