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GRUNT WORK : Tim Allen Has Carved a Career Out of Hog-Tying Male Behavior

October 04, 1990|MARK CHALON SMITH | Mark Chalon Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly contributes stories to The Times Orange County Edition.

Mr. Piggy is back.

Tim Allen, the comic who may have given pigs a bad name by identifying them with humans, will bring his grunting "Men Are Pigs" routine to the Improv in Irvine on Sunday.

To the chagrin of pork lovers but to the joy of Allen's many Orange County fans, the Detroit native's one-night stand is sure to reflect his usual point of view: Man hasn't evolved much past the Neanderthals, only his clothes and toys have changed.

From Allen's proudly blue-collar perspective, men have all the smarts and dignity of chimps dressed in tuxedoes, and the manners of hogs eyeing their trough. Forget the nicer things in life, ladies, what really gets guys are power tools, the bigger the better.

When not admiring the latest sander at Sears, Allen's men track grease through the living room to mark territory, gather at a neighbor's house to gape admiringly at his new lawn mower and spend every free hour figuring how they can turbocharge the appliances. Time to dust? They'd just as soon duct-tape all the stuff and rev up the leaf blower.

And when something really pleases them, they grunt, as Allen does throughout his shows.

Does all this make women shudder? Not the ones who turn up in packs at his gigs, snorting along with their men. "Women know men are primitive," Allen said during a recent interview. "They fear it, they deal with it and they manipulate it. Grunt, grunt, grunt."

Allen's popularity has steadily grown from coast to coast (he's even a television star; the "Tim Allen: Men Are Pigs" special aired on Showtime early last month), but he's struck a special chord in Orange County.

The former hardware store salesman and 12-year veteran of the stand-up circuit has built a following of enthusiastic piglets with well-received performances the past couple of years at the Celebrity Theatre in Anaheim, the Laff Stop in Newport Beach and the Improv.

It has helped that his routines are regularly featured on KLOS-FM's "Five O'Clock Funnies" program, the radio showcase for comedians. Besides that exposure, Allen credits his success to the county's suburban quality, a land where "taking care of your house and going to the hardware store are very fulfilling."

Who

Tim Allen.

When

Sunday, Oct. 7, at 8 and 10 p.m.

Where

Irvine Improv, 4255 Campus Drive, Irvine.

Whereabouts

In the Irvine Marketplace shopping center, across Campus Drive from UC Irvine.

Wherewithal

$15 (both shows sold out).

Where to call

(714) 854-5455.

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