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uuuuuuuuAH? aaaaaaarooh? ooooooogh? however the hell you spell it...
July 16, 2013 3:59 PM   Subscribe

Every Grunt from Home Improvement (SLYT, 14:37).
posted by codacorolla (45 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
No.
posted by koeselitz at 4:00 PM on July 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


To infinity and beyond....
posted by Pendragon at 4:07 PM on July 16, 2013


This is simultaneously the best and worst of the internet, all in one.
posted by deezil at 4:10 PM on July 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


If you turn off the sound, you can watch the children sprout and then shed glorious mullets. Also there are many dad jeans, denim vests and scrunchies.
posted by emjaybee at 4:20 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Oh no, I've killed Wilson! Looks like it's back to jail for me!" *grunt* *grunt* *grunt*
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:23 PM on July 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't get it.
posted by eugenen at 4:24 PM on July 16, 2013


I always feel like I owe it to the people who make these to watch them all the way through. But 14 minutes would have broken me. Hope you get the youtube view even if I don't complete it. Congratulations -- at least you're creating with your Internet time.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:27 PM on July 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


14 seconds. Can't do 14 minutes.
posted by PuppyCat at 4:27 PM on July 16, 2013


I like to imagine this is what caveman TV was like.
posted by Nedroid at 4:35 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wimp...I did 14.5 seconds aaaarrrgggggg ggg ggg ggg
posted by HuronBob at 4:35 PM on July 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


In terms of Things The World Doesn't Need, this is right up there with mosquitoes and fundamentalism.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:44 PM on July 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


I guess I never thought about it at the time, but how did he not die horribly, wearing a tie on a show devoted to power tools?
posted by ckape at 4:48 PM on July 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


His standup routine was pretty much just like this. They later added bits of dialogue in between the grunts to make the tv show.
posted by orme at 4:58 PM on July 16, 2013


This is what I imagine the Republican National Convention sounds like.
posted by xedrik at 5:02 PM on July 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


I used to wonder why people I knew and liked watched this show. That video sums up how the whole show sounded to me whenever someone had it on.
posted by xingcat at 5:04 PM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had a rottweiler when Home Improvement was on the air, I guess in the late 90s. Every time the theme song would come on, the dog would 'sing' along by howling extraordinarily loudly.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:15 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was always spooked out when I saw Home Improvement...their kitchen was SO BIG. It spanned THE ENTIRE HOUSE. It just werided me out as a kid.
posted by The Whelk at 5:22 PM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


For a few months during my junior year in college, I lived in a room that was separated from campus by Frat Row. One winter evening on my walk back to my room, I went past the football frat. Two members of that house were in the backyard saying "Aooouugh!" "Aooough!" to each other. If that was wrong, nothing in my life has been right.
posted by A dead Quaker at 5:28 PM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a child, I watched the reruns of Home Improvement religiously, weeknights at 7:30.

My first lesson in episodic dramatic structure came when I noticed that Tim always got into trouble by 7:40, talked to Wilson about it at 7:50, and had resolved the conflict (having changed -- but not too much!) by 7:55. Also, I loved the animated transitions, which instilled me with a budding love of editing, animation and typography. I want to see a supercut of those things.

Tim Taylor / Allen (the difference is negligible) reminded me of my dad in a lot of ways. They were both tool salesmen, both show-offy, a little knuckle-headed but loved their wives and sons.

And they had the same vices: Tim Allen went to jail for dealing drugs, drove drunk despite his own father being killed by a drunk driver. My father was an alcoholic. He eventually cleaned up, cold turkey, after a doctor (who I imagine could only be seen from the nose up) told him that he had to change -- and drastically. I think my dad was very, very close to what could have been the end of his half-hour.

