Sitcom star Tim Allen became famous for his oaf-like antics and handyman hobbies, but some of the comedian’s real-life interests don’t just stop at his garage door. He is fascinated with religion and has a long history with Christianity, something he hints at while joking about his childhood sweet tooth in his stand-up act.
“I like Pixie Sticks. Yeah, screw the middle man. Just a tube of sugar…I’d pour two of those in a big 12 ounce coke. And I’d go out to catechism class and try to concentrate on the priest,” he recently told a Las Vegas audience. “I saw Jesus several times. I swear I did.”
Allen told “20/20? anchor Elizabeth Vargas that he’s had “a curious relationship with God” since his father died.
Allen’s father died when he was hit by a drunk driver when Allen was just 11. The comedian says that after that, he questioned whether if he had prayed harder or had been with his father that fatal day, he could have prevented his death.
“For years, I just did not like this idea of God, church,” he said. “(I was) still a churchgoer, but constantly a cynic.”
But the cynicism didn’t last. Today, he calls God, “The Builder.”
“I always do ask…The Builder, what did you want me to do?” Allen said. “And I do ask it. But you got to be prepared for the answer.”
Allen, who has done work with several charities, jokes he’s always afraid the answer will be, “I want you to handle lepers 24/7.”
His own experiences — from his father’s death to a two-year jail stint on a drug conviction to his sitcom stardom — help inform his faith.
“Whoever built me, this is too much, too weird that it happened by accident,” he said. “It didn’t happen by accident.”
Watch Elizabeth Vargas’ full interview with Tim Allen below.