Images of the Cast of Home Improvement with the Home Improvement Archive title

'Twas The Flight Before Christmas

Episode No# 112
Written by:
Jon Vandergriff
Directed by:
Andy Cadiff
Transcript by:
Duncan Taylor

Tim Taylor - Tim Allen
Jill Taylor - Patricia Richardson
Randy Taylor - Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Brad Taylor - Zachery Ty Bryan
Mark Taylor - Taran Noah Smith
Wilson - Earl Hindman
Al Borland - Richard Karn
Guest Cast
Heidi - Debbe Dunning
Ilene - Sherry Hursey
Old Lady - Connie Sawyer
Attractive Woman - Sydney Anderson
Flight Attendant - Marcy Goldman
The Clerk - Tom Poston
Pilot - ??
Episode begins at the "Tool Time" set. Heidi is standing in the audience, wearing a Santa Claus hat and white fur cuffed top and skirt. She is jingling bells.
Heidi: Does everybody know what time it is?
Audience: "Tool Time!"
Heidi: That's right. Binford Tools is proud to present Tim "The Toolman" Taylor! Whoa!
[The "Tool Time" theme music plays. Tim and Al enter, wearing high voltage suits]
Tim: Thank you Heidi, and thank you everyone. I am Tim "The Toolman" Taylor, and you all know my assistant Al "Be Quarantined For Christmas" Borland. Today Al and I start our week long salute [Tim and Al salute. There is a crackle and the lights dim] to electricity.
Al: That's right. [Tim and Al raise the visors on their suits] And that's why we're weaing the flash suits worn by professional electricians. You can take up to 20,000 Volts and not get electrocuted.
Tim: Yeah, but Al. [Tim turns to Al and their visors crash together] But they look so-darn cool, don't they? It's like the nineties way of saying, "Hey, I'm not gonna get fried!"
[Music plays and Tim walks around the studio as if he were on a catwalk]
Al: Notice Tim's flame-resistant parker, and color-coordinated insulated gloves. [Tim walks back towards Al] It boasts a safety helmet with UV face shield and is tastefully accessorized by this matching tote bag. [Tim holds up the bag and Al points to it] You know, you might wanna wear these when you put up your Christmas light this weekend. [Tim raises his visor. Al laughs to himself and snorts. Tim looks at Al]
Tim: Actually I'm way ahead of you. With this outfit I can safely replace my measly 7 Watt bulbs with these 500 Watt bad boys right here, huh? [Tim and Al walk over to the tree behind them]
Al: You could light up an airport runway with that much Wattage on your roof!
Tim: Well, maybe it's time for old St. Nick to trade in that old sleigh for a new Boeing 777 fly-by-wire.
Al: Well Tim, where're you going to get enough juice to run something like this?
Tim: Can you believe he asks the "Toolman" that? Heidi! My generator please!
[Heidi wheels in a large generator]
Heidi: Here you go, Tim.
Tim: [Grunting]Oh-oh-OH-oh! [Tim starts the generator and picks up the lights cable] Do you wanna plug it in for me Al?
Al: [Al looks at Tim] I don't think so, Tim!
Tim: O.K. then, I'll do it [Tim lowers his visor and plugs in the cable. Tim and Al turn to the tree] Alright Heidi, hit the switch! [The lights turn on and they are VERY bright. There is an electrical hum. Tim and Al turn away from the glare, temporarily blinded]
Al: Alright Tim, that's enough. Tim? [Tim and Al stagger around] Turn it off.
Tim: Oh, Heidi. Turn it off. Turn it off. [The lights turn off] Ohhh. [Tim raises his visor and turns to a stuffed reindeer. To the reindeer] Well, that was a lot brighter than I thought it was going to be, Al.
Al: [To a plastic snowman] Yes it was, Tim.
[Opening credits]
Cut to the backyard.
[The backyard is full of decorations for the roof. Tim enters carrying a large silver spiky thing (presumably the star), followed by Mark and Randy who are carrying other Christmas decorations]
Tim: Alright, great news guys. This year you're gonna help me beat Doc Johnson in the lighting contest.
