Initial Thoughts on the New ALF Film

Fans have been waiting for ALF to come back to the big screen for several years, and are now getting their wish! As I read online articles about the upcoming ALF movie, I noticed both excitement and cynicism in the writing of the authors. From the fans, I have seen both excitement and concern in the last 12 hours. One question I was asked several times was, “will the Tanners be in the movie?” Honestly, it’s doubtful, as most of the cast is retired from acting. I also don’t see it going along with the rumored storyline, which is about ALF’s life on Melmac prior to crashing on earth. Again, this is not a confirmed storyline and dates back to 2006. I am hoping that there will have at least one cameo appearance, or one of the original cast members lending their voice for a character. Probably unlikely as well, but it never hurts to fantasize.

There also seems to be an overreaction, in my opinion, about the hybrid live-action/CGI concept for the film. We are all accustom to seeing ALF as a puppet…CGI would be blasphemy, right?! I prefer to take a more positive approach. We die-hard fans have 110% faith and confidence in Paul Fusco, and he has always made sure that the character remains “magical,” and I personally don’t see any reason that that will change with this film. It is possible that ALF could be a puppet for parts of the film, and that CGI would only be used for full-body shots, and anything requiring ALF to be more “active.” That is where I feel the hybrid part comes in. It would open up what the character can do, but will still retain the tradition and magic of the original character. I think we all need to wait and see more. If it is as good as the CGI Yoda, I think we will be pleasantly surprised. Regardless of what comes, I am excited for this film and have faith that Fusco & Company will deliver to their loyal fans. This I know for sure: we have not seen the last of the ALF puppet! I’m sure we will be seeing him in guest appearances for years to come.

Seeing as information on the plot is still a closely guarded secret, and rumors of it being about ALF’s life on Melmac has not been confirmed, it is impossible to speculate how the film will do. I spent part of the day reading reviews of the Smurfs movie, which was also done by Sony Pictures Animation, and has the same producer as the new ALF movie (Jordan Kerner). Most negative reviews I read were regarding the storyline and dull characters. We need to keep in mind that there will be a different writer, and quite possibly a different director, so I have no doubt that ALF will be the superior of the two films. Also, will it be geared towards adults? Children? Most likely the latter, but one thing that was terrific about the sitcom is that it appealed to both children and adults alike. I’m hoping that this film will be similar to the Shrek franchise in that it appeals to all ages. If they can achieve the same success with this film, we will definitely be seeing much more of ALF on the big screen! ALF: The Movie 2?

Cheers to Paul Fusco, Alien Productions, and Sony, as they are about to introduce ALF to a new generation of fans!

The Many Faces of ALF

Most of you are probably familiar with the ALF Burger King puppets/records/etc. from 1988. The puppets and records are arguably one of the most common ALF collectibles out there; however, the Record & Play Kits are a little more rare nowadays. Most fans have not heard the songs on the records. I have a complete set in my collection (with envelopes) and have taken pictures. MP3 files are also included for your listening pleasure (which I acquired from ALF fan Ken Netzel a few years ago – thanks Ken!). A few of my kits still have the original seal, so at present I am hesitant to open them and explore the contents, but here is the contents of the Melmac Rock kit.

1) Board game
2) Activity booklet and instructions/storage envelope
3) Fingerpuppet theater and poster
4) “Talking” puppet and record

Melmac Rock
Cookin’ With ALF
Melmac Girls
Take Me ALF to the Ballgame

Enjoy! If anyone has pictures of the other kits please feel free to send them my way and I will put them on here.

How many ALF episodes are there REALLY?

For years, people have said that there are 102 episodes in the ALF sitcom. I hate to break it to some of you, but you are only HALF right! There are 102 episodes…in SYNDICATION. Going by the original airings, there are only 99 episodes in the ALF sitcom. I know some of you are pulling your hair out right now (and thinking that what I am saying is blasphemy), but I ask that you hear me out and allow me to show you my research.

How could ALF not have made it to 100 episodes? The issue falls with the “two-part episodes” (I use “two part” loosely, you’ll see why), which are as follows.

