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ALF (TV series)

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Title card
Created by
Directed by
Theme music composer
ComposerAlf Clausen
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes99 (original run)
102 (syndication) (list of episodes)
Executive producers
ProducerPaul Fusco
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time24 minutes
Production companyAlien Productions
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 22, 1986 (1986-09-22) –
March 24, 1990 (1990-03-24)

ALF is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from September 22, 1986, to March 24, 1990.

The title character, called ALF (an acronym for "Alien Life Form") but whose real name is Gordon Shumway, crash-lands in the garage of the suburban middle-class Tanner family.[3] The series stars Max Wright as father Willie Tanner, Anne Schedeen as mother Kate Tanner and Andrea Elson and Benji Gregory as their children, Lynn and Brian Tanner. ALF was performed by puppeteer Paul Fusco, who co-created the show with Tom Patchett.[4] However, in the scenes in which the character appeared in full body, a small costumed actor was briefly used (then uncredited in that role), the Hungarian-born Michu Meszaros.

Produced by Alien Productions, ALF ran for four seasons and produced 99 episodes, including four one-hour episodes ("Try to Remember", "ALF's Special Christmas", "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Tonight, Tonight") that were divided into two parts for syndication, totaling 102 episodes. The series proper concluded with an unresolved cliffhanger, but a later TV movie, Project: ALF, served as a series finale for the franchise.

In August 2018, Warner Bros. Television announced the development of an ALF reboot, which was later canceled in November of that year. In February 2022, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired distribution rights to the ALF titles, and would "develop new ALF-related content",[5] with the company Maximum Effort subsequently joining in July 2023 to develop new material as well.[6]


Gordon Shumway is an alien from the planet Melmac who follows an amateur radio signal to Earth and crash-lands into the garage of the Tanners, a suburban middle-class family who live in the San Fernando Valley area of California. The family consists of social worker Willie (Max Wright), his wife Kate (Anne Schedeen), their teenage daughter Lynn (Andrea Elson), younger son Brian (Benji Gregory) and their pet cat Lucky (whom Gordon wishes to consume). Willie Tanner gives Gordon the nickname ALF ("Alien Life Form").

Unsure what to do, the Tanners take ALF into their home and hide him from the Alien Task Force (part of the U.S. military specializing in aliens) and their nosy neighbors Trevor and Raquel Ochmonek (John La Motta and Liz Sheridan), until ALF can repair his spacecraft. He generally hides in the kitchen. It is eventually revealed ALF's home planet Melmac exploded, due to nuclear war.[7] In the season one episode "Pennsylvania 6-5000", ALF tries to convince the President of the United States to stop the nuclear program, as ALF fears Earth might suffer a fate similar to Melmac's, though miscalculating his words causes the President and national security to call the FBI to arrest Willie. ALF was off the planet when it was destroyed because he was part of the Melmac Orbit Guard. ALF is homeless but is not the last survivor of his species. He becomes a permanent member of the family, although his culture shock, survivor guilt, general boredom, despair, and loneliness frequently cause difficulty for the Tanners. Despite the problems and inconveniences his presence brings into their lives, they grow to love him, though some episodes make it clear they are also afraid of how their lives would be turned upside down if word got out that he has been living with them.

While most of the science fiction of ALF was played for comedic value, there were a few references to actual topics in space exploration; for example, ALF uses a radio signal as a beacon in the pilot episode. In the episode "Weird Science", ALF tells Brian, who is building a model of the solar system for his science project, that there are two planets beyond Pluto called "Dave" and "Alvin" (as in David Seville and Alvin from the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise), which gets Brian in trouble at school. However, after ALF makes a call to an astronomical organization and states that "Dave" is known by the organization, Willie comes to believe that "Dave" could be the planetoid Chiron or "Object Kowal". ALF then shows Willie exactly where "Dave" is on an intergalactic map of the universe.

Episodes dealt with ALF learning about Earth and making new friends both within and outside the Tanner family, including Willie's brother Neal (Jim J. Bullock), Kate's widowed mother Dorothy (Anne Meara) with whom ALF has a love-hate relationship, her boyfriend (and later husband) Whizzer (Paul Dooley), the Ochmoneks' nephew Jake (Josh Blake), a psychologist named Larry (Bill Daily) and a blind woman named Jody (Andrea Covell) who never figures out that ALF is not human (although she is aware through touch that he is short and hairy).