Mark: Aww.
Randy: Cool.
[They put the decorations down]
Mark: I can't believe you're gonna let us help this year.
Tim: Well, you've earned it. You're a year older, more mature, more responsible.
Randy: And since you're going out of town, you have no choice.
Tim: Hey, hey, hey. What have I always taught you? What Christmas is all about?
Randy: Beating the pants off an eighty-year old proctologist in a lighting contest.
Tim: That's the spirit.
Mark: Do we get to put up the manger?
Tim: No. I'll put up the manger when I get home. That's my speciality.
Randy: Last year your speciality fell through the roof.
Tim: I've got all the quirks worked out this time, alright? I've got that generator, string of lights from work. They're all set up there. Now, any more electrical work needs to be done, I want Brad to do it. [Tim walks towards the door]
Mark: How come he gets to do it?
Tim: Cuz he's the oldest. [Brad enters, wearing one of the flash suits]
Brad: And I'm the only one that can fit into Dad's suit.
[Jill enters]
Jill: Aren't you supposed to be getting ready to go to the airport?
Cut to the living room.
[Tim and Jill enter]
Tim: I am ready. I'm just waiting for Al.
Jill: I just don't understand why you have to go away the day before Christmas.
Tim: We've been through this before. Binford is the proud sponsor of this year's Winter fair in Kinross [Tim shuts the back door] and Al and I are playing very important roles. [Jill goes over to the kitchen]
Jill: Tim! You are a grand marshal of an elf parade! [Jill makes herself a drink]
Tim: Even little green people need a leader, honey.
Jill: Well I don't know how you can leave me for a bunch of elves.
Tim: Well, I'll be home before dinner. I'm not going to the Pointy-Shoe banquet. [Jill shakes her head. The doorbell rings. Tim opens the door and picks up his suit. Al and Ilene enter] Ilene, hi Al.
Al & Ilene:Hi, hello. Merry Christmas!
Jill: Hi Ilene. [Tim, Al and Ilene walk towards Jill in the kitchen]
Ilene: Hi Jill. I've brought all the ingredients to make my famous pfeffernuesse cookies.
Al: Wait till you get your hands on Ilene's pfeffernuesse! [Ilene puts the bags she's carrying on the counter]
Tim: Oh I'd love to, but I'm a one pfeffernuesse guy. [A beeper goes off]
Al: Oh, that's my beeper. I wonder who that is.
Tim, Jill & Ilene: Your mother!
Al: Can I use your phone?
Jill: Yeah, sure. [Al goes off to use the phone]
Ilene: That's the fourth time she's beeped him this morning.
Jill: I can imagine Al's mother would put stress on any relationship.
Tim: Al's mother could put stress on a 20 ton steel beam!
Ilene: I'm so glad she's visiting his brother for the hoildays. We are finally gonna be alone on New Year's Eve. Al booked us a romantic weekend at the hotel Trentwood.
Jill: Ahhh!
Al: [On the phone] You're coming back early?... Wu... New Year's Eve?... No, Ilene and I aren't doing anything special, [Ilene looks at Al in disbelief] no, we'd love to have you. O.K. Great. [Al puts down the phone]
Ilene: Al, I can't believe you. [Ilene goes over to Al]
Al: What?
Ilene: I thought we were gonna be alone for a change. Once again your mother has to wedge herself between us.
Tim: That's a hell of a big wedge!
Jill: Tim! Um, help me fix the fire and we'll let them work this out.
Tim: Al, we're in a hurry.
Jill: Shh. Shh. [Jill pushes Tim towards the fire]
Al: Y'know Ilene, I, I resent your attitude towards my mother. She's a wonderful giving woman who lights up all the lives she touches.
Ilene: Oh please. I am so sick of you putting your mother up on a pedestal.
Jill: You've got to admire him for having the strength to hoist her up there! [Tim looks at Jill] Oh my God! I'm turning into you!
Tim: Kind of fun, isn't it?
Cut to the airplane, later that day.
