Allen, Tim - "Home Improvement" over federal pr...

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Actor, Comedian Tim Allen served 2 years in federal prison for cocaine trafficking


Actor Tim Allen was arrested in October 1978 while attempting to sell a large amount of cocaine to a Michigan undercover officer. Allen, 25 at the time, served about two years in federal prison following the bust.


On October 2, 1978, Allen was arrested in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport for possession of over 650 grams (1.4 lb) of cocaine. He subsequently pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, and provided the names of other dealers in exchange for a sentence of three to seven years rather than a possible life imprisonment. He was paroled on June 12, 1981, after serving 2 years and 4 months in Federal Correctional Institution, Sandstone in Sandstone, Minnesota. Allen had the Federal Bureau of Prisons Register # 04276-040.

The experience was so bad that he was forced to turn himself around. He told Esquire, "When I went to jail, reality hit so hard that it took my breath away, took my stance away, took my strength away. I was there buck naked, humiliated ... this is a metaphor. My ego had run off. Your ego is the biggest coward."
Allen became known to the public for his role on the sitcom "Home Improvement," which premiered in 1991.

Published in the November 2011 issue of Esquire magazine


Use a screwdriver instead of a hammer. Try to untighten the nut with your hand. Utilize the path of least resistance first.

I blend memories. I blend them into one that's funny. I exaggerate to clarify.

Being wealthy when no one else is is like being the only one at the party with a drink.

You don't know what people are really like until they're under a lot of stress.

In politics, there's compromise and everyone feels like shit. In marriage, compromise nurtures the relationship.

My comedy is not mine. It's a gift. I'm not that smart.

My grandma once told me, "Don't confuse your perceptibility with intelligence."

When somebody tells you they're not very smart, they're saying exactly the opposite.

I have irrational fears, and they all go back to losing my father as a kid. I've never gotten over it. One day my father was there, the next he wasn't, and there was no going back. There's no "I'll be better, God. Now I know I shouldn't eat candy." As children, your world is yours. That day taught me that it's really not your world. Somebody else is in control — fate, God, whatever it is. It is not your show. And the show can be brutal. Brutal in its coldness. Brutal in its love and affection. Shit can hit you straight between the eyes and you never saw it coming, even when you were looking straight ahead.

A car crossed two lanes of traffic, flipped, and landed on my dad's car. I don't blame cars. My dad loved cars. I don't have many memories of my dad. The love of cars is all I have of him, really.

One of the best pieces of advice my mother gave me was "Make your bed in other people's homes. That way you get invited back."

My stepfather stepped in where no man would've stepped in — six kids, five of them boys — and that's heroic.

I know it sounds odd, but I want to make a Rolex-quality screwdriver.

The unfairness of life is indicative of trees. I planted twenty trees on the same block. It's so fucking weird. Six became huge. One is giant. And there are some little shitty ones. Same soil. Same water. Same seed. But those little ones just don't grow. I can't explain it.

I'm sad for adults who want to be children. And children who want to be adults.

One of my goals is to plant five thousand trees in L. A. You think it's easy? I've never seen more red tape than when it comes to planting trees.

The ego is like a kid in the basement: It's best to keep him busy.

Sometimes you get the sense that the Creator is getting to that point of "Yeah, we might have to reboot."

Be wary of listening to stories secondhand.

As the Chinese will tell you, history depends on your point of view.

I'm a very bad student, but a great learner.

When I went to jail, reality hit so hard that it took my breath away, took my stance away, took my strength away. I was there buck naked, humiliated, sitting in my own crap and urine — this is a metaphor. My ego had run off. Your ego is the biggest coward.

The law was passed to teach people a lesson. Selling more than 650 grams of cocaine got you life in prison. They thought it would be a deterrent. It wasn't. I was put in a holding cell with twenty other guys — we had to crap in the same crapper in the middle of the room — and I just told myself, I can't do this for seven and a half years. I want to kill myself.

That's when the comic in me appeared. The comic said, "Have you ever killed yourself before? Do you know how it works? Let me tell you how it's going to end up: You're gonna get it wrong and end up hanging a few inches off the ground with your shirt just over your ears, going: 'Oh, fuck. Somebody help me ...' You're gonna hang like an idiot for an hour with everybody just looking at you." The image of my head straining with the shirt over my ears made me laugh. The comic in me showed up, the purest form, and saved my life.

I do my best to stay away from expectations.

Very rarely do we listen to the wisdom of people who go before us. I haven't found a wise man. Do you know a wise man, right now?

If you were told the end at the beginning, you wouldn't have to travel.