Articles

In this section, I will list different articles about ALF that have been published in magazines over the years. So far there is only one, but in time there will be more for you to read.

This article is from a Swedish magazine called Starlet and was published in February of 1989. I had to translate the article from Swedish to English, so I hope you enjoy…

ALF – A Slob Worthy of Our Love

Can you love a slob?
Yes, if he’s as charming as ALF is. And the ALF fever is spreading. Soon the couch potato has a follower in every man’s living room! Here, dear readers, follows a love expression to everyone’s favourite slob. And a try to get a hold on why ALF’s fan base is growing like an avalanche.

Ever heard of ALF? The furry freak of a teddy bear that every week haunts hundreds of thousands TV viewers. He’s made such an impression on me that I nowadays circle the timeslot where ALF is aired in my TV-guide. I sit glued to the television so that I can from the depth of my soul howl with laughter at ALF’s foolishness. ALF partly gives the old saying “Enjoying other people’s misery is the only true joy” a new meaning.

ALF
is a space creature. A fantasy freak. Something went wrong on his planet Melmac, so ALF went to earth. And he ended up in the Tanner family’s living room. At first, I was sceptic to this arrogant character. But when he in an episode showed up as a born again hippie, I fell to the floor with pure admiration. God he was so sharp in his little shirt! And I’m not the only one having this perverted feeling. A whole continent loves ALF.

Why? ALF is both obnoxious and vulgar. Pretty unbearable if truth will be told. Nothing is sacred to ALF. He steps in shoes with nails underneath. He says what’s on his mind, for good and bad. My theory is that ALF behaves the way we humans would like to be able to. But we can’t. And we don’t dare. ALF won’t take no for an answer. He’s an overgrown baby that has never been slapped on his fingers. He’s unstoppable. A slob that will never grow up. Right or wrong doesn’t exist for him. He’s an outlaw. An anarchist. A renegade amongst teddy bears. Several times I’ve wondered why the Tanners don’t just buckle him up in his space shuttle and send him to a never-ending orbit around the world. But you always forgive him. Because he doesn’t know any better. He comes from another planet and such. Something he knows how to use in his advantage. He’s not dumb.

ALF
is himself at all times. A high ranked full-blooded egoist. Because when it comes to the task here in life there’s only one person you can trust. Yourself. ALF has known that all along. He doesn’t care what others think. He dares to show his less flattering sides. He doesn’t suck up to anyone. He is a child of nature and thanks to that he’s not ruined by psychological toys and educating kids programs about a foolish bear’s destiny and adventures.

Let us look a little closer at ALF. Let’s do an analysis of his persona in order to understand a little bit better why ALF has become a cult icon.

ALF The Pet Hater

To say that ALF hates pets is not quite fair, since he actually loves cats. But in the wrong way. He eats them. For breakfast. Fried in an oven due to the fact that a cat is hard to push down the toaster.
“Oh God how disgusting!” Is what every animal friend is yelling. And sure, it’s definite no-no. But truthfully; have you never felt an unbearable urge to kick your grandma’s half bald, loud, senile old poodle that growls and shows his teeth as soon as he feels your scent? And that won’t even be bribed with a luxury meal. Instead he shows lack of appreciation by lifting his leg and pees on your brand new jeans…

The Tacky ALF

ALF’s closet leaves more to wish for. He doesn’t have one, he walks around unembarrassed the way nature created him. Totally naked that is. Sorry ALF, but the body is not quite your biggest asset. Fat and hair covers most of it. But I’ll be damned if the natural ALF isn’t a bit sharper than polyester-ALF. His taste when it comes to suits is less than flattering. Watch out ALF, you are without competition USA’s worst dressed TV-star!

The Perverted ALF

ALF has a certain flaw. When the family is out he has private drag-shows in the spouses bedroom. But now we’re going to stop making fun on the expense of ALF’s choice of clothes. Because we all have something embarrassing in our closets.

The Vain ALF

Even ALF is vain. Maybe not so much about his looks. It wouldn’t be such a good idea. No, for ALF it’s more important with a big self-confidence and to always be right. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He always needs to be in the centre of everything. To get the crowds cheers. To feel appreciated. To get admiration and feel like Nr. 1. A real human quality. His self-confidence is really endless. Wouldn’t it be nice to be like ALF and dare to feel comfortable with ourselves? And to also have a big ego that makes sure no one steps on you?