The alcoholism had split up my parents' sitcom marriage and sent my father out of province, and there was a long stretch of several years where I didn't see him at all. I was just this little kid, you know; I looked up to Mark, the youngest kid on the show.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, it may have been formulaic and goofy and kinda dumb, but in a weird way it felt like this show was made specifically for me. It was an inspiration, and an education, and a comforting presence. And even as drinking became my dad's priority over all other things, I knew that he still loved me -- and that Home Improvement would still be on every night.
posted by EmGeeJay at 6:00 PM on July 16, 2013 [15 favorites]


I used to wonder why people I knew and liked watched this show.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas - who, according to IMDB hasn't done anything much since HI.
posted by youngergirl44 at 6:00 PM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jonathan Taylor Thomas, AKA JTT, AKA the heartthrob of my fourth-grade class. Oh, our swooning over his shiny blond hair!
posted by nicebookrack at 6:26 PM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is amazing. I somehow managed not to see the show more than about once when it was on, so I don't have much context. It's like I'm watching a sitcom by and for some other species of primate. Just a bunch of weird apes doing their weird ape stuff which elicits approbatory vocalizations from the other weird apes.
posted by junco at 6:57 PM on July 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the 90s set the progress of civilized manhood back by about 1000 years.
posted by klanawa at 7:19 PM on July 16, 2013


My first introduction to Tim Allen in some circa 1990 standup special on basic cable, where he described how a woman comes out of the shower with a towel on her head, like some kind of "Hindu head wrap." Nowadays, I'd take this as a dumb, Typical Ugly American ignorant comment (Hinduism is a religion; it's not a "head wrap"; women don't wear them, etc.). But at the time, as a prematurely(?) hyper-radicalized 15-year-old, I instead took it as Ugly, Vicious, Voraciously Racist White Dude I Will Now Hate For The Rest of My Life.

Not long after that, Home Improvement appeared on the air. I think my parents occasionally watched it, but it was more of a "eh, nothing else is on" thing. I caught a few minutes here and there over the years.

It wasn't too long before I let go of the idea that Allen was some awful, racist guy (I was a pretty humorless radical young man, without much sense of shades of grey), but it only got replaced with the perception that wow, he and his ouevre really epitomize the blandness of the white-flight suburban lifestyle, the near-drowning in a sea of white privilege and not even knowing it exists . . . the kind of people who just move to the suburbs, then the outer suburbs, then the exurbs, always seeking what's shiny and new (if shoddily constructed and unsustainable), claiming they live in a city when they're actually 50, 60, and 70 miles away. How insanely apt that he's from Michigan and the show took place somewhere in The General Detroit Metropolitan Area.

I suppose it's nice to live in a world where you can just continue the great American travesty of never, never, never honestly dealing with the country's original sin of racism. A world where voting Republican is actually considered a viable option and not a goddamn laughable joke (which is not to say the Democratic party is much better, but that's another discussion). Where the fantasy of America, the Way It Used To Be, continues on. In Tim Allen's case, it's exurban Detroit. It could just as easily be northern Virginia (Prince William and Loudoun County, I'm looking at you) or far, far southern Orange County, CA. The more disadvantaged the center city, the more a Pleasantville fantasyland its outer-ring suburbs and exurbs are.

So . . . basically, Home Improvement never had a chance in hell of ever piquing my interest. It's about as bloodless as the brain-killing crap on Disney Channel and its associated channels (my nephew was in town the last couple of weeks, hence my exposure to the live-action horseshit shows targeting preteens and early teens). And about as relevant or funny.

So yeah, that's how I feel about the grunting blandman.

/plate of beans
posted by CommonSense at 7:29 PM on July 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Never give up! Never surrender! ooongh ooongh oooogh
posted by not_on_display at 7:34 PM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


An old roommate and I got into the syndicated reruns in the 1990's. And yeah, the show was formulaic as all hell, but the relationship between Tim "the tool man" and his wife was actually really, really good. True, it did sometimes succumb to some of the same "wife is the smart person who keeps getting her dolt of a husband out of trouble" tropes, but...sometimes she was the one who screwed up and he helped her. And sometimes the problem they were facing wasn't even something that had to do with him screwing up, but rather with the both of them facing something kind of tough (the only one that comes to mind is him balking about signing their new will because he was afraid of his mortality, and them having a heart-to-heart about that). It seemed an unusually equal marriage for a sitcom, and I actually appreciated that.