[Tim and Al are in their seats]
Al: Y'know, and that's another reason why Ilene shouldn't be upset mother joining us for New Year's. Y'know after a couple of Rob Roy's, mother can be quite the party animal. [Tim is banging his head against the window. The flight attendant comes over to them]
Flight Attendant: There are your drinks. [She gives them their drinks] One ginger ale, one Martini, double olives on the side.
Tim: Thanks very much.
Flight Attendant: Hm-hmm.
Tim: Thank you. [The flight attendant goes on to the next passengers]
Al: Oh, I suppose mother can be needy, but how can I turn my back on the woman who, who, who nurtured me from the womb? [Tim takes the olives and sticks one in each ear!] I'm just thankful that I, that I have a friend like you that will lead me a supportive ear. [Al turns to Tim and sees the olives] That has a green olive in it.
Tim: It's just because the barf bag wasn't big enough to fit over my head.
Al: I just, I don't know why Ilene is acting like this.
Tim: [Pleading] Oh God, maybe the plane will crash.
Al: Y'know, I have a good mind not to give Ilene her Christmas present. [Tim takes the olives out of his ears. He considers eating them but decides against it] And I had a necklace made especially for her out of coins that she collected when she went to Stockholm for the gingivitis symposium.
Tim: You gave her spare change from a bloody gum convention?
Al: Yes. And I'm sure it was a much more thoughtful gift than what you got for Jill. If you got her anything.
Tim: You couldn't be further from the truth. Why d'you think I volunteered to lead an elf parade in Kinross?
Al: Same reason as me: the prestige!
Tim: No! Her gift is up there. Kinross has one of the best speciality bookstores in the state of Michigan. I ordered a book, it didn't come in time to deliver by Christmas, so I've gotta go and get it.
Al: What did you order?
Tim: A first edition. Freud's essays. She's gonna love this. It'll be a Christmas she never forgets.
Pilot: [Over the intercom] Attention passengers. The Kinross airport has been closed due to heavy storm activity.
Passengers: Aw, man.
Pilot: [Over the intercom] This flight will have to be diverted to Alpena.
Passengers: Aw.
Cut to Alpena airport.
[The passengers enter the lounge. Tim and Al enter after walking past the entrance]
Tim: [To the clerk] Excuse me, could you tell us where the main terminal is?
The Clerk: [The clerk looks up from his magazine] Take two giants steps forward.
[Tim and Al take two steps forward and arrive at the desk. The clerks spreads his arms, "here." The sign on the desk reads "Ticket Counter"]
Al: Is there still a chance we can make it to Kinross?
The Clerk: I don't see how. There'll be no more flights in or out until the storm's over.
Al: But this is an emergency!
The Clerk: Ah, the hospital has a special helicopter. What's the emergency? [The clerk starts dialing]
Al: We're leading an elf parade. [The clerk puts the phone down]
The Clerk: Try me again when you're donating a kidney.
Tim: We really have to get there. Is there, er, a car rental counter here?
The Clerk: Of course. [He takes the sign off the desk and replaces it with a sign which reads "Car Rental"] Now, what kind of car would you like? We're running a special on convertibles.
Tim: It's 4 degrees outside.
The Clerk: Then I'd advise you to leave the top up.
Al: Er, could you give us a map so we could find our way to Kinross?
The Clerk: No problem. [He gets a map] Er, I don't think the map is going to do you much good.
Al: Why not?
The Clerk: The roads are closed.
Tim: Huh, well, why are we renting a car if we can't drive it anywhere?
The Clerk: I was wondering the same thing myself.
[Tim and Al walk away from the counter]
Tim: This is just great. Stuck in the airport and Jill's gift is in Kinross. [To the clerk] Is there any place I can, er, look for a book here?
The Clerk: We have some books in our gift shop.
Tim: And the gift shop would be?
[The clerk turns the sign on his desk round so that it reads "Gift Shop." Tim and Al walk back to the desk]
Tim: O.K., uh, can I see some of your books?
The Clerk: Sorry, we're closed for the holidays. [He flips the sign over so it reads "Closed." Tim looks at the clerk]
[Commercial break]
Cut to the airport, a little later.