The Curious ALF

One of ALF’s almost unbearable qualities is his almost obsessive curiosity. Willie Tanner, the man of the house, almost paid with his life when ALF tampered with the family’s homemade radio transmitter. ALF insisted on talking to the president. The whole CIA listened, convinced that the life of the President was in danger, or even worse, the whole nation. CIA traced the call, ran the Tanner’s house down and threw Willie on the floor, put cuffs on him and dragged him to jail. He almost got hung for that.
Once ALF put himself in danger because of his curiosity. It was when he put an electric device in the tub to get a Jacuzzi. By the shock, ALF flew out of the bathtub. Everyone knows, except for the curious ALF, that electricity and water is a hazardous mix! But he’s excused this time. I guess he didn’t know any better. He does come from another planet.

On the other hand it’s rude of him to barge in to the bathroom and pull the shower curtains aside when people are taking a shower. In that position, ALF is playing with fire. It would actually serve him right to get a slap in the face. Or getting soaked with the garden hose.

The Fat ALF

The beauty about ALF is that he’s not ashamed or agonized by his body. No, he thinks that 1 more pound of ALF is one more pound to love. Therefore, he devotedly sits, night after night, in front of the TV with a bucket of popcorn with extra butter. Along with that, he drinks gallons of beer to make sure he won’t get too skinny. The couch potato has a follower in every man’s living room!

Sometimes ALF works. But not too often and he prefers not to. He gets exhausted just hearing the word. ALF is one of those who fights for the right to be out of work, and at the same time still live a rich life. When he does work, he likes to portray a salesman. It seems natural to him since it comes easy for him. He’s not scared of imposing or bothering. And if there’s something he can do, it’s to talk. I guess you can call ALF a failure as a salesman, since he never finishes what he’s started. Endurance is not in his vocabulary. The family gets to take care of the leftovers. And the bills…

But if you try really hard you can find a sense of right and wrong even with ALF. The proof is that he doesn’t ask for permission when he borrows someone else’s toothbrush. He just does. He then gives a fake surprising look when the victim finds out and gets a green color in the face. Who wants to share a toothbrush with someone who eats cats? No one. ALF knows that.

ALF The Couch Potato

Then we have the ALF-type that has frightfully many followers: The couch potato. Everyone do their own share of household works in the Tanner family, except for ALF.
- Don’t mind getting up, says the man of the house behind the grocery bags he carries in to the house from the car.
- I wasn’t planning to, ALF replies.
He keeps, untouched, to eat his chips and watch TV, waiting for dinner to be ready.
Yet, we still love him. It’s a mystery. Just like the unthinkable that girls fall for the exact same type as ALF.
- Chicks dig me, says ALF without being modest. He thinks it’s because of the sparkling from his fur.
What conclusions can you draw from this? What does the hippie, pet hater, tacky, pervert, vain, curious, clumsy, fat and lazy ALF tell us?

ALF Is Deeply Human

Yes, ALF is simply a deep human creature. He’s got charm. ALF turns, unlike most of us, thought in to action. He says and does things we only dream of doing. The question is, isn’t he capable of contributing to us humans?
Maybe ALF can teach us to dare being humans. Confess to yourself that you’re human! Dare to show your not so flattering sides. ALF does. He doesn’t crawl. Bending over is just not his cup of tea. If someone wants something from ALF, they’ll have to come to him. He won’t move a muscle unless he really needs to.

The Presidential Candidate ALF

He can, however, make an effort in order to become a movie star. A movie about his life is actually planned.
And America wouldn’t be America if there hadn’t already been voices shouting “ALF For President”…
The campaign is led by a doll that, when you push its stomach, says: “A cat in every pot”.
Here at home, we’re anxiously waiting… Isn’t it time for the politicians to confirm their humanity and have ALF as their mascot?
It would be more honest. No one needs to be fooled by beautiful words and false promises. You can say what you want about ALF, but he’s deliberately honest. No dancing around. Just straight to the point.

ALF
speaks to our lowest instincts. But he does it with a glimpse in his eyes. He’s got charm. He’s simply deeply human. A slob worthy of our love. With him, life never gets boring! The ugly favourite snot from Melmac fills another unbelievably important function. He teaches us grouches that life is not over just because you’re not devastatingly beautiful. As long as you’ve got charm…

Below are some pictures from the Starlet article