Paul Fusco

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Paul Fusco
  • Puppeteer
  • actor
  • television producer
  • writer
  • director
Years active1972–present
Employer(s)Alien Productions
Linda Fusco
(m. 1978)

Paul Fusco is an American puppeteer, actor, television producer, writer and director. He is best known as the puppeteer and voice of the title character on the sitcom ALF,[1] for which he also served as creator, writer, producer, and director.[2] He formed the production company Alien Productions with Tom Patchett and Bernie Brillstein.



Fusco created the ALF character in 1984 using an "alien"-looking puppet that he had in his house, which he used to annoy his family and friends. He wanted to create a television show based on the character. Through Bernie Brillstein he met Tom Patchett, and together they came up with the concept behind the ALF sitcom. They pitched the idea to NBC's Brandon Tartikoff, who loved the idea and commissioned the show. ALF was a success, beginning in 1986 and lasting four seasons, during which 99 episodes were produced.

Fusco also created and produced two animated series for NBC: ALF: The Animated Series and ALF Tales. A co-production of DIC, Alien Productions, Lorimar-Telepictures, and Saban Entertainment, the cartoons portrayed Gordon Shumway (ALF) and his family in their days on Melmac prior to the planet explosion. Animated segments were hosted by the live-action ALF, who read letters from viewers and told stories about life back home. Space Cats, a Paul Fusco-produced show in association with Marvel Productions, also ran on NBC in the early 1990s, which was another mix of live action puppetry and animation. The episodes would begin with the live action puppetry where Captain Catgut (voiced by Fusco), the leader of the Spacecats, would receive a mission briefing about the trouble at hand. Space Cats lasted one season and produced 13 episodes, being cancelled after NBC withdrew its commitment to Saturday morning cartoons.

NBC unexpectedly cancelled ALF in 1990 after production wrapped for Season Four, leaving the final episode ("Consider Me Gone") as an unresolved cliffhanger. ABC offered Fusco closure to the story arc and produced a television movie in 1996 called Project ALF co-starring Martin Sheen. The movie (produced by Paul Fusco Productions) saw ALF escaping from the military base where he had been held for testing, but the scientist who he thinks will help him is really plotting to expose his existence to the world on a television talk show.

Fusco kept ALF in the public eye as much as possible after Project ALF. Between 1996 and 2001, ALF made many television guest appearances including The Cindy Margolis Show, Talk Soup, and Love Boat: The Next Wave. Fusco continued the trend by featuring ALF on NBC's 75th Anniversary Show and the 2003 TV Land Awards. During 2003–04, he revived his guest spot on Hollywood Squares, and also became the "spokesalien" for phone company 10-10-220. ALF merchandise also returned with posters, figures and T-shirts. The U.S.-Canadian DVD release of the original sitcom was the recipient of much critical and fan backlash due to distributor Lionsgate Home Entertainment's insistence on utilizing syndicated/edited versions instead of remastering the original uncut NBC-TV broadcast versions, resulting in poor sales.[3] The German DVD release included complete episodes for all but three of the 99 entries.[citation needed]

The ALF renaissance led to ALF's Hit Talk Show in 2004, created and produced by Fusco for TV Land. The show was a mix of celebrity chat and skits filmed in front of a live audience from Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard and lasted only eight episodes.[4]

In November 2007, ALF appeared as "TV Icon of the Week" on The O'Reilly Factor. In 2016 ALF made appearances on two different television series, Mr. Robot[5] and Young Sheldon, one episode of each.

In August 2012, Fusco confirmed 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 Fusco.[6]


Year Film Role Notes
1972 Mr. Goober Unknown role [7]
1981 The Crown of Bogg Prince Milo/ Vandred Television film
1982 The Valentine's Day that Almost Wasn't Bugsy Slime, Sam Cupid
1983 Santa's Magic Toy Bag Santa Television film
1983 A Thanksgiving Tale Tom Turkey
1984 The Moonstone Gem Unknown role Television film
1985 Dumbo's Circus Master puppeteer Episode: "Uncle Lattimer Says "Merci""
1985 Kidstime with T.X. Critter T.X. Critter [8]
1986–1990 ALF ALF, Wayne Schlegel, Crime Stoppers Host, Rick Fusterman Main role
1987 ALF: The Animated Series ALF (voice) Main role
1987 Matlock ALF Episode: "The Network"
1988 ALF Tales ALF (voice) Main role
1989 The Wickedest Witch Ersatz Television film (Also producer)
1990 Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue ALF (voice) Television special
1990 A Very Retail Christmas Puppet performer
1991 Blossom ALF Episode: "The Geek"
1991 Space Cats Captain Catgut (voice and puppeteer) Main role
1996 Project ALF ALF Television film
1999 Love Boat: The Next Wave ALF Episode: "Trances of a Lifetime"
2000 The Cindy Margolis Show ALF Episode: "Out of This World"
2002 NBC 75th Anniversary Special ALF 1 episode
2003 TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV ALF 1 episode
2004 Hollywood Squares ALF 1 episode
2004 ALF's Hit Talk Show ALF 7 episodes
2007 The O'Reilly Factor ALF 1 episode
2011 Good Morning America ALF 1 episode
2012 The Hub's ALF Week ALF
2016 Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie ALF Television film
2016 Mr. Robot ALF Episode: "eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes"
2019 Young Sheldon[9] ALF Episode: "A Race of Superhumans and a Letter to ALF"
2020 Duncanville ALF (voice) Episode: "Sister, Wife"
2023 The Simpsons ALF (voice) Episode: "The Many Saints of Springfield"
2024 Impractical Jokers ALF Episode: "ALF"


  1. ^ O'Connor, John J. (September 22, 1986). "TV REVIEWS; 'TOGETHER WE STAND' AND 'ALF'". New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  2. ^ "Paul & Linda Fusco: ALF". YouTube. 0:45-0:57: University of Connecticut - Litchfield County Writers Project. April 4, 2007. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  3. ^ Lacey, Gord (August 13, 2004). "ALF – Lions Gate Explains Syndication Episodes on DVD Set". TVShows on Archived from the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved December 31, 2009.
  4. ^ "Greetings From Melmac: ALF Creator Paul Fusco on His Star Alien and Potential Comeback". The Hollywood Reporter. May 22, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  5. ^ Egner, Jeremy (August 11, 2016). "Sam Esmail on 'Mr. Robot,' His Special Guest Star and That Opening Segment (Published 2016)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  6. ^ Kit, Borys (August 8, 2012). "'ALF' Movie Lands at Sony Animation With 'Smurfs' Producer (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  7. ^ Hi There, Boys and Girls!: America's Local Children's TV Shows. Univ. Press of Mississippi. January 1, 2001. ISBN 9781604738193.
  8. ^ Hollis, Tim (October 29, 2001). Hi There, Boys and Girls! America's Local Children's TV Programs. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781578063963.
  9. ^ "(#YS211) "A Race of Superhumans and a Letter to Alf"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved December 12, 2018.

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