Changes occur within the Tanner household over the course of the series, including the birth of a new child, Eric (the reason for adding a baby in the series being that Anne Schedeen was pregnant at the time); ALF's move from his initial quarters in the laundry room to the attic, which he and Willie converted into an "apartment" and the death of Lucky in season four's "Live and Let Die"; in this instance, as ALF finds, despite his occasional attempts to catch Lucky with the intention of making the cat a meal, as cats are the equivalent of cattle on Melmac, he has come to love and respect the family pet too much to do anything untoward with Lucky's remains. When ALF acquires a new cat with the intent of eating it, he actually grows fond of it and allows it to be adopted by the family, although he admits to the Tanners he has become the worst kind of Melmackian, a "cat lover". In the 1996 movie Project ALF, which stars ALF after his capture by the USAF, the Tanners do not appear – they have relocated to Iceland.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast aired
126September 22, 1986 (1986-09-22)May 11, 1987 (1987-05-11)#2816.5[note 1]
226September 21, 1987 (1987-09-21)May 9, 1988 (1988-05-09)#1018.8[note 2]
326October 3, 1988 (1988-10-03)May 8, 1989 (1989-05-08)#1317.7[note 3]
424September 18, 1989 (1989-09-18)March 24, 1990 (1990-03-24)#3913.7[note 4]


  1. ^ Tied with Hunter
  2. ^ Tied with The Wonder Years
  3. ^ Tied with Matlock
  4. ^ Tied with Family Matters and Jake and the Fatman[8]



  • Gordon "ALF" Shumway (performed and voiced by Paul Fusco; credited by Michu Meszaros as one of ALF's assistants in costume, Lisa Buckley and Bob Fappiano as assistant puppeteers) is an alien from the planet Melmac who has arrived on planet Earth and lands in the Tanner family's garage. On Melmac, ALF was a member of the planet's Orbit Guard. He was given the nickname "ALF" by Willie Tanner in the pilot episode.
  • Willie Tanner (portrayed by Max Wright) is the father of the Tanner family, and a social worker by trade. Willie is an amateur radio enthusiast, and it was a result of his shortwave radio signals that ALF followed them and crashed into his home. He also avidly collects scale model train sets.
  • Kate Tanner (portrayed by Anne Schedeen) is the mother of the Tanner family. In addition to her mother who plays a role in the series, she has at least one sister. She majored in art history and sometimes works in real estate. Like Willie, she was a flower child during the 1960s. In "Having My Baby", she gives birth to her son Eric.
  • Lynn Tanner (portrayed by Andrea Elson) is the oldest daughter of the Tanner family who is one of ALF's best friends since he arrived on Earth.
  • Brian Tanner (portrayed by Benji Gregory) is the middlest son of the Tanner family. He is nicknamed 'B' by the rest of the cast.
  • Eric Tanner (portrayed by Charles Nickerson) is the younger son of the Tanner family. He first appeared at the end of "Having My Baby" when ALF and the Tanner family met him.
  • Lucky is the Tanner's family cat. After ALF came to live with the Tanner family, Lucky's existence became somewhat more precarious. He died in "Live and Let Die" and got replaced with Lucky II.


