For all of the 80s shows mentioned on Retroland, perhaps one of the most fondly-remembered is ALF. Debuting in 1986 and airing for four seasons, ALF was an instant hit, as viewers couldn’t help but fall in love with the furry orange alien, always funny and always armed with a wisecrack at the ready. Today, we take a look back at this beloved sitcom.
ALF (Alien Life Form), also known as Gordon Shumway, hailed from the planet Melmac before it exploded and he was forced to flee. Finding his way to Earth by following radio signals, he inadvertantly crash-landed on the garage of a typical American family living in the suburbs, the Tanners. Father Willie, his wife Kate, daughter Lynn and young son Bryan brought the stranded visitor into their home and protected him from being discovered by the U.S. military’s ATF (Alien Task Force).
Always armed with a steady supply of sarcastic remarks, not to mention a voracious appetite and a taste for felines, Alf still managed to win over the hearts of the Tanner Family, despite his many mistakes while trying to acclimate to life on Earth. His faults only made him more endearing and he was loyal to a fault to his Earthy hosts.
Alf ran for four seasons on NBC before being unexpectedly canceled. Season four ended with a cliffhanger episode with the rust-colored critter being captured by the military. The note at the end of the epsisode that proclaimed “to be continued” never came to fruition as NBC decided to cancel without allowing producers one last episode to wrap things up. As a result, all we can do is ponder the fate of our beloved friend, who is probably either down in Gitmo, unless he somehow managed to escape his earthly bounds. Let’s hope for the latter.
If you were a loyal fan of the show and still hold a special place in your heart for this cat-chomping character with an acid tongue, we welcome all of your memories in our comments section as we pay tribute to one of the more unforgettable visitors to our planet in the 80s, here at Retroland.