Most Michiganders are fond of Tim Allen. He turned his love for comedy into a successful career...but, as most of us already know, that almost didn't happen.

It was in October 1978 that 25-year-old Tim was part of a drug trafficking scheme. He had been doing comedy since 1975, but evidently the years were a little too lean and he needed money. At the time, he thought drugs could be the answer for some extra dough.

Tim and a partner were at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport carrying over 650 grams of cocaine when they were busted by an undercover police officer.

Facing a life sentence in prison, Tim co-operated with police by revealing the names of his other dealer contacts. He received a reduced sentence of 3-7 years in a Minnesota prison and was released two years and four months later, in 1981. Of his prison time, Tim was quoted as saying, “it was a watershed moment. It put me in a position of great humility, and I was able to make amends to friends and family and refocus my life on setting and achieving goals.”

Once out of jail, he moved to California and continued his standup career, performing in many comedy clubs and guesting on TV shows. Finally, in 1991, he was awarded his very own television program, Home Improvement.

However, in 1997, while Home Improvement was still a big hit, Tim was visiting Michigan when he was again arrested…this time for being drunk while driving in Bloomfield Hills. He entered rehab in 1998 and has been sober ever since. By the time Home Improvement went off the air in 1999, Tim had racked up seven movie roles, with many more to follow in the coming years.

Through all the bad times as well as the good ones, Tim Allen remains one of Michigan’s favorite sons. A rocky start has, so far, had a happy ending.


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