  • Trevor Ochmonek (played by John LaMotta) is a neighbor of the Tanner family, and is the husband of Raquel. He is a Master of Arts graduate, who played football for seven years through high school and he is a veteran of the Korean War, where he served as a pilot. In "Come Fly With Me", it is revealed that Trevor is allergic to shellfish which makes him act loopy.
  • Raquel Ochmonek (portrayed by Liz Sheridan) is a neighbor of the Tanner family, and is the wife of Trevor. She is very nosy, often spying on the neighbors with a looking glass and spreading rumors. Raquel was also a cheerleader in high school.
  • Jake Ochmonek (portrayed by Josh Blake) is the nephew of Trevor and Raquel who was sent to live with them after his father was in jail. He becomes friends with Brian, and also discovers the existence of ALF.
  • Jody (portrayed by Andrea Covell) is a blind woman whom ALF befriended in "For Your Eyes Only".
  • Larry Dykstra (portrayed by Bill Daily) is a psychologist who was initially called in to help resolve a conflict between Willie and ALF.
  • Dorothy Halligan Deaver (portrayed by Anne Meara) is the widowed mother of Kate, the mother-in-law of Willie, and the grandmother of Lynn, Brian, and Eric. She eventually marries Whizzer in Season 2.
  • Whizzer Deaver (portrayed by Paul Dooley) is Dorothy's second husband, Kate's stepfather, Willie's stepfather-in-law, and Lynn, Brian, and Eric's step-grandfather. Whizzer is a talented jazz musician and he accidentally meets ALF in Season 4 when there is company.
  • Neal Tanner (portrayed by Jim J. Bullock) is Willie's younger brother and the uncle of Brian, Lynn, and Eric. Neal lived with the Tanner family briefly after his wife Margaret left him before moving into his own apartment and gaining employment in the same apartment building as a handyman.


  • Pete Finnegan (portrayed by David Ogden Stiers) is a hobo who hung around the Tanner house and spotted ALF during Thanksgiving in "Turkey in the Straw".
  • Uncle Albert (portrayed by Elisha Cook Jr.) is Willie's uncle and Lynn and Brian's great-uncle who appeared in "We're So Sorry, Uncle Albert". He becomes more considerate and generous by giving the Tanner family expensive gifts and paying for dinner. Later, he dies of shock when he discovers ALF after opening a tent in the backyard.
  • Rhonda (performed by Lisa Buckley), Skipper (performed by Bob Fappiano), Rick (performed by Paul Fusco), and Stella (performed by Lisa Buckley) are four Melmacians who appeared in "Help Me, Rhonda" during ALF's flashback.


The series was videotaped at Century Studios, 8660 Hayden Place in Culver City, California.

Producer Bernie Brillstein was approached to see Fusco's audition with a puppet character but was initially uninterested, having managed Jim Henson for years and regarding Henson as the best puppeteer in showbiz. However, Fusco's brief performance as ALF won over Brillstein, who thought the character was hilarious and strong enough to be the focus of a series.[9]

Fusco co-produced the series with Tom Patchett. Patchett also co-created, wrote, and directed the series. The series was first syndicated by Warner Bros. Television and Lorimar-Telepictures. The U.S. syndication rights were passed over to Debmar-Mercury when its parent company, Lionsgate, owned home video rights. Shout! Factory assumed distribution rights to the series in February 2022.[5]

Due to the inherent nature of producing a show featuring hand-operated puppets (à la Jim Henson's The Muppet Show), ALF was technically difficult and extremely demanding on series creator Fusco as well as its four lead actors. All confirmed during a 2000 People magazine interview that there were constant high levels of tension on the set. Max Wright stated that he despised supporting a technically demanding inanimate object that received most of the good lines of dialogue. He admitted to being "hugely eager to have ALF over with."[10] Artie Lange, who later worked with Wright on The Norm Show, told of a time when Wright had become "crazed" and physically attacked ALF, causing producers to have to pull Wright off the puppet.[11] Anne Schedeen said that on the last night of taping the final episode, "there was one take and Max walked off the set, went to his dressing room, got his bags, went to his car and disappeared... There were no goodbyes." Schedeen herself said "there was no joy on the set...it was a technical nightmare – extremely slow, hot and tedious... A 30-minute show took 20, 25 hours to shoot." While fond of her on-screen children, Schedeen said some adults had "difficult personalities. The whole thing was a big dysfunctional family." Schedeen added, "It's astonishing that ALF really was wonderful and that word never got out what a mess our set really was." Andrea Elson, who suffered from bulimia during the second season of shooting, stated, "If ALF had gone one more year, everybody would have lost it." Wright later admitted that as the years passed he looked back at ALF with less animosity and conceded that "It doesn't matter what I felt or what the days were like, ALF brought people a lot of joy."[10] In reference to the tension, Fusco commented in 2012 that "It was just the nature of the beast. There was no way we could have made it go any further or any faster," he insisted. "I think it was frustrating that it would take so long, but people got paid for what they did. Despite what people thought, that there was a lot of tension on set, there really wasn't."[12]

Fusco was notoriously secretive about his character up until the series' premiere. During the show's production, Fusco refused to acknowledge that the puppet ALF was anything other than an alien. All involved with the production were cautioned not to reveal any of ALF's production secrets.