-Try to Remember
-ALF’s Special Christmas
-Someone to Watch Over Me
-Tonight, Tonight
-Turkey in the Straw

Each of these, except for “ALF’s Special Christmas,” is a two-part episode on the DVD sets (and are “to be continued”), which is why people count them as two separate episodes. This was done when the show went into syndication. I propose we look much deeper and look at their production numbers, as well as when/how they aired back in the late 1980s. These tell the true story on whether or not they are one 1-hour episode, or two 30-minute episodes.

-Try to Remember – ONE production number (1023), both “parts” aired on the same night (February 9, 1987). This is a ONE HOUR episode, not two THIRTY MINUTE episodes (except when syndicated).
-ALF’s Special Christmas – ONE production number (2040), both “parts” aired on the same night (December 14, 1987). This is also a ONE HOUR episode, not two THIRTY MINUTE episodes (except when syndicated).
-Someone to Watch Over Me – TWO DIFFERENT production numbers (2019 and 2020), aired on separate nights (February 8/15, 1988)
-Tonight, Tonight – ONE production number (3006), both “parts” aired on the same night (October 24, 1988). Same here, a one hour episode.
-Turkey in the Straw – ONE production number (3008), both “parts” aired on back to back nights (November 14/15, 1988). This one would be debatable.

If you look at the above, ONE production number means ONE episode. For example, the episode “Try to Remember” was aired on the same night…it is a ONE HOUR single episode, not two 30-minute episodes. Same applies to “ALF’s Special Christmas,” “Tonight, Tonight,” and “Turkey in the Straw” (though this one was aired on back to back nights, it has ONE production number, not two).

The episode “Someone to Watch Over Me” appears to be the ONLY one that is TWO episodes (because it has two separate production numbers), the rest just being “one hour” ALF episodes. The ALF DVD sets also support this, “Someone to Watch Over Me” is one of two of the above that has two separate episodes on the DVD (Turkey in the Straw being the other, because it was aired on separate nights); you will also notice that the ALF DVD sets are in production number order, not airing order. Additionally, I acquired a press kit a few years back that has the synopsis for each ALF episode (official Warner Bros. and Paul Fusco approved issued material here), and it supports this information.

At this point we are looking at 98 or 99 ALF episodes, NOT 102.

Argument for 99 episodes: The released DVD sets have Turkey in the Straw and Someone to Watch Over Me as TWO episodes each. So the total number of episodes on the DVD sets comes to a total of 99 (remember, two episodes are repeated on some of the seasons 3 and 4 DVD sets before Lions Gate Entertainment caught the glitch, if you have those sets you end up with 101 episodes).

Argument for 98 episodes: Even though “Turkey in the Straw” is TWO episodes on the DVD set, it has ONE production number. The only issue is that it was aired on separate nights.

I think the nail in the coffin for this debate is whether the two part episodes were in ONE 60-minute slot, or TWO 30-minute slots. Here is what I found out using my VHS tapes (original airings with commercials from 1986-1990).

-Try to Remember – NO “to be continued” at end of episode
-ALF’s Christmas Special – NO “to be continued” at end of episode
-Someone to Watch Over Me – YES, to be continued (this one has two different production numbers anyways)
-Tonight, Tonight – NO “to be continued” at end of episode
-Turkey in the Straw – YES, to be continued (which would make sense because it was aired on back to back days)

Three of the “two-part” episodes were actually in 60-minute time slots, which would mean that these are single episodes. What I am actually saying is that the episodes Try to Remember, ALF’s Special Christmas, and Tonight, Tonight are NOT two-part episodes at all, but single episodes.

Thus, and to conclude, we are left to conclude that there are only 99 episodes in the ALF sitcom (we only get 102 when syndication breaks these episodes into “two-parters”).

Welcome to ALF Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I am Jeremiah, the webmaster/administrator/owner of the ALF TV website. I have created this blog as a way to offer my insights and opinions about ALF in a more formal format. I have been a fan since 1986, and have done much research into the character over the years. I look forward to starting my blogging career and educating you all on our favorite alien – thanks for visiting!