Home Improvement Wiki

Wilson fence

Full Name
Wilson W. Wilson, Jr.
Wilson W. Wilson, Sr. (father)
An unnamed mother
Kathryn (wife, deceased)
An unnamed brother
Willow Wilson (niece)
Ernie (cousin)
Mike Love (cousin)
Carl Wilson (cousin)
Leonard (uncle)
Nielson Wilson (uncle)
Celtic Mythology professor;
formerly Spy, Pilot, Park ranger
First Appearance
Last Appearance

Wilson W. Wilson, Jr., Ph.D., often referred to simply as Wilson, is a regular character on Home Improvement, played by the late Earl Hindman.


Wilson is Tim Taylor's next-door neighbor and confidant. He frequently gives advice to all members of the Taylor household, often reciting words of wisdom, famous quotes or historical examples for Tim. As a running gag, Tim frequently butchered these phrases upon trying to repeat them (with the effect of making the advice unintelligible or just nonsensical).

Not every episode has had Tim taking advice from Wilson. One episode showed Wilson too wrapped up in his own affairs to be in the usual place of the backyard, causing Tim to reflect maybe it is time for once for him to let Wilson have a rest and solve the problem by himself. On other occasions Al was the one to get the advice from Wilson. Once Jill got advice, another time it was from Wilson's girlDonnie Rossi neonfriend. Not Al he didn't live next door to Wilson. It was either Tim or Jill or one of the boys.

Wilson was born in Chicago. He has traveled the globe, learning much from virtually every culture in existence and his house contains a veritable treasure trove of artifacts, along with a pet Myna bird named Mozart who appeared infrequently. Wilson was married at one point, but his wife Kathryn died before the series began. Wilson somewhat represented a "God figure" in the show, always doling out advice to the Taylor family and seemingly knowing just what to say to solve a problem.

The character of Wilson was partly inspired by a neighbor that Tim Allen had when he was very little; he was too short to see over his neighbor's fence and therefore unable to see his neighbor. Thus, Wilson is a type of unseen character; the lower half of his face is always obscured by some kind of object, usually the fence. On the rare occasions he's seen outside his yard, he's still blocked by something (a scarf, a plant, etc), yet no one seems to notice. Sometimes the top half of Wilson's face is obscured while the lower half is revealed and on at least two occasions his entire face was visible, although hidden behind Halloween or clown makeup. In "The Karate Kid Returns" (Season 6, Episode 14), Wilson is standing behind one of the Beach Boys, who moves forward prematurely at the end of his line, thus exposing Wilson's entire face for about a second before an abrupt camera cut. Wilson's entire face was finally revealed when the cast took their bows at the end of the series finale.


  • In "Doctor in the House", Wilson mentions that he earned his Ph.D. in Forgotten Languages and Cultures.
  • In "Wilson's Girlfriend", he mentions that his father was a scientist.
  • In "You're Driving Me Crazy, You're Driving Me Nuts", he reveals that he has a cousin named Ernie who lives in Pago Pago, and misses the winter.
    • Because of this, Wilson packs snow in a Styrofoam shipping container and sends it to Ernie, who pays him for doing so.
  • In "Luck Be a Taylor Tonight", he mentions that, when he was a child, he used to spend summers on a farm owned by his Uncle Leonard.
  • Even though his face is always obscured, sometimes it will fully be seen when he puts on makeup or a fake beard.
  • In "The Karate Kid Returns", it is revealed that Wilson is a cousin of Mike Love and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys.
    • However, Wilson does not usually disclose his relation to them, out of fear that he will "be hounded for concert tickets and autographs."
      • Additionally, Wilson is somewhat estranged from his cousins is because they never used any of his suggested lyrics for any of their songs.
  • Wilson's death is disclosed in the TV Series Last Man Standing.