Not only have we brought you truths about the show, but we have also discovered what ended up with all cast members. Join us as we take a look at ALF’s characters (and actors), and see what they are up to today.
They Were Two of a Kind
You might not have noticed this when you initially watched the show, however, it is amazing to think that ALF (the puppet) did not always look the same. The reason for this was that there were two puppets, and each puppet was used for a different purpose, believe it or not.
One was used for shots taken from the stomach up, and the other puppet was used for full-body shots. For those full body shots, actor Mihaly Meszaros stepped in as he was only two feet nine inches tall. Seeing that he was the "star" of the show, it makes sense that so much work went into the creation of ALF.
Anne Schedeen as Kate Tanner
Who can forget good old Kate Tanner, the matriarch of the family in "ALF?" Anne Schedeen plays the strong and dominant mother and wife who ends up being the only member of the Tanner family who manages to put the furry alien in place. The Kate and ALF relationship was no love at first sight.
At first, Kate found it difficult to adjust to the new addition to their family. However, as the series and plot developed, Kat eventually treated ALF as if he was her own. It was kind of like the dynamic that many heads of the family have with a new pet.
Anne Schedeen - Now
Anne Schedeen is probably the most famous actress we have managed to draw from the "ALF" cast. Since her Kate Tanner days, Schedeen had maintained a fulfilling and stable acting career. She did not stick only to comedy, and she spread her talent in many other fields in the industry.
She starred in "Judging Amy" and in the legal drama "Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Lobster." Almost a decade ago, in 2014, Schedeen gave a final show when she appeared on "Tiny Nuts," and since then, she has been working as an antique interior decorator. She seems to be enjoying her golden years.
The show was initially intended for teens and young adults. However, unexpectedly, and not long after the first few episodes were aired, it became a huge hit amongst younger audiences. This called for rewriting the script and the tone and content of it became a lot more mature.
In the first few episodes, ALF is seen drinking a beer which would not be considered suitable for children to watch (because aliens need to have fun too, you know?). When the production realized that kids were into the show, all scenes, which included ALF and alcohol, were rewritten. It was a delicate balancing act, truth be told.
Paul Fusco as the Voice of ALF
The beating heart and the living soul of ALF (both the show and the character) is Paul Fusco, who voiced the puppet for all those seasons. He turned ALF into the sarcastic and witty alien that, without Fusco, would simply not be the same. He made what could've been just a weird-looking alien actually be quite relatable.
Paul Fusco was not only the man behind the voice. He took part in designing the puppet, deciding what it would eventually look like, and was responsible for many factors that turned ALF into the most adored puppet in TV history. He wrote and directed many of the show's episodes too.
Paul Fusco - Now
Being such a successful puppeteer, Paul Fusco was one of the greatest around. However, not many knew what he really looked like as he was always behind the scenes. He kept ALF alive by bringing the furry alien as a guest star in "The Cindy Margolis Show" and "Love Boat: The Next Wave."
In 1996 a full-length movie, "Project ALF," was released. Until 2016, ALF was embraced on many shows, and even a short-running host show presented by his was aired. Fusco is not associated with many projects or shows besides ALF. In 2023, he appeared as ALF in an episode of "The Simpsons."
ALF the King
In 1988, when "ALF" was at its peak, the show's production and popular fast-food chain Burger King underwent the most unlikely of teams. Burger King's collaborative promotion with the show included a giveaway ALF puppet and a vinyl record (this was before CDs exploded into the world - so a long time ago).
If you put the record on play, you would be able to hear a recording of ALF (voiced by Paul Fusco) singing out-of-space hits like "Take Me, ALF, to the Ballgame" and "Melmac Rock.” Those records must be worth a fortune today, so grab on to it if you have one.
Max Wright as Willie Tanner
If we put ALF aside for a moment, we have to admit that Willie Tanner was the star of the show. Willie was the one who brought ALF into his house in the first place and got the show going. Willie Tanner was a stressed and uptight character who spends most of his time trying to hide ALF from the outside world.
Wright admitted that the work on "ALF" was demanding and that he personally found it very difficult to communicate and form a relationship with a puppet. Before his time on "ALF," Wright appeared on shows such as "Taxi," "Buffalo Bill," and "Cheers," among others.
Max Wright - Now
When filming the last episode of "ALF," Wright was so eager to leave he waited for the final cut calling, packed his things, and vanished. He was determined to end that episode in his life. Over the years, Max Write appeared on some TV shows like "Murphy Brown" and "The Drew Carey Show."
