Home Improvement: Season 8, Episode 9

Mr. Likeable (17 Nov. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Family
6.6
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For the first time, the TV ratings for Tool Time show that Al is more popular than Tim. Al decides to start doing promotions and Tim even helps him line up events. Then, Al hires a manager who tries to push too much too fast.

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Title: Mr. Likeable (17 Nov 1998)

Mr. Likeable (17 Nov 1998) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Mark Taylor (as Taran Smith)
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Bobby Slayton ...
Roy Becker
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Erica
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Fred
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Director
Layne Beamer ...
Ted
Artie Anderson ...
Clapper
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For the first time, the TV ratings for Tool Time show that Al is more popular than Tim. Al decides to start doing promotions and Tim even helps him line up events. Then, Al hires a manager who tries to push too much too fast.

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Comedy | Family

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17 November 1998 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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I've Created a Flannel Monster.
1 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yet another Fool Time goes south after Tim ignores directions, again, and it all blows up in his face, AGAIN. Following the show, Heidi shows the ratings report to Al, showing that his likability rating has not only risen, but he's finally beat out Tim! What took him so long? Heidi suggests he take advantage of this newfound popularity. While Tim takes the whole thing like a man and sets the rating sheet on fire. It seems he was worried that Binford might switch hosts, but if you remember "A Battle of Wheels" from Season 1, Al really blew chips as host of Tool Time. It takes Jill to assure Tim that he made Al what he is today, and so he decides to take it upon himself and help Al carry his Mr. Likable campaign. He finds Al in the garden center, endorsing fertilizer, and so, at Al's insistence, Tim becomes his coach. Right away, he starts moving Al up from hardware store endorsements to magazine and radio ads. He was happy to do it for his pal, and you can imagine Al was pleased as punch to have his best friend by his side. Well, you know what they say, two's company, but three's a crowd, so Al goes behind Tim's back and hires a professional manager! Roy Becker, president of Roy Becker & Associates. He's a dedicated, yet hyperactive man, but he's got the connections, including getting Al on a Lifetime movie of the week, opposite Morgan Fairchild. Tim senses something rotten in the state of Becker and tries to advise Al against listening to him and stick with his original plan of christening a garbage...er, slag barge. However, Al ultimately blows off Tim and goes to a commercial shoot with Becker, leaving Tim to christen the barge in his place.

There's a B plot about Mark taking dating advice from Brad, which of course causes him to repel a girl that's actually into him. Brad shows no remorse because he's a doody-head. But, back to our A plot: Tim comes home in a sailor suit, having christened the ship. Al calls out of the blue, requesting a day off. It seems Becker came through and really did get him a role in a Morgan Fairchild movie of the week. It's your basic, run of the mill Lifetime movie, a tangled web featuring a woman, her cheating lover, and a plumber, played by Al. He quickly learns that this type of acting is very different from what he's used to on Tool Time, and ends up literally knocking Ms. Fairchild off her feet in his first scene. She gives him a seductive coaching session and they prepare for another take. The big doofus blows this one too and is aptly kicked off the movie. Becker the douchebag jumps ship on Al, and it's at this point that Al learns who his real friends are: Tim, having shown up on set to be there for his flannel pal. The day wasn't a total loss, because Morgan Fairchild asks for Al's autograph, as her dad is a big fan of his, but Morgan herself is a fan of Tim's, so now he likes her like everyone else.

This was another good episode that showed how strong Tim and Al's friendship really is, especially in that last scene where Al is abandoned by sleazy show biz folk, Tim still has his back, even after the way Al kicked him to the curb. Becker is a cliché agent, and, well, I can't really say anything about Morgan Fairchild as I'm not too familiar with her work nor do I know if she's really as stuck up as her portrayal here leads us to believe, but then, she IS a star. Or was, if what I read on her IMDb page is true, she's going to appear in a movie called Beethoven's Treasure, which is no doubt another sequel in that line of movies...or maybe Ludwig Van Beethoven's treasure? Remains to be seen, but beside all that, Mr. Likable is quite a likable episode, and I wonder why it's taken 8 seasons before Al finally is shown to be thought of as more likable than Tim. What about that Season 1 running gag of Tim meeting Tool Time fans who like Al? I also wonder what Bud Harper would think about this. I'm surprised he didn't show up to try and take all the credit. Also, I gotta say, poor Mark. He doesn't get a steady girlfriend in the series. Oh well, we can assume he got one in the Season 9 that never happened. So anyway, if you like Al, you like Tim, and you like Morgan Fairchild, give this one a watch... Wait, it can't tell time!


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