[Tim is on the phone to Jill]
Tim: There's no way we're gonna make it to the elf parade. So we'll try to get a plane back to Detroit as soon as the storm clears here.
Cut to the kitchen and Jill on the phone.
Jill: I knew this was going to happen. You're gonna miss Christmas Eve.
Cut to Tim.
Tim: I have never missed a Christmas Eve with you and tonight's not going to be the night. No matter what it takes, I'm getting home.
Cut to Jill.
Jill: Well I hope so cuz the boys are gonna be really disappointed when I tell them. Wait, hold on a second. [Brad, Randy and Mark enter from the backyard] Guys, it's your father. He's stranded in the middle of nowhere. He may not make it back tonight.
Brad, Randy & Mark: Alright! Cool! Yeah! [They head towards the door]
Jill: Wait a second! You don't want to see your father on Christmas Eve?
Brad: It's not that. We just want to do the lighting contest by ourselves.
[Jill returns to the phone]
Tim: [From the phone] What's going on?
Jill: The boys are crushed. I'm trying to comfort them.
Cut to Tim.
Tim: Er, put Randy on the phone. [Al comes over to Tim]
Al: Tim, I, I need to talk to Ilene.
Tim: [To Al] Hold your horses. I've got to tell Randy how to put the runway lights on the manger.
Al: This is more important!
Tim: [Tim makes a face at Al] Put Ilene on the phone, please. [Tim hands the phone to Al]
Al: Sugar pumpkin?
Cut to Randy.
Randy: No, sweet pea. I'll get sugar pumpkin! [Randy hands the phone to Ilene]
Ilene: Al?
Cut to Al.
Al: Ilene, I, I think I have a solution for New Year's Eve that's gonna make everybody happy.
Ilene: [From the phone] You do?
Al: Yes. Mother rings in New Year's with us, but then we put her in a cab and we have the whole weekend to ourselves.
Cut to Ilene.
Ilene: Al, you are missing the whole point. You are 37-years old. Don't you think it's time to cut the cord?
Cut to Al.
Al: Cut the cord? [Tim comes over to him]
Tim: Cut the cord? Don't cut the cord! It's the only extension cord I have that'll handle those lights!
Al: [To Tim] This is not about your stupid lights! My relationship with Ilene is hanging in the balance!
Tim: So the extension cord's O.K? [Al looks at Tim]
Cut to Ilene.
Ilene: Al, you are gonna have to make a choice. It is either me or your mother. [Ilene hangs up]
Cut to Al.
Al: I-Ilene hung up.
[Tim goes over to the clerk. The sign on the desk reads "Ticket Counter"]
Tim: There's got to be someway out of here, something else. How about a, er, um, snow-mobile?
The Clerk: That would work.
Tim: O.K.
The Clerk: If we had one.
Tim: How about a dog sled?
The Clerk: I've got a dog, and my grandson has a sled.
Tim: Perfect.
The Clerk: Of course, my dog's a poodle. [The clerk indicates the size with his hands. Tim looks at the clerk]
Cut to the airport, a little later.
[Tim and Al are at the desk. The clerk is on the phone. The sign on the desk reads "Tourist Information"]
The Clerk: Good. Thank you. [The clerk puts down the phone] Alright, I've got some good news. The storm has let up in Kinross.
Tim: Alright.
Al: Great.
The Clerk: Unfortunately, it's getting worse here. In fact, it might not let up for a couple of days.
Tim: We'll have to sleep here in the airport?
The Clerk: There are some hotels in town.
Al: Well, we'd better hurry up and book one.
Tim: Alright.
The Clerk: Ah, sorry. They were booked up hours ago. But I do rent out a lovely room in my house.
Tim: O.K. I'll buy it. How much?
The Clerk: It's going for $45 a night.
Tim: O.K.
The Clerk: Except in storm season. Then it's 200.
Tim: Y'know pal, I'm, I'm gonna alert the Better Business Bureau about you.
The Clerk: Go ahead.