The set was built on a platform raised four feet above the ground, with trap doors constructed at many points so that ALF could appear almost anywhere; Fusco operated him from underneath, so the unoccupied holes all over the floor were deep and treacherous. The trap doors had to be reset multiple times, sometimes during a single scene. Principal puppeteer Paul Fusco (who was mainly left-handed when puppeteering) used his left hand to control ALF's mouth, while his right hand controlled ALF's right arm. Another puppeteer, Lisa Buckley, who would go on to perform on Sesame Street, assisted Fusco beneath the stage, operating ALF's left arm. At times when ALF's full body was shown in the sitting position, Lisa controlled ALF's left hand by cable allowing slight finger movements. There was additionally a third puppeteer, Bob Fappiano, who controlled ALF's facial and ear movements via a radio control offscreen. During tapings, Fusco would wear a head-mounted microphone to record ALF's voice. The process resulted in numerous mistakes and retakes, making it impossible to record ALF in front of a live audience. A laugh track was added during post-production.

To avoid wear and tear on the principal ALF puppet, the performers rehearsed with a crude early version of ALF, nicknamed "RALF" For ("Rehearsal Alien Life Form"). Fusco did not like to rehearse, and would often substitute his hand or RALF for the real ALF puppet during rehearsals.[13]

In an interview on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Tina Fey said that her biggest frustration as producer of NBC's 75th-anniversary special was dealing with ALF's "people". Fey said Fusco would only allow ALF to appear on the show if the puppeteers were hidden from everyone else. After ALF's cameo alongside former Family Ties star Michael Gross, ALF disappeared through a hole in the riser, was stuffed into a case, and immediately removed from the building.

While a puppet was usually used for ALF, there were some shots of the tiny alien running or walking around. This was accomplished by the 2 feet 9 inches (84 cm) actor Michu Meszaros wearing an ALF costume. This can be seen in one of the series' intros, which concludes with the Tanner family getting their picture taken; ALF (played by Meszaros) walks over to be part of the photo. However, Meszaros' services became too costly as well as time-consuming, and the full ALF costume was abandoned after the first season.

ALF scored its highest ratings during Season 2 (reaching tenth place in the Nielsen ratings). Ratings remained at a steady fifteenth place during Season 3, but plummeted to 39th place during Season 4. NBC moved the show from its traditional Monday night slot to Saturday in March 1990 and eventually moved to Sunday, but ratings continued to fall.

The season-ending cliffhanger "Consider Me Gone" became an unintentional series finale when NBC gave Alien Productions a verbal commitment for a fifth season, but ultimately withdrew its support.[12][14] ABC resolved the cliffhanger on February 17, 1996, with the TV movie Project: ALF. NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff later told Fusco that the network regretted cancelling ALF prematurely, saying "It was a big mistake that we cancelled your show, because you guys had at least one or two more seasons left."[12]


Fusco commented in 2007 that his most enjoyable experience on ALF was sitting in the Writers' Room and pitching jokes while pushing the limit as to what NBC censors would allow. Fusco commented that, "the greatest things were the jokes we couldn't put in the show." Specifically, puns dealing with ALF eating cats and other pets were problematic after NBC reported that a child placed a cat in a microwave after watching the show.[13] In the pilot episode "A.L.F.", ALF is seen consuming a beer with Brian. Fusco defended the premise saying that "ALF is 285 years old, he can drink beer, he's old enough." However, as ALF became more popular with children, NBC told Fusco "you can't have him drinking; the kids are watching, it's a bad role model." Even though Fusco believed that ALF was "an adult: he can do it", the alcohol consumption concept was discarded by the end of the first season.[13] with the exception of the episode "Tequila" where he inspires an alcoholic to check into rehab after a night of drinking with her and making her think he was a hallucination. The cat-eating concept carried sporadically into the second season, with references including the "wedding cat" in the episode "Wedding Bell Blues", the Melmacian equivalent of a wedding cake.

