|Richard Karn is best known for playing the role of Al Borland, Tim Allen's handy sidekick on "Home Improvement." But before Karn landed the role of co-host of "Tool Time", the fictional cable home improvement show on "Home Improvement," he had a successful career as a Broadway actor and appeared in a number of movies. At the time he was cast as Al Borland, Karn was working as an apartment manager in Los Angeles. He received a traffic ticket for running a stop sign, but in the required traffic school, he learned that his producer friends were casting for a new sitcom and landed the role. Originally, Al was just supposed to appear in the first six episodes, because the actor who was chosen for the role of Tim Taylor's official co-host was busy filming a movie. However, the chemistry between Karn and Allen was good enough for the "Home Improvement" producers to decide to give Karn's Al Borland the full-time assistant job.|
|Karn appeared in the 1995 television movie, "Picture Perfect" for the Family Channel, and has made appearances on a number of television events, including hosting the 1996 special "Wow! The Most Awesome Acts on Earth." Karn gained popularity over the years as "Home Improvement" became more and more successful on ABC. Karn hosts an annual charity event in his hometown Seattle called "Richard Karn StarDays." The event typically includes a celebrity golf tournament, the "Karn-ival" and more. A number of celebrities, including Richard's "Home Improvement" co-stars turn out for the event every year. In 1999, Karn's first novel was released. The book, House Broken: How I Rebuilt My Home for Just Under Three Times the Original Bid, humorously discussed Karn's misadventures in renovating his house. The best-selling book also discussed his experiences working on "Home Improvement." When "Home Improvement" ended, Karn discussed with Disney the possibility of a new television series of his own, and perhaps even reprising the Al Borland role, but nothing even materialized, and it's unlikely we'll see a spin-off series with Al's character. Nevertheless, Karn has done a lot of television work since "HI" ended, from ongoing narration and hosting work for The History Channel to a guest appearance on "That 70's Show" and a variety of commercials. Karn also appeared in the 1999 television movie "The Pooch and the Pauper", a comedy made for ABC's Wonderful World of Disney.|
This year, Karn has appeared in leading roles in two unrelated direct-to-video features about athletic animals -- MVP 2: Most Vertical Primate about a skateboarding chimpanzee and Disney's Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, the fourth film featuring the athletic pup. Also in 2002, Richard became the new host of the TV game show "Family Feud." In addition, his latest book, Handy at Home hit stores in the fall of 2002. His next book, Richard Karn's Household Hints is due in January 2003.
RICHARD KARN LINKS
1999 StarDays Site (site taken down)
Richard's Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation Page
Page last updated November 9, 2002.
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