Tim: Hu, huh. [Tim looks at the sign, then the clerk, and then the sign again. Tim turns the sign around. It reads "Better Business Bureau"]
The Clerk: Can I help you?
[Tim holds up his hand. Al walks off]
Al: This is the worst Christmas of my life. I'm stuck in this dinky airport, my relationship is collapsing, and I've cleaned out every cheese puff in this stupid vending machine. [Al hits the machine. Tim comes over to him]
Tim: And we have no place to sleep. [Tim turns to the cleaning lady] Hey ma'am, ma'am, you live around here. Can my friend and I, er, sleep at your house? We'll pay you money.
Old Lady: Perverts!
The Clerk: [To the Old Lady] See you at home, Mom.
[Tim and Al look at the clerk]
Cut to the backyard.
[The boys are putting up the decorations. Jill comes outside. The boys winch a clown up to the roof]
Jill: Why are you putting that up there?
Randy: We had a little wise man accident.
Mark: Yeah. Now we have, er, two wise men and a clown.
Jill: So now the three wise men come bearing gold, frankincense and a seltzer bottle.
[Brad climbs down a ladder from the roof]
Brad: Alright. He's all tied up. Bozo's on the roof.
Jill: Guys, why don't you take a break. Ilene's got some cookies for you. If they taste salty, don't say anything about it; she's been crying into the batter. [The boys look at Jill]
Randy: I think I'll just have some milk.
[The boys go inside. Wilson enters his yard, carrying a box full of cardboard tubes]
Wilson: Well hidy-ho ho ho, neighborette. And a merry Christmas.
Jill: It may be on your side of the fence. I've got boys crawling all over the roof, Tim stuck in Alpena, and a depressed orthodontist crying into her pfeffernuesse. [Ilene is sitting on the couch, holding a plate of cookies and crying]
Wilson: Oh, Tim is stuck in Alpena, hm? That is such a lovely town. Y'know I have a very good friend who works up there. He's a clerk at the airport.
Jill: I'm so disappointed. I was really hoping to give Tim his present tonight. I got him something really special.
Wilson: Well, I assume it has something to do with a car or a tool.
Jill: Oh yeah, both. I got him a set of tools for the car, and this thing called a power invertor.
Wilson: Ahh.
Jill: It allows you to plug your tools right into the car lighter. This way, if he gets stuck in traffic, instead of swearing, he can build something.
Wilson: [Wilson chuckles] Well, that sounds like the perfect gift for Tim.
Jill: So, are you and Judith spending the holidays together?
Wilson: Ohh, yes indeedy. This is the first Christmas that we've spent together, and I am so looking forward to giving her the sweater that I knitted for her.
Jill: You knitted her a sweater?
Wilson: Hm-hmm. Right after I sheared the sheep and spun the wool.
Jill: Wow!
Wilson: Then later on I'm gonna fix her dinner.
Jill: What're you making?
Wilson: Lamb chops!
Cut to the sirport.
[Tim and Al are sitting on the seats. The clerk is on the phone]
The Clerk: O.K., thanks. [The clerk puts down the phone] I've got some good news for you. In the spirit of Christmas Eve, I've decided to slash the price of my room back to $45.
Tim: In other words, the storm is letting up.
The Clerk: Yes. Yes it is. You should be able to get a flight in about fifteen minutes.
Al: [Sighs in relief] Finally. [Tim and Al stand up]
The Clerk: Would you gentlemen care for some flight insurance?
Tim & Al: No!
Tim: Well, looks like we're gonna make it home in time for Christmas, Al.
Al: The only problem is I still don't know what to do about Ilene and my mother. How can I choose between the woman who means more to me than anything, and my girlfriend?
[Tim looks away, exasperated]
Cut to the airplane.
Al: On the other hand, she is my mother. But on the other hand, Ilene could be the mother of my children. On the other hand --
Tim: -- Al. That's eight hands. Why don't you take one of them and slap yourself. [Al's beeper goes off]
Attractive Woman: [In the aisle opposite Al] Excuse me. Are you by any chance a doctor?