For the hour-long season 1 episode, "Try to Remember", originally broadcast on February 9, 1987, ALF tries to simulate a jacuzzi by bringing Kate's electric mixer into the bathtub, thus receiving an electrical shock that caused amnesia. Fusco ended the original episode with a public service announcement from ALF himself, warning of the dangers of mixing water and electricity. Despite this, NBC reported that a child attempted to recreate the scenario and nearly electrocuted himself in the process (Fusco confirmed that the child was unharmed); Fusco was forced to refilm the opening sequence, replacing the electric mixer with a manual egg beater. ALF's amnesia is instead caused by a cranial concussion received after slipping in the shower (a "thud" is heard rather than a "zap"), with all mentions of being shocked either overdubbed with new dialogue or deleted entirely (including ALF's public service announcement). This edited version was used for a Fall 1988 rebroadcast, as well as all future U.S. and Canadian syndicated airings.[13]

In 2010, blooper footage surfaced in which ALF was made to deliver racial jokes and sexual comments. He was actually mocking a then-recent episode of L.A. Law dealing with Tourette syndrome. Asked to comment, producer Steve Lamar stated that the footage was from an era when things were not so "ridiculously PC".[15]

International broadcast history[edit]

In France, ALF aired on Antenne 2 in 1988.

ALF was very popular in Germany after it began airing on ZDF. The actor who dubbed ALF's voice in German, Tommi Piper, recorded two albums and four singles as ALF between 1988 and 1991.[16]

In Italy, ALF aired on Rai 2 in 1988. In New Zealand, the entire series (and the movie) were screened on TVNZ. In the United Kingdom it was broadcast on CITV.[17]

In the Philippines, the show aired on GMA Network with a simulcast on ABS-CBN and RPN-9 from 1986 to 1990. It moved to ABC-5, where it aired while dubbed in Tagalog from 1999 to 2002.

In Guatemala, the show started to be aired in 1988 on Canal 3 as part of its night schedule the show was aired from 1988 to 1997 and briefly from 1999 to 2001 on Trecevisión as part of the afternoon schedule. During the initial airing from 1988 to 1994 the series was highly apraised and earned a respectable rating amongst the TV viewers. In fact Guatemala was the first country of Central America to air the show.

Home media[edit]

United States and Canada[edit]

Lionsgate syndicated DVD release[edit]

Between 2004 and 2006, Lionsgate Home Entertainment released all four seasons of ALF on DVD in Region 1. All releases contained syndicated versions, with running times of 21 minutes, compared to the original length of 24 minutes. Episodes are arranged in production order, rather than broadcast order. However, the 60-minute episodes "Try to Remember" and "ALF's Special Christmas" (from season one and season two, respectively), were presented in their original hour-long formats (though "Try to Remember" was presented in its censored version and "ALF's Special Christmas" has a minor scene using the song "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" excised). The 60-minute episode "Tonight, Tonight", however, was split into two parts for syndication. The season four episode "Make 'Em Laugh" was presented in nearly its original length, with a single line of dialogue edited out.

The "To Be Continued..." disclaimer was also removed from the series finale, "Consider Me Gone", as NBC canceled ALF after its initial airing.

In addition, most copyrighted music was excised from selected shows, shortening the running time by up to six minutes.

Lionsgate insisted they had to utilize syndicated versions for the DVD release of ALF, saying it would be cost-prohibitive to remaster the original NBC-TV broadcast versions for release. This resulted in heavy criticism.[18]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Season One 25 August 10, 2004
  • Original Un-Aired Pilot
  • Gag/Outtakes Reel
  • ALF Trivia Facts
  • The hour-long episode "Try to Remember" is the censored version.
Season Two 25 August 23, 2005
Season Three 25 May 30, 2006
  • Contains all Season 3 episodes, though not in original broadcast order. "Mind Games" and "Fever" were produced for Season 3, but did not air until Season 4.
Season Four 24 September 5, 2006
  • The episode "Make 'Em Laugh" runs 23:27 and is nearly unedited, with a single line of dialogue edited out.

Video Service Corporation previously released two other DVDs of ALF. The ALF Files was released exclusively in Canada on November 1, 2002. The hour-long episodes "Try to Remember", "ALF's Special Christmas" and "Tonight, Tonight" were presented in their original hour-long format. "Try to Remember", however, contains the re-edited version pertaining to ALF's electric shock in the bathtub.