However, he is without a doubt best known for his role as Willie Tanner. Write ditched showbiz altogether, and he is very rarely mentioned. In 2017, he lost his first wife and ended up moving to Germany with his partner. Sadly though, in 2019, Wright passed away. He had been diagnosed with lymphoma back in 1995 and was in remission for 14 years.
The creators of "ALF" invested much time into the creation of the show. They picked the most suited cast, they did not cut down on manpower when it came to operating the puppet, and they also gave a lot of thought when it came to naming the show's iconic episodes.
Every single title is obviously related to the storyline of the episode. However, did you ever notice that all titles are actual names of existing songs? This included the Beatle's "When I'm Sixty-Four" and "Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran. It's safe to say that ALF really loved his music!
Liz Sheridan as Raquel Ochmoneks
"Seinfeld" had Newman, "Full House" had Kimmy Gibler, and "Married with Children" had The D’Arcys. What did ALF and the Tanners have? They had the Ochmoneks. Raquel Ochmonek is the nosy neighbor who suspects something is going on next door. And surely enough, she was right.
The Tanners do everything they possibly can to hide Alien ALF from the outside world. However, Rachel is a stubborn neighbor, and when she knows something is going on, then something is going on. Her relationship with Trevor, her husband on the show, spices up the storyline too. They really were standouts in a show that had an alien.
Liz Sheridan - Now
Liz Sheridan did not undress from her comic role very easily and played Jerry's mother on "Seinfeld." "ALF" and "Seinfeld" ended up airing at the same time, making Sheridan one of the most recognized names in the industry at the time.
Over the years, Liz has starred in many roles, some bigger and some minor. However, one of her biggest stories was actually off the screen. In her wild days, Sheridan was involved with the almighty James Dean. Sheridan's final acting role came in the 2010 movie "Trim." Sadly though, in 2022, Sheridan passed away in her Manhattan home. She was 93 years old.
Bob Denver as Gilligan
ALF was a huge fan of "Gilligan's Island." In most episodes, if he was glued to the screen, Gilligan was on. He even made the effort and dressed like a cast member of the iconic show. He wonders why life could be more like the island and less like Tanner's home and creates his own Gilligan's Island in the backyard.
Bob Denver, who was loved and known at the time for playing the role of Gilligan on "Gilligan's Island," jumps out of one screen and into another and sparks the episode with glamor and humor in the most Gilligan way. It was a pretty awesome crossover.
Bob Denver - Now
In 2005, the entertainment world said goodbye to one of its funniest comedic actors and iconic characters. He was, of course, best known for his role of Gilligan on "Gilligan's Island" and Maynard G. Krebs in "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis." He made his loot from spinoffs and reruns and lived a life like any other Hollywood star at the time.
Denver didn't succeed on the big screen, and his fame was mainly from TV shows, although he did have his share on Broadway with a few hits. He even replaced Woody Allen in the production of "Play it Again, Sam," which earned him praise from the NY Times.
Benji Gregory as Brian Tanner
For some, Brian Tanner, played by Benji Gregory, was the star of the show. Many parts of the script were written from his point of view, and when ALF joins the family, Brian discovers his partner in crime.
Brian had a cat named Lucy, which ALF tried to eat regularly, and it was one of Brian's jobs to keep the alien away from Lucy. In one episode, when Brian is not a little kid anymore, he is seen wondering and asking himself if spending so much time with ALF as a child wasn't a mistake. He felt that those days were wasted and will never return.
Benji Gregory - Now
Benji Gregory is one of the only child stars of his age who managed to have some kind of acting career after his time on the show that made him famous came to an end. Well, at least for a few years, that is. He starred in the most successful shows that aired then, like "The A-Team" and "Murphy Brown."
When Gregory felt acting was not the thing for him, he joined the US Navy for a few years. He was then dismissed and, since, has not quite gotten on the right route. He is determent to come back to showbiz.
A Hard Day's Night
Who would have thought that a 30-minute episode needed so many hours of filming? "ALF" made the audience laugh and was a truly entertaining show. However, the filming process of each and every episode was nothing to laugh about. It could be a real ordeal, from time to time.
Using a puppet made filing so much harder, and the cast would sometimes find themselves shooting one episode over ten, twelve, and sometimes twenty hours. The elevated stage they had to use for operating the puppet is what made things so difficult and complicated. It's clear though that all the hard work and overtime ultimately paid off.
Andrea Elson as Lynn Tanner
Andrea Elson played one of the leading roles in the show. She is best known for having been the charming and beautiful Lynn Tanner. When the show first kicked off, Lynn was an annoying and obnoxious teen. But over time, she developed into a warm and loving young woman.