Plus, they did a segment about "The Ultimate Man's Kitchen" on the show, complete with the ultimate man's fridge, at exactly the same week that we'd just started having an apartment injoke with the exact same punchline.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:52 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The funniest thing about Home Improvement is that, for a brief few weeks, that load of family-friendly pablum was the lead-in for arguably the most subversive comedy to ever air on prime time network television.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:02 PM on July 16, 2013


we'll that escalated quickly.
posted by stltony at 8:05 PM on July 16, 2013


Home Improvement is interesting because it was so relevant for such a short period of time. Up until a couple seasons from it's series finale, it was consistently one of the top rated shows in network TV. Everyone frickin' watched it, and all of our parents would bring up previous episodes in conversation, much like we drop Seinfeld or Simpsons lines.

Then it did a couple years of syndication, and *poof*. Disappeared.

Granted, syndicated episodes sometimes crop up on the 2nd or 3rd most popular stations in mid to smaller markets, here and there. But I bet you a nickel less than 100 people DVR episodes on any given week, where it is available.

It almost calls for an analysis of how something could inject itself into such a visible level in popular American culture, and then suddenly get forgotten without a major cultural backlash. "Almost", meaning... someone would have to watch it to do so, and who the hell would want to do that, at this point?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 8:13 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Hindu head wrap" is crude and ignorant but I'll take it over Larry the Cable Guy referring to "diapers" on heads. I hear him on 24/7 Comedy Radio and imagine him putting the whole thing on to pander to fuckers. I watched Home Improvement in my teens and hated the grunting but it seemed like a pretty sneakily thoughtful show sometimes, self aware. Hm. The "Al is a Girl" jokes sucked ass.
posted by lordaych at 8:16 PM on July 16, 2013


the blandness of the white-flight suburban lifestyle... the suburbs, then the outer suburbs, then the exurbs, always seeking what's shiny and new (if shoddily constructed and unsustainable), claiming they live in a city when they're actually 50, 60, and 70 miles away. How insanely apt that he's from Michigan and the show took place somewhere in The General Detroit Metropolitan Area.

Not even just that but it had that special Disney/sitcom flavor of extremely fake-looking backyards and neighborhoods (though you hardly ever saw a front yard). Outdoor scenes were always incredibly fake and stagey, except for the occasional jarring on-location scene. Real daylight always highlighted the fakeness of the characters, so those shows tended to avoid it.
posted by emjaybee at 8:30 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


[He] and his ouevre really epitomize the blandness of the white-flight suburban lifestyle, the near-drowning in a sea of white privilege and not even knowing it exists . . . the kind of people who just move to the suburbs, then the outer suburbs, then the exurbs, always seeking what's shiny and new (if shoddily constructed and unsustainable), claiming they live in a city when they're actually 50, 60, and 70 miles away. How insanely apt that he's from Michigan and the show took place somewhere in The General Detroit Metropolitan Area.

Speaking as the guy who posted paragraphs of fondly nostalgic soft-focus retrospective earlier in the thread: yeah, I favorited the hell out of this comment.
posted by EmGeeJay at 8:35 PM on July 16, 2013


CommonSense: "So . . . basically, Home Improvement never had a chance in hell of ever piquing my interest. It's about as bloodless as the brain-killing crap on Disney Channel and its associated channels (my nephew was in town the last couple of weeks, hence my exposure to the live-action horseshit shows targeting preteens and early teens). And about as relevant or funny."

Still better than Everybody Loves Raymond....
posted by schmod at 8:35 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think I liked Home Improvement because it was so bland and suburban and sleepy and predictable and all of the problems were so small and surmountable. I mean, my family was a chaotic mess of violence, substance abuse, constant moving, and poverty. Watching shows where the family loves each other and the dad's a little dumb but he's never violent, and everyone does their homework and finishes their chores and, I don't know, goes to soccer practise or something, and nothing bad really happens and everything's ok in the end, I really got a lot out of it. Same reason I liked a lot of 50's Ozzie and Harriett type shows.


Plus, yeah, JTT. I loved JTT. Everyone loved JTT.
posted by windykites at 9:36 PM on July 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Those are the sounds I make whilst defecating. And JTT is still a dreamboat.
posted by Renoroc at 9:44 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


If he'd stopped once - even ONCE - mid grunt to Weas the Juice I'd favorite this a million times.

Now that's the sort of crossover that fan fiction was designed to make possible
posted by Kiablokirk at 9:46 PM on July 16, 2013


Tim "The Toolman" Taylor is my dad.

