Without a doubt, ALF was a successful sitcom: it had an animated prequel which took place on Melmac, a spin-off for this animated series, a comic book issued by Marvel, a talk-show, a featured film (that explained what happened after the last episode of the television series), as well as numerous guest-appearances in other shows, games, music videos and so on.
It even had its own merchandise line, with trading cards and others.
Here are some interesting facts which can be found in these collectibles:
- It appears that anyone can be famous on Melmac: ALF’s great-great-great-uncle became famous for not being famous (well, isn’t this the same thing, nowadays, with all the socialites and all the celebrities made by the reality shows?)
- ALF majored from college after 63 years and became a Pedestrian Crossing expert.
- His real name (Gordon Shumway) is also the name of his grandmother, who became famous for splitting logs with her lips.
- After being an Orbit Guard, a professional Bouillabaseball player and a model for a short time, ALF tried being a stand-up comedian. It didn’t work out pretty well, so he invented the stand-down comedies. In his words, it wasn’t easy being funny on your own feet (which seems to me to be a nod at all the comedians that hire writers and researchers).
- One of his most famous jokes was, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t find a word to rhyme with “orange” (again, a nod to all the comedians who find it easy jumping from one thing to another).
- It appears that on Melmac there was also a tradition similar to the giving away of the bride – ALF did that too, although he never remembered to whom he gave her (which seems to me like they took it too literally on Melmac).
- Being an Orbit Guard saved his life: when Melmac exploded, ALF’s ship was sent into deep space; luckily, he was wearing his seat-belt.
- It was a pure accident that he arrived on Earth: instead of zigging, his ship zagged and was caught in our planet’s gravitational pull.
- Luckily, Earth has cats – ALF loves cats, especially with French fries (and this one is a classic).