The cat-eating alien that America loved

Alf - 1986-1990

Funny how the internet works. At some point in the last week or two, someone on Twitter was discussing “ALF,” which led to someone else discussing ALF, which led to me remembering ALF, which led to me digging up this oral history of “ALF” from 2016 that I absolutely loved at the time. Because I loved ALF.

Now some of you of a certain age are likely asking, “Who is Alf?” and “Why do you keep capitalizing his name like you’re some sort of deranged PR spokesman who thinks this Alf is a client or something.”

ALF actually stands for Alien Life Form. ALF was the star of “ALF,” a hit sit-com on NBC in the mid 80s. ALF was, in fact, a puppet. That’s right, after a string of humiliating flops, including a pilot season in which NBC didn’t order anything (“Manimal!”), the network greenlit a primetime sitcom whose main character was a loud-mouthed alien who ate cats, drank beer, and was basically an insult comic. And this alien was a puppet.

And it was apparently one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite shows. Mine too! Even though I don’t remember any of it — especially the episode in which ALF, who is a puppet, gets his own puppet. From the oral history.

“We did an episode, ‘I’m Your Puppet,’ which gave ALF a puppet of his own. That was written by Al Jean and Mike Reiss [The Simpsons], and their original script was very dark, almost Twilight Zone-ish. It kind of creeped people out.”

Anyway, go read this old piece. It’s hilarious and dark and gets at just how insane TV is.

 

One thought on “The cat-eating alien that America loved

  1. ALF was a great series, but he seemed to get more caustic each year. Must be something that comes with age since I have it too.

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