Last Man Standing has made efforts to stay away from mentioning President Donald Trump's name, but the politics of Tim Allen's character Mike Baxter are still front and center. In a new interview with IndieWire, Allen explained why he likes to "mess around" with politics on the show.
During the interview, Allen and executive producer Kevin Abbott were asked if they need to frequently remind people the show is really about a family that just happens to have a conservative patriarch, not a politics show.
"We always say that we’re a family comedy that has a conservative character at the center who has an interest in the politics of the day," Abbott explained. "But we are first and foremost a family show."
However, Allen said he believes that all relationships are politics.
"The political discourse between a male and female energy is politics. And children, that’s all political stuff," the former Home Improvement star said.
Allen said one of the most important things he learned during his standup career is that nothing gets people more riled up than a funny conservative comedian.
"I like to mess around because I’ve been a standup fiery comic for 30 years. And I like pissing people off, and I said there’s nothing, especially in this area, that pisses people off more than a very funny conservative," Allen explained. "A smart, funny conservative that takes shots and is certainly self-effacing."
Allen believes the "left-wing point of view" is so widespread that people "don't even realize it's a point of view."
"I think this character likes that, he likes to have another point of view," Allen said of Mike. "It makes him sharper and more interesting. But we don’t push it. I don’t think we’ve mentioned pro or con Trump once now."
Allen also told IndieWire he does get frustrated when people mistake Mike Baxter for Tim Allen, and the issue is only getting worse today. He said Mike reminds him more of his grandmother, adding, "He just hates big government."
"Liberals have a very small window of sense of humor about themselves, so I love poking at it. Two years ago, it was the conservatives, or whatever it is," Allen said. "But right now liberals, particularly progressives, hide behind large concepts. If you don’t agree with them, if you don’t agree with that position, then you hate women, and you hate gay people, and you hate pro-choice people, whatever. And I said that doesn’t fit. But I like pushing that and sometimes these guys let Mike Baxter say it, and he’s more of a pragmatist."
The first episode of Last Man Standing's seventh season was the show's most political. Since then though, the show has kept politics to Mike's quips. Abbott told Entertainment Weekly last month that the writers are trying to appeal to an audience as wide as possible. It has worked so far, since Last Man Standing has consistently been the highest-rated show on Friday nights.
The next episode of Last Man Standing, "Dreams Vs. Reality," airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. After that, the show returns on Friday, Dec. 7.
Photo credit: Fox