On September 13, 2005, Project: ALF was released. Both DVDs featured optional commentary by creator Paul Fusco, with co-creator Tom Patchett joining him on the first release.

Shout! Factory restored DVD release[edit]

On February 24, 2022, it was announced that Shout! Factory acquired the distribution rights to the series.[5] Shout set up an "ALFtv" YouTube channel, posting several full episodes in their syndicated versions, and clips from others. On June 24,[19] Shout presented the original uncut versions of fan-favorite episodes, with new commentary from Pratchett and Fusco (the latter in-character as ALF).[20]

This was followed on October 17, 2023, by Shout's released of a new DVD box set, containing ALF, ALF: The Animated Series, ALF Tales, and Project: ALF, all in their original restored broadcast versions, with the exception of the one-hour episodes "Try to Remember" and "Tonight, Tonight".

Both episodes underwent restoration to their authentic durations and were not subjected to syndication-related truncation necessitated by time constraints. However, "Try to Remember" was sourced from the Fall 1988 rebroadcast censored version, wherein ALF's electrical shock scene was substituted with his fall in the bathtub. "Tonight, Tonight" was presented in its two-part version rather than the original one-hour format.[21]

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
ALF: The Complete Series (Deluxe Edition) 99 October 17, 2023

In Canada, the first two seasons of ALF appear on Amazon Prime.

In the U.S., all four seasons of ALF appear on Peacock, as of June 11, 2023.[22]


Warner Home Video released the first season of ALF in Germany on September 4, 2009, and in the Netherlands and France on September 9. The DVDs are in PAL format, with English-language menus. The language selections available are English, French, German, and Spanish (except for season 2 which, despite being dubbed, oddly doesn't feature Spanish, and the episode "Tonight, Tonight" which had not dubbed into German), with subtitles available in French, Dutch, Spanish, English, and German. The series was released on HBO Max on April 26, 2022, in Spain[23] and July 12, 2022[24][25] in Nordics and Portugal.

The episodes span four discs and are uncut, unlike their American-edited counterparts, with a few exceptions:

  • A scene from "For Your Eyes Only" where ALF and friend Jody are singing "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" and "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" by Alvin and the Chipmunks was removed because of music copyright issues with Bagdasarian Productions, owners of the Chipmunks franchise.
  • The censored version of "Try to Remember" was utilized, removing the mention of electrocution.
  • The syndicated version of "Somewhere Over the Rerun" (a.k.a. "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island") was utilized, though the Gilligan's Island theme was retained.
  • The series finale "Consider Me Gone" retained the "To Be Continued..." caption seen during its original March 1990 broadcast.
DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Season One 26 September 4, 2009 Contains all 26 episodes from season one
  • No bonus features
  • Almost all original music
  • Unedited episodes, except "For Your Eyes Only" and "Try to Remember"
Season Two 26 December 11, 2009 Contains all 26 episodes from season two
  • No bonus features
  • All original music
  • Unedited episodes, except for "Somewhere Over the Rerun"
Season Three 26 June 25, 2010 Contains all 26 episodes from season three
  • No bonus features
  • All original music
  • Unedited episodes
Season Four 24 October 15, 2010 Contains all 24 episodes from season four
  • No bonus features
  • All original music
  • Unedited episodes


In Region 4, Warner Home Video released the first two seasons of ALF on DVD in Australia and New Zealand on April 7, 2010.[26][27] Seasons 3 and 4 have yet to get released in Region 4.

Latin America

Since December 22, 2021, ALF is available on HBO Max.[28][29]


In the U.S., ALF has won numerous awards. In 1987, the show won a People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy Program; in 1988 it won Favorite Show at the Kids' Choice Awards; and at the 1989 Kids' Choice Awards, ALF himself won Favorite TV Actor. Benji Gregory and Andrea Elson were also nominated in various Young Actor categories for their work on ALF at the Young Artist Awards during 1987–1989, with the show also receiving a nomination for Best Family Television Series.[30]


Reruns of ALF entered off-network syndication in September 1990, an arrangement that later became less frequent on most local stations, until September 1995. Repeats of the show debuted on cable in 1999 on the Odyssey Network,[31] remaining on the schedule after Hallmark took full control and airing until 2002. It also ran on Nick at Nite for a short time in 2001, and aired on the Hub Network from June 4, 2012, to October 12, 2014.[32] It aired on MeTV from May 2017 until May 2020. Since January 2, 2023, the show has aired on Laff. It can be streamed on several streaming services, such as Peacock, Tubi, and Freevee.

