ALF & Me

Part 1: This is the way it began…


The first time I saw ALF in the UK was September 1987. I remember reading in our TV Times magazine about ALF and it had good reviews so come that Saturday evening I sat down with my brother and watched the first episode and liked it, A
LF was funny and we liked his irritating dog like mannerisms and we wanted to watch more episodes.The show was a big hit in the UK and we watched almost every episode of the first season.

A year later I started a Christmas job in a toy warehouse and started to notice ALF plush toys appearing in our deliveries, great I thought the show must be a hit and had great delight lining lots of the plush ALF’s up on the shelf’s!


Season two was moved from an early evening slot to lunchtime on the ITV LWT channel so I was usually out but used to record the show but made sure I never missed an episode. I can’t remember too much about the episodes but do remember ALF’s Special Christmas and really enjoying that particular episode.

ITV only purchased the first two years of the show as the satellite broadcaster Sky was launched the following year and all of the big US shows were purchased for their Sky One channel. My brother and I brought Sky that year and there was ALF on Monday nights at 7pm every week. Sky loved ALF and like The Simpson’s treated it as one
of their flagship shows with trailers for the following weeks episode and regular articles in their TV guide.


These were the days of pre internet so I had no idea when I came to watch the season four episode Consider Me Gone that it was the last episode and the show had been cancelled. Sky didn’t care there weren’t going to be any more episodes and ran every episode every night for about a year, repeating most episodes at least three times. I was disappointed the show had ended but did manage to catch up on a few episodes I had missed and managed to tape every episode and for years I had ten VHS video tapes with every episode                    on with the ads cut out!


By 1992 Sky had stopped showing ALF and you could occasionally catch an episode on one of the German satellite channels. I used to trawl the boot fairs and second hand shops with my good friends Alex & Tone looking for what they called ALF toot! I remember once we were driving to the ci
nema and they were flying my ALF stick on toy in Super ALF style out of the window and then letting go of him!


ALF might have finished but many items turned up and my Melmac collection grew, for my birthday I was usually given some kind of ALF related item, one year Alex made me a custom KISS ALF (photos coming soon) another year it was four ALF hand puppets custom made into James Bond characters!


Around 1997 Sky showed PROJECT ALF and I must admit I was disappointed and like everyone else said what no Tanners? I have since come to like the film and think the scenes where ALF is being tested on are classic Melmacian moments.


A couple of years passed and I thought ALF was fit fo
r the 80’s nostalgia bin, I would occasionally get asked to copy an ALF VHS tape for a friend or his name would pop up in a pop quiz but never expected him to return.
I heard rumours that ALF would show up on Hollywood Squares and other guest spots like Blossom and The Love Boat but since I lived in the UK never got to see them.


Part Two…

 
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