“Hey Franklin, did you read that script about the hobo alien that crash landed in that family’s garage? They decide to keep him and they’re not even remotely alarmed that he’s a) an alien or b) loves to eat cats. It’s gold, Franklin!”
We feel like that’s exactly how that conversation must have gone when studio execs were pitched ALF. It was 1986 and we were fresh off the discovery of a whole lotta nothin’ in Al Capone’s vault, and weirdness just seemed to be the name of the game. The Tanners seemed like your typical family, and they were… at least until an alien life form (ALF, get it?) landed in their garage and caused a whole bunch of chaos. But as arrogant (but loveable) ALF was wont to do, he almost always won everyone over with his charm.
Well… everyone except for Willie who just seemed grumpy in general. Fortunately, ALF didn’t take it too hard.
While all seemed happy on our TVs, emotions on the set during the show’s four-year run weren’t always on the sunny side. It was well known that the actors didn’t like playing second fiddle to a puppet who got the best lines. (Ummm… then why’d they sign up for a show with a puppet star?) Maybe we know why Willie was grumpy after all…
As with many 80s sitcoms, ALF couldn’t help but get a little serious from time to time. He once prevented a suicide and then helped deliver a baby (two separate episodes… but that gives us an idea.) Why these people weren’t alarmed they were being assisted by a furry alien still bugs us (…as does the fact that ALF’s preferred food is cat, which the Tanners happen to own. Why were these people not concerned for their pet??)
The show came to an end in 1990 (booooo, 90s!) with one of the most disappointing finales ever, but the writers can’t be blamed. Little did they know it was to be their last show, so imagine the egg on their face when their “To Be Continued…” became “To Be Continued… Just kidding.”
Oh well. He may have come to an unceremonious end, but we children of the 80s will always hold a special place in our hear for that obnoxious, furry alien.
We ♥ ALF.