Actor-Shared Background: Patricia Richardson grew up in a military family just as her character Jill Taylor did. Richardson's father, a Naval Academy Graduate, was a fighter and test pilot and later an aeronautical engineer and executive. Her mother was a housewife. The fact Jill Taylor's father also would fly missions was brought up in an episode where Jill discusses her fear of flying with Wilson.
Contractual Purity: Back in the 70's Tim Allen was arrested for drug dealing and he got his life in order, eventually becoming a successful comedian. Before the show aired a newspaper article tried to drum up a controversy for having a reformed drug dealer as the star of a family show. They responded by telling their side of the story as quickly as possible. Tim Allen also noticed that because of the show more families with young kids would attend his stand-up, so he toned down the adult content. Even today he is largely considered a family-friendly actor/comedian. Unusual for the trope Allen has always been honest and forthright about his past and criminal record, if for no other reason than to be an example of how anyone can turn their life around for the better.
Fans love Richard Karn as Al, but how would viewers have felt about Stephen Tobolowsky as Glen in his place?
Ashley Judd was originally cast as the Tool Girl, which was supposed to be a much bigger role (a college student majoring in psychology who acted as a stand-in for Jill on the Tool Time set), but she pulled out only days before the pilot was shot.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played the middle son Randy, was actually one month older than Zachary Ty Bryan, who played the oldest son Brad.