Actor Tim Allen Gets His Ham Ticket For Real
Actor and comedian Tim Allen now not only plays an Amateur Radio operator on television, he is one! Allen got his Technician license on September 4, but did not release the news until this week. In his weekly ABC comedy TV show “Last Man Standing,” Allen’s character Mike Baxter, is supposed to be KA0XTT, and the show has featured ham radio in some episodes.
“Last Man Standing” producer John Amodeo, NN6JA, told ARRL that the agreement with Allen was that “we would not publicize his license until he approved it.” Allen revealed to Tom Medlin, W5KUB, for one of Medlin’s webcasts that he had passed his Technician license test but did not mention his call sign, Amodeo said. “Obviously, most hams are capable of finding Tim’s call sign, if they feel the need,” he conceded.
“We arranged for Tom Medlin to do a ‘surprise" interview’ with the [ARRL VEC] VE team that administered Tim's test,” Amodeo said. “They are Rob, AA6RA; Tim, N6QJ, and Julian, N3JF. ARRL VEC Staffer, Amanda Grimaldi, KB1VUV, helped us arrange the test.”
More than 2 dozen members of the “Last Man Standing” crew — and now Allen, its star — have been inspired by the show’s Amateur Radio component to get licensed. On September 28, the K6H “Hollywood Hamnado” special event station was on the air, with “Last Man Standing” crew members at the helm. The Southern California-based PAPA Repeater System, in association with the Broadcast Employees Amateur Radio Society (BEARS) and Disney Emergency Amateur Radio Service (DEARS) sponsored the special event.
Amodeo said K6H went very well. “We had about 35 operators and guests on Stage 9 here at CBS Studio Center” he told ARRL. “All enjoyed being on the set of ‘Last Man Standing.’ Naturally, we brought in breakfast (bagels and donuts), lunch (sandwiches), and, at wrap, pizza. The feeling was like a Field Day and a mini Hamvention.” Amodeo said that all six K6H stations had “continuous contacts from start to finish.”
Most of the K6H event and several interview segments have been posted on Medlin’s website.