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Tim Allen

Actor has family comedy market cornered

Allen remains a top name in family comedy, with “Wild Hogs” and “The Santa Clause 3” spinning off $253 million and $111 million respectively at the global box office.

Allen says films like “Hogs” play to a “forgotten ‘silent majority’ audience.” Indeed, with franchises like”Toy Story” (for which Allen will reprise his Buzz Lightyear role in a third installment, slated for 2009 release), the 54-year-old former “Home Improvement” star has built an enduring, cross-generational appeal.

Last month, the mayor of New Milford, Conn., presented Allen with the key to the city after he shot scenes for indie “The Six Wives of Henry Lefay” in a Main Street restaurant there with co-stars Jenna Elfman, Elisha Cuthbert and Andie McDowell. Local reporters raved about how Allen took time with fans to autograph copies of the local Litchfield County Times, which had featured his smiling face on its cover the week before.

Point of view

Allen still hosts the odd charity event, but he says he doesn’t get to return to his road-tour standup roots anywhere “near as much as I’d like. It takes so much prep — as much as it does to do a movie.” Plus, “A lot of my (standup) comedy came from being uncomfortable, and struggling — right now, comfort has taken away a lot of that input.”