Tim: No, he's a mama's boy! [Al looks at Tim] O.K. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever thought about having kids?
Al: Of course.
Tim: Well that's not gonna happen with your mother!
Al: Ah, Tim, you just, you don't understand.
Tim: Well just try me, will you?
Al: I made a promise before my dad died that I, that I would take care of my mother. And I, I just, I, I can't turn my back on her.
Tim: Wait a minute, no-one's asking you to do that. I think Ilene just wants to feel that she won't take a backseat to your mother. I mean is she or is she not the most important woman in your life?
Al: She's the most important woman under 50.
Tim: You've got to do better than that, Al.
Al: I don't know if I can.
Tim: You- when you made that promise to your dad, don't you think he would have wanted you to fall in love with a woman and have a family? [Al thinks about this]
Al: You're right.
Tim: I know I'm right. If your dad were here right now, what would he be saying to you?
Al: "Al, stay with your mother. I'm going to the track." I see your point, y'know. I think I have to set some limits with my mother.
Tim: Yes.
Al: And I'm gonna start by getting rid of the stupid beeper.
Tim: Alright. [Al gives the beeper to Tim]
Pilot: [Over the intercom] Ladies and gentlemen, we're approaching the Detroit metropolitan area and unfortunately visibility is so low that we are unable to land.
Passengers: Ohhh! Ahhh!
Pilot: [Over the intercom] It looks like we may be diverted to Toledo.
Tim: This is unbelievable. This is unbelievable. I won't make it home for the first time at Christmas. I have no gift for Jill. And I won't see the boys light up the Christmas lights.
Al: Come on, have some faith, Tim. There's still some time.
Tim: It's hopeless. [Al looks out the window. Tim looks at his watch] The kids'll be lighting them up now anyway.
[A very bright light illuminates the plane. Tim looks out the window]
Pilot: [Over the intercom] Wait a minute. A tremendous beam of light has just broken through the clouds.
Tim: [Pointing out the window] Ha, that's my house! Those are our lights!
Pilot: [Over the intercom] I've just heard from the tower that we now have visibility and well be able to land in Detroit.
Passengers: Yeah!
Tim: He lands there, he's gonna land right on the manger. Wait a minute. What's a clown doing next to baby Jesus?
Cut to the living room, that evening.
[The boys are sitting round the table. There is a trophy on the table]
Mark: Can't believe we won the lighting contest.
Brad: And helped land a plane!
Randy: Well, this just proves one thing guys: Dad's been holding us back all these years.
[Al and Ilene are together on the couch]
Ilene: Oh Al, I'm so glad we're back together again.
Al: Me too. And y'know, it was the easiest decision of my life. [Al and Ilene kiss]
[Tim is opening his present from Jill]
Tim: It's a power invertor.
Jill: Yeah.
Tim: And all these tools for the car, I love this. Thanks. [Tim and Jill kiss]
Jill: O.K. My turn.
Tim: Alright. You're gonna love it.
Jill: Just undo this. Alright. [Jill opens the present] It's a beeper!
Tim: Well, I figured, y'know, if anytime I want to tell you "I love you," I can just do it 24 hours a day now. [The beeper beeps]
Jill: Well, gee Tim. I would love to tell you how touched I am but I have to call Al's mother.
[Outtake from an airport scene. Tim and Al are standing at the desk]
Tim: We'll have to sleep here at the airport?
The Clerk: 'Fraid not. [He points to a sign on the wall. It reads "No Loitering"]
[Outtake from the airplane. Someone walks past the window. On the outside]
Tim: Hold a second. We can't have people walking around outside the aircraft.
Al: Are we gonna drive to Detroit?
Tim: Pilot, there's people outside the airplane. You're way too low.
[Outtake from the airport]
The Clerk: You should be able to get a flight in about fifteen minutes.
Al: [Sighs in relief] Finally. [Tim and Al stand up]
The Clerk: Would you gentlemen care for some flight insurance?
Tim & Al: No!
The Clerk: O.K., but if your plane crashes, you'll be sorry!
[Tim and Al look at the clerk and then each other]

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