Spinoffs and related programming[edit]

Animated series[edit]

To capitalize on the success of the series, a spin-off animated series was produced, airing Saturday mornings on NBC. ALF: The Animated Series, set on ALF's home planet of Melmac, ran from 1987 to 1988 and was produced by DIC Entertainment. This was a prequel series, set on Melmac before the planet exploded. The show focused on ALF, his family, his friends, and his girlfriend Rhonda and their various exploits. Each episode was book-ended by a live-action sequence involving ALF talking to the television viewers, setting up the episode, and commenting on it afterward. When the cartoon entered its second season, it was paired in a one-hour block with its own spin-off ALF Tales, which took Gordon and the cast of characters from season one, and recast them as characters from assorted classic fairy tales.

Select episodes of both shows are included as special features on the ALF: Season 2 DVD as well as the cartoon-specific releases ALF Animated Adventures – 20,000 Years in Driving School and Other Stories and ALF and The Beanstalk and Other Classic Fairy Tales.

The animated version of ALF also appeared in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.

ALF's Hit Talk Show[edit]

In 2004, ALF's Hit Talk Show debuted on U.S. cable channel TV Land, which featured ALF as a Johnny Carson-type TV talk-show host and co-starring Ed McMahon as his sidekick. Guests included Drew Carey, Tom Green, and Merv Griffin. It ran for seven episodes.


Following the end of the series, a made-for-television movie was produced, in 1996, intending to give the series a proper end. Project: ALF starts right after the series final episode but, especially because of the absence of the Tanners, it failed at obtaining success.

On May 21, 2012, Paul Fusco said he was pitching an ALF movie.[12] In August 2012, it was reported that Sony Pictures Animation had acquired the rights to ALF and would develop the property into a CGI-Live action hybrid feature. The Smurfs producer Jordan Kerner, would also produce the film, along with Tom Patchett and Paul Fusco.[33]

Cancelled reboot[edit]

On August 1, 2018, Warner Bros. announced it would produce an ALF reboot. The reboot would have likely focused on ALF returning to Earth, with a new family and characters.[34] In November 2018, Warner reported that it had cancelled the reboot.[35]

In other media[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ O'Connor, John J. (September 22, 1986). "TV reviews; "Together we stand" and "ALF"". The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  2. ^ Weinstein, Steven (December 23, 1987). "Alf: The Star Trek of NBC's Furry Resident Alien: How a Wisecracking Puppet Toddled Into the Hearts of Viewers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  3. ^ Broeske, Pat H. (August 14, 1988). "Ain't Nothin' but an ALF". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  4. ^ Worrell, Denise; Henry, William A. III (March 21, 1988). "Show Business: Stranger in a Strange Land". Time. Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c Hayes, Dade (February 24, 2022). "'ALF' Distribution Rights Are Acquired By Shout! Factory, Which Plans New Wave Of "Pop Culture Content" Tied To 1980s Sitcom". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  6. ^ "Ryan Reynolds is Bringing Alf Back for His Maximum Effort Channel". MovieWeb. July 24, 2023.
  7. ^ Gilbreath, Aaron (June 8, 2012). "The Alfinian Way: Nuclear War and the Thoughts of an Alien". HtmlGiant. Retrieved March 23, 2024.
  8. ^ "Nielsen's Top 50 Shows". Retrieved September 4, 2012.[dead link]
  9. ^ Brillstein, Bernie; Rensin, David (2004). The Little Stuff Matters Most: 50 Rules from 50 Years of Trying to Make a Living. New York City: Gotham Books. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-5924-0079-9. Retrieved March 23, 2024.
  10. ^ a b "Alf: 1986-1990". People. Vol. 53, no. 25. June 26, 2000. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  11. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved June 27, 2019.[dead link]
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