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Outer Space Aliens

ALF - The sci-fi comedy A.L.F./NBC/1986-90, a spoof of the box office movie hit E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982) told the story of a cute little alien who came to live with an Earth family.


ALF (Alien Life Force) stood three-foot-two, was covered in orange polyester fur, had four fingers on each hand and a rippled snout. He hailed from the planet Melmac (what it was made of) and had wandered the vastness of space looking for a place to call home after his own planet exploded.

Locking onto a Ham radio signal emanating from a suburban dwelling, ALF crash-landed into the garage roof of a very nice but boring middle-class family known as the Tanners. After their initial shock, the Tanners decided to adopt the pint-sized alien and help him repair his spacecraft.

The Tanner family included parents Willie (Max Wright) and Kate (Anne Schedeen), and their children Lynn (Andrea Elson), Brian (Benji Gregory) and Eric (J.R. & Charles Nickerson).

According to an NBC press release, ALF was born on the Lower East side of Melmac on August 12th and October 2, some 229 years ago in 1957 (also given as 28th of Nathanganger) to his three parents Bob, Flo, and Biff. His real name was Gordon Shumway. He attended high school for 122 years then 2 years at Melmac State College with a double major in pedestrian crossing and software.

ALF was active in the Skleen Club and co-captain of the Bouillabaiseball team, which used shellfish for a ball (the baseball field was shaped like a rectangle) and because they used shellfish for a ball, the game was played on ice (members included Mickey Mackerel).

ALF's hair was burnt sienna and his eyes off- black. ALF's favorite song was "Help Me Rhonda," the name of his childhood sweetheart. He ate cats, preferring Siamese and Calicos (on Melmac chickens are kept as pets). He had eight stomachs and a body temperature of 425 degrees.

One of the first things ALF said when he crash-landed was "How about a snack? You got a cat?" He settled, however, for a cat food can remarking "I can use the roughage."

Broadcasting a message into space in hopes of reaching some survivors from his homeworld ALF said "Anybody from Melmac, Hello? Skip, Larry,'s me, Gordon (last name is Shumway). Look I don't know if you can hear me but I want you to know I'm OK." He then described his Earth friends and ended with "If you could try to get in touch or come by, I'll introduce you to these lovely people. Then we can eat their cat!"

Alf's home world of Melmac has a green sky and blue grass which made one feel as if they were living upside down. It is located six parsecs past the Hydra-Centauras Super Cluster near Xenon (2 block's north of Phil's Autorama). The smartest man on the planet is known as "Bob the Great." The God on Melmac is called Barry. The planet's motto is "Are you going to finish that sandwich?" When ALF belonged to the Orbit Guards, their motto was "To guard the Orbits, whether they want it or not."

The outspoken but adorable ALF was a product of both puppetry and a small person (Michu Meszaros) dressed in a costume. The Coleco Toy Company manufactured a doll to capitalize on the show. Paul Fusco, the series co-producer (with Thad Mumford) supplied the voice and manipulated the ALF puppet.

The animated cartoon spin-offs ALF/NBC/1987-89 and ALF TALES/NBC/1987-90 followed the adventures of ALF on his home planet of Melmac before the planet exploded.

TRIVIA NOTE: Blossom Russo (Mayim Bialik), a teenage character on the sitcom BLOSSOM/NBC/1991-95 slept with an ALF doll.

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