Not specifically, of course, but he represented everything I thought my Dad was when I was 12(?). Let me explain.

I grew up in the upper Midwest. Not in the "suburbs, outer suburbs, or exurbs", but in genuine Small Town USA. A 30 miles from the next town over, more cows than people, kind of place. My Dad moved he and my Mom there (a good decade before I arrived) to take a teaching job. He hadn't ever taught before, but he did have a college degree and a willingness to move.

His father worked for 40 years at an auto plant in Kenosha, back when both (long careers and auto plants in Kenosha) existed. He was rough-around-the-edges and probably had one or two kids too many, but damned if he was going to let any one of them down. So he worked harder.

A guy like that, my dad, growing up in a blue-collar family wasn't really prepared for fatherhood in the 80's. He, like his father, would show he cared by working hard. He supplemented the teaching job with handyman work around town, using the skills he learned from watching his father. He didn't need to say "I love you" because he showed me how to use a goddamn Skilsaw.

Now, for the better part of my adolescence, I thought my dad was a dick. All he did was work on stupid projects and I always had to tag along and help. He'd unwind at night by watching a sitcom or two and the news and sometimes I'd get to stay up too.

I very specifically remember one night, after a day of ripping off shingles or some other crap work, my dad turning on the TV and "Home Improvement" was on. I really only remember him ever watching "Cheers" on any regular basis. But then this show started and he laughed harder than I had ever heard him laugh. I didn't know if it was the tools or the grunting or the mysterious Mr. Wilson, but he loved it. So I laughed.

Throughout that first season, my dad would throw out a grunt at me to say hello and we would both crack up. When we were working on one of his stupid side-projects, he would glance at me and just say "Uuuungggh?". Hard to explain how big of a deal that was. That grunt. We connected over that grunt. It was OUR grunt. A father and son's.

To me, Home Improvement was a show about Fathers and Sons. I honestly think it taught my Dad how to be a better Dad. Maybe a better husband to my mom. I only have good memories of it and I really don't care what others think that says about me.

I don't talk to my Dad often anymore. We didn't make a very successful relationship leap from adolescence to adulthood. This post though..I think I will go give him a call right now. A grunt for old time's sake.

Thank you for bringing me back.
posted by pencroft at 9:54 PM on July 16, 2013 [13 favorites]


Two points:

1) Dear Internet Gods, if it pleases your infinite wisdom, I beg of you to create this exact same video, except with all of the transitions instead of grunts.

2) I can't possibly be alone in thinking that the whole notion of never seeing Wilson's face is a bizarrely out-of-place, legitimately brilliant joke. The eight (nine?) year commitment to a totally stupid and silly joke is downright Kaufmanesque. And it's smack dab in the middle of the most bland, by-the-book sitcom imaginable. Amazing.

In some ways, it's a shame that something like that could never work again, what with our internets and all.
posted by graphnerd at 10:08 PM on July 16, 2013


Without gainsaying any of the critical comments on this thread, I still got a kick out of this show - it had its moments, for at least the first few seasons. And I had an immense crush on Jill Taylor. Nevertheless, I laughed through 2-3 minutes of this supercut then thought, 14 whole minutes? Nah.

Still, thanks for this post.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:17 PM on July 16, 2013


Most excellent! Will listen to it every Morning to get my Testosterone Levels up in the Morning!
posted by homodigitalis at 11:51 PM on July 16, 2013


Grunt My Bluff - Can you pick the real Home Improvement plots from the fakes?
posted by liquidindian at 3:00 AM on July 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Despite years of trying, Tim never did manage to learn to speak Whale....
posted by schmod at 6:01 AM on July 17, 2013


I got 100% on the Grunt my Bluff quiz. This makes me happy and ashamed.
posted by youngergirl44 at 8:52 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Renoroc: "Those are the sounds I make whilst defecating. And JTT is still a dreamboat."

Quit commenting everybody. The perfect combination of words has been achieved.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:53 AM on July 17, 2013


1) Dear Internet Gods, if it pleases your infinite wisdom, I beg of you to create this exact same video, except with all of the transitions instead of grunts.

I went looking for this, and instead I found a music video comprised of every transition from the third season.
posted by EmGeeJay at 10:54 AM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


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