There is an oft-used and extremely paraphrased quote that goes something along the lines of “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” And of all the present-day funnymen on the face of the planet, there is perhaps no single individual that that would know that reference better than Tim Allen. According to several prestigious Film & Television Historians (read: those geeks on IMDB), Allen was once a highly respected stand-up comedian. Then, like so many other comics before him, the star was struck with tragedy: he sold his soul to the devils at Disney (also like so many other comics before him), and proceeded to earn gobs of blood-money by prostituting himself with one crappy family flick after another.
Yes, instead of pushing himself past the breaking point in the name of comedy (which is hard), Tim Allen instead chose to let his career die (which is oh-so-easy).
Sure, it’s quite a refreshing change of pace to see a Tim Allen film that isn’t backed by his greedy little pimps over at Disney. Sadly, though, Crazy On The Outside is a painfully unfunny flick; wherein Allen not only stars, but also directs for the first time (an episode of Home Improvement notwithstanding). And, no matter how sad it is to see any middle-aged man hustling on the street for a mega-conglomerate like the House of Mouse, the poor old floozy is even more pathetic at turning a trick on his own.
OK, storyline: Tim Allen gets released from prison after three years for video piracy (yes, bootleggers, they will get you!) and goes to stay with his compulsive liar of a sister (Doodles Weaver’s niece, Sigourney) and her horny hubby (J.K. Simmons). His old colleague, master bootlegger Ray Liotta is now rich and attempts to lure him back into the world of video piracy. His ex-wife (Julie Bowen), whom he believed to be dead thanks to his crazy sibling, is alive and well and dating Kelsey Grammer, who is once again played by Dr. Frasier Crane. Into this assortment of actors on the downward spiral comes Jeanne Tripplehorn, who co-stars as both Tim’s probation officer and — wait for it — love interest.
Look, just take my word for it: it’s bad. Really, horribly, stupidly bad. The story (written by Judd Pillot and Jon Peaslee, two guys that normally produce TV sitcoms) is all-too-predictable and none-too-enjoyable, and most of the actors don’t bother to put any oomph into it, with the exception of Jeanne Tripplehorn, who, at one point, passively chews out Tim Allen’s character by uttering, “What you did yesterday was incredibly stupid…I mean, you really pissed me off…But I do know what you were trying to do. Doesn’t make it any less stupid, just more understandable.” Incredibly, those three lines of dialogue pretty much sum up how everyone who has the misfortune of viewing Crazy On The Outside feels towards Tim Allen for taking this solo project on.