TV Show Featuring Fictional Ham Sparks Crop of New Hams
Fans of the ABC Television show “Last Man Standing” may be aware that its main character, “Mike Baxter” — played by Tim Allen — is supposed to be a radio amateur, KAØXTT. While it may come as no surprise that the sitcom’s producer is a ham — John Amodeo, NN6JA — several radio amateurs also are on the production crew, and their number just increased, with help from the Greater Los Angeles Amateur Radio Group (GLAARG) VEC. The show’s “Thanksgiving” episode, which airs Friday, November 22 (8 PM ET), will feature a scene with “Baxter” in his basement ham shack. Amodeo said that for the first time in the series, Baxter will briefly talk on the radio. In response, viewers will hear a pileup created by using the voices of hundreds of real hams, sent in to the production company.
In the scene, the Mike Baxter character appears with his grandson “Boyd,” played by Flynn Morrison. The episode was shot in mid-October. According to Amodeo, Mike heads to his basement ham shack to escape a houseful of guests waiting for Thanksgiving dinner to be served. This episode of the show is only the second to include ham radio as a story element and the first in which Tim Allen’s character is shown operating his ham station.
At an exam session on November 9, the “Last Man Standing” crew added eight new Technician class hams to its crew as well as its first General upgrade. GLAARG volunteer examiners Norm Goodkin, K6YXH; Naomi Goodkin, WB6OHW, and Rob Antonacci, AA6RA, administered the test session. Including the additional new hams, the show’s behind-the-scenes crew complement now boasts 14 Technician, one General, and two Amateur Extra class operators.
In “Last Man Standing,” Allen’s character Mike, a pickup-driving sporting goods marketing manager, must spend more time in his female-dominated household after his wife gets a promotion at work. The couple’s three daughters are not prepared for the shift to his stricter parenting style.