ALF has been a constant presence on TV for three decades, from 'Hollywood Squares' to 'The O'Reilly Factor'
Let's take a look at ALF's many cameo appearances.
From synth-pop to the Ghostbusters reboot, the Eighties revival has been happening for the entirety of the 21st century. Spuds MacKenzie is back in Super Bowl commercials. Target is using Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock's "It Takes Two" in its advertising. Nostalgia for the Reagan Era seems almost permanent.
But for ALF, the 1980s have not returned — they never went away. The furry brown puppet has remained one of the most enduring icons of the decade, ever since his sitcom ended in the spring of 1990. ALF stickers can be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy. ALF dolls pop up on ABC's The Goldbergs. The Melmacian wise guy encapsulates the pop culture of that time. It's no wonder that when people want to evoke the 1980s, ALF typically shows his hairy mug.
Need proof? Here are fifteen projects that have featured ALF over the last thirty years.
1. The New Hollywood Squares
It takes a sharp wit to sit in the center square. Quick comic minds like Paul Lynde and Joan Rivers were permanent fixtures at the middle of this classic game show. In the 1980s revival, hosted by John Davidson, ALF was the clear choice for the strategic center.
Image: NBC / King World / YouTube
The worlds of Melmac and Mayberry merged (somewhat) on the Andy Griffith mystery series. In "The Network," Matlock heads to L.A. to defend a TV producer accused of murder. ALF appears as a network employee, alongside other celebs like Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Betty White and Jason Bateman.
3. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
NBC had its popular alien as a host of the annual TV event. Naturally, ALF expressed particular interest in the giant Garfield cat balloon — until he learned it was made of vinyl. "If I wanted to eat something that big made out of vinyl," he quipped. "I would have eaten Willard Scott's garment bag."
Image: NBC / YouTube
4. U.S. Department of the Interior PSA
ALF may be an insult comic in the vein of Don Rickles or Rodney Dangerfield, but that doesn't mean he's heartless. The Alien Life Form did his best to protect Earth in this public service announcement: "I'd like to talk to you about your planet. I like it! And you should, too."
Image: TV Rewind / YouTube
In "The Geek," during a dream sequence, ALF plays a beaurocratic St. Peter sort, guarding the gates of heaven. Man, what did Blossom have for dinner?
Image: Disney-ABC Domestic Television
6. Project: ALF
Martin Sheen, star of Apocalypse Now, headlined this definitely-not-Apocalypse-Now TV movie. Though, Sheen did play a military man in both. In this series sequel, ALF is now kept as a prisoner at Edmonds Air Force Base. "I'm the same color Lucy was, towards the end," he laments to a guard.
Image: Alien Productions / ABC
7. The Simpsons
"The Springfield Files," season 8, episode 10, is one of the more memorable Simpsons. It's the X-Files spoof in which a glowing Mr. Burns is mistaken for an alien. Before the mystery is solved, however, a police lineup of suspect aliens is presented — including our Melmacian.
Image: 20th Century Fox Television Distribution
8. Talk Soup
We could not find an exact date for this, but years before the snarky show evolved into The Soup with Joel McHale, ALF appeared as a guest host. "You're not in some kind of mid-'80s time warp," he explained to viewers. "I'm everyone's favorite alien life form — I'm Regis Philbin."
9. Love Boat: The Next Wave
Yep, the Love Boat returned at the turn of the millennium, helmed by Robert Urich on the UPN. In "Trances of a Lifetime," a disgruntled hypnotist puts the crew and passengers under a spell. A young girl imagines her doll is talking to her. Wait… how does this relate to "Love"?
10. 10-10-220 Commercials
E.T. wasn't the only alien looking to phone home. ALF became the spokesperson of the discount long-distance service. (Sorry, youngsters of the smartphone era, it would take to long to explain.) Terry Bradshaw, Mike Piazza, Hulk Hogan, Emmitt Smith and Toby Keith appeared alongside ALF in the ads.
Image: Telecom*USA / YouTube
11. ALF's Hit Talk Show
TV Land attempted to turn ALF into the new Carson, even going so far to cast Ed McMahon as the sidekick on the coach. Meant as a one-off to lead into reruns, the high-concept chat show expanded into a short run of seven episodes. ALF interviewed celebs like Drew Carey and Joe Mantegna. Despite the aspirational title, it was not a hit.
Image: TV Land
12. The O'Reilly Factor
"When we last left you in 1990, you were arrested by the U.S. military," the Fox News host inquired, in reference to series finale "Consider Me Gone," a cliffhanger that went unresolved. "Do you remember that, ALF? Were you tortured?" Yep, this was an actual segment of The Factor. ALF brushed off the notion. "No, no. It's was a TV show, man!"
Image: Fox News
13. Good Morning America
In recent years, ALF has become fond of wearing Hawaiian shirts in his TV appearances. Perhaps he's enjoying an island lifestyle these days? He popped up as a guest as part of the morning chat show's Totally Awesome 80s Week.
Image: ABC / YouTube
14. Mr. Robot
ALF is a surreal character, but this David Lynchian episode of the acclaimed cable series took things to a new level of trippy flashbacks. After Elliot, the troubled hacker at the center of the show, is beaten, he slips into a twisted fever dream styled like a 1980s sitcom. ALF turns up, recklessly driving a BMW.
Image: NBCUniversal Television Distribution
15. Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie
Johnny Depp starred as Trump in this spoof adaptation of the real estate mogul's 1987 business memoir. ALF plays the best man at Trump's wedding to Ivana.
Image: Funny or Die
SEE MORE: 13 OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD FACTS ABOUT 'ALF'
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Image: The Everett Collection