On paper ALF should have been one of the worst TV shows of the 80s. It’s a ridiculous premise involving a cat-eating, wise-cracking alien puppet who comes down to Earth and lives with a sitcom family. It should have been terrible but anyone who actually remembers watching it can tell you that, well, it wasn’t.
ALF wasn’t perfect but it deserves better than punchline status. Thanks to creator Paul Fusco (and incidentally the voice of ALF) he made his Melmac puppet loveable and the premise actually turned out to be pretty funny. The whole thing was so fun that Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane basically ripped it off for his second attempt at an animated series, American Dad. So hold off on groaning and rolling your eyes when I tell you that Fusco’s working on turning ALF into a movie.
THR says Paul Fusco will be making the rounds, pitching an ALF feature film to one of Hollywood’s major studios next week. As for what it might be about Fusco offers this hint…
ALF could be more outspoken now than ever, because the world is a whole different place than the ’80s. And I think the character still stands up and certainly has more to say now than ever. I think we would approach it in a fresh way. I don’t think we would duplicate the TV show, but I think we would maybe put it in a storyline where we would explain how ALF got here and put him with a new family and let the character speak for himself.
ALF’s original TV run in the 80s only lasted four seasons, amidst rumors of production problems and tension with the cast. But there was a pretty good ALF animated series detailing his earlier life on Malmac and he later got a TV movie which wrapped up the storylines which were supposed to be covered in Season 5 (season 4 ended up with him captured by the military, Season 5 was supposed to have him as sort of an alien Sgt. Bilko). He was last see on television in 2004 hosting a talkshow on TV Land where, again, Fusco ran into production problems with a network which never seemed to really understand the concept.
And of course, who could forget ALF’s hit record, “Cookin’ With ALF”…
Those were distributed by Burger King with an ALF doll. You had one, admit it.