May 21, 2022 6:34 pm

Five curiosities of Alf, a television classic that has already reached streaming

Just over three decades ago, the world met a little orange furry alien, elongated snout and raspy voice from the planet Melmac. it was called Alf and its header phrase was a declaration of principles: “No problem”. He also had a gastronomic weakness for cats.

In a comedy tone and for four seasons, Alf, the series that presented this character, recounted his day-to-day living with the Tanners, a typical American middle-class family. He came to Earth because his planet suffered a hecatomb and his ship hit the roof of the Tanners’ garage. Alf is nothing like other aliens on TV like Mork or Uncle Martin from my favorite martian.

To accompany the arrival of the four seasons of Alf (and a Christmas special) to the HBO Max grid, Here are five quirks of this ’80s icon.

The furry character, whose real name was Gordon Shumway, was created by Paul Fusco, a fan of puppets who began to develop a similar doll in 1984, but it was not until he met Tom Patchett, screenwriter of The Muppet Show, which finished putting together the project. They met with NBC executives and pitched him the idea; It premiered in September 1986.

NBC presented it as one of the events of the year, but the public did not agree. Therefore, it was thought to cancel it; they didn’t do it for merchandising. Alf’s face was already on toys, backpacks, t-shirts, books and even cereal. When the second season premiered in 1987, it was the tenth most watched series in the United States.

Image from the “Alf” series.Photo: Diffusion

Yes OK Alf looked like a child he was 287 years old; and his making politically incorrect jokes or drinking beer was not to the liking of some parents who called for the cancellation. And when one kid tried to microwave his cat, and another wanted to turn a bathtub into a hot tub (as Alf did by using an electric mixer in the water), the series had to warn children not to imitate the character.

According to its actors, filming Alf was a headache since for half an hour of series 25 hours of filming were needed. That was due to the puppet’s movements being controlled by Fusco and two puppeteers. When Alf appeared full-length (in the first season) it was Mihaly Meszaros, barely 84 centimeters.

series picture "Alf".
Image from the “Alf” series.Photo: Diffusion

There were many attempts for the series to be produced again but that did not happen. It had, yes, a cartoon spin-off where Alf’s life in Melmac was told; and also a movie ALF project, which continued the story where the series had left off. There was an apocryphal appearance of something like Alf in The madness of the alien, a minor classic from Porcel and Olmedo.

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