HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — As comedian, actor, and producer, Tim Allen chatted with me, Tim Allan Walker, on Zoom from his garage Wednesday to promote his upcoming performance at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood.
We discussed the challenges of comedians performing in a COVID-19 environment.
Full Interview with Tim Allen
Allen said presenting humor about the pandemic is tough.
"It's a tightrope," Allen said. "I have a family member that passed away. I have neighbors that have passed away. Then I've had hundreds of thousands of people, a lot of which I don't know, that had [COVID-19] and didn't know they had it. This [has] been a very difficult navigation for a comedian."
Because of the highly-charged political environment, Allen said he has had to adjust the beginning of his standup slightly.
"Lately, because of the sensitivity, which bothers me, I'm more likely to want to poke that. ... But out of respect, I will tell people as an adult, there's some things I'm going to say that don't mean the same thing to me as they might mean to you," he said. "So I go through a litany of stuff up front."
Allen said it's hard to know if your bombing or not when laughs are muffled by masks. He performed in Las Vegas two weeks ago.
"[It's a] big difference for a comedian to hear that muffled laugh," Allen said. "It wasn't [as] satisfying."
Because masks reduce the volume of the audience's response, Allen wondered if they liked the show and found out later they did, in fact, giving him a standing ovation.
Allen thinks fans are tired of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Without saying it, I feel people [are] ready to move on [from COVID-19]," he said. "Even though [the pandemic] may or may not be over, we're over. We got it. We got it. We got to live our lives and move on and [that's with] all due respect for the people in pain and the people that have suffered with this, that's with all due respect for that. That said, you're going to have to move on."
The comedian said it's time to move on and let some of the divisiveness go.
"But if we get to this room, the reason that we're laughing is [because] we've let stuff go," Allen said.
Allen will perform at the Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood on Jan. 6, 2022, at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $75 plus tax and fees.
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