Not everything was peachy on set, and Elson has reportedly said that the tension on set was impossible to ignore at times. ALF had a remarkable impact on the changes she went through. He softened her, and the two developed a beautiful relationship with great stories. Truth be told, Lynn was one of ALF's best friends.
Andrea Elson - Now
Andrea Elson was very successful during the 1980s and 1990s. However, that's when things kind of froze for her. She had several guest appearances in many shows, including the likes of "Who's the Boss" and "Mad About You."
Acting opportunities in shows such as "Step by Step" and "Men Behaving Badly" came along. But Elson's last acting gig came in the popular soap opera "The Young and the Restless." Although she fell off the radar for a few decades there, Elson has since taken a complete turn in life. As of 2016, she has been making a living as a yoga instructor. She even owns her own studio.
ALF Was Not Alone
Any diehard fan of the show knows exactly how ALF found his way into the life of the Tanners. ALF accidentally lands in Tanner's garage, arriving from the planet Melmac. All he wants to do is return home to his family, and apparently, a family did exist.
ALF was not alone, and he had two sisters waiting for him back in space. One was named Augie, and the other Diane. When the animated version of ALF was released, Augie ended up showing up in the animated spin-off. Diane was not left behind, as she could be found in ALF playing cards that ended up getting released.
Anne Meara as Kate's Mother, Dorothy Halligan
There is a lot to say about the cast of "ALF, " and one of the greatest things they did was cast Anne Meara as Kate Tanners' mother, Dorothy Halligan. The show's production didn't settle for only strong characters within the Tanner family and did exceptionally well with forming secondary stories.
Dorothy Halligan and ALF are like cat and mouse. They practically hate each other, and in one episode, she threatens that she will turn the furry alien into a carpet. Of course, Meara had already established herself as a TV star, appearing in shows such as "Archie Bunker's Place."
Anne Meara - Now
Anne Meara was in showbiz for more than half a century, and during those years, she met Jerry Stiller. Younger fans might not realize that they are actually the parents of Ben Stiller. Over the course of her career, Meara ended up grasping many awards, including an Emmy, a Tonny, and a Writer’s Guild Award.
She played alongside her husband in "The King Of Queens," who together were at one point one of Hollywood's most famous couples. Meara's final role in film or TV came in a voice role in the animated motion picture "Planes: Fire & Rescue." A year later, Meara sadly passed away at the age of 85.
A German Rock Star
It was just home soil that "ALF" was massive in. In the late 1980s, "ALF" became a huge hit in Germany. Not only was the show a huge success, but the invented character became a legendary rock star. Everything was dubbed at the time, and his singing voice was Tommi Piper's.
ALF (the rock star) released two albums and four singles which all became great local hits. This shows that even for out-of-space visitors, the skies are the limit. With comics, toys, video games, and all kinds of other merchandise, there's virtually nowhere in the world that "ALF" didn't reach.
David Ogden Stiers as Flakey Pete
If you were on one show, sure, it was most likely that you would appear on another. That is how it was in the 1980s, and that is how it was with David Ogden. He was cast as Flakey Pete, who appeared on the show in just two episodes.
Flakey Pete was wandering the Tanner's neighborhood during one Thanksgiving. He knocked on their door and begged for shelter as he had nowhere to go. ALF is the one who ends up giving him food, clean cloth, and love. It just shows how kind and loving this fluffy little alien actually was.
David Ogden Stiers - Now
David Ogden didn't stop with "ALF," and he didn't stop with playing the role of Major Charles Emerson in "M*A*S*H" either. He contributed his voice to the 1991 version of "Beauty and the Beast," "Pocahontas," and many more. Ogden Stiers was also a passionate musician, having been an associate conductor of the Newport (Oregon) Symphony Orchestra.
His final performance of any kind came when he lent his voice to the role of Belhifet in the 2016 video game "Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear." Two years later, Ogden Stiers passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was a great loss to the industry, and he has definitely left an erasable mark.
Why Was ALF Always Hungry?
ALF was known for many things. He had a great sense of humor. And deep inside, he had a great big heart and naturally only wished good for those around him. There was another thing he was known for, and that was his appetite. ALF was constantly hungry and looking for something to eat. But why?
As it turns out, besides the big nose and long brown furry coat, the Melmac creatures had eight stomachs. Seriously, how was he able to fit eight stomachs into that relatively small body of his? So no matter how much he ate, there was always room for more.
Jim J. Bullock as Neal Tanner
The character of Neal Tanner carried a story of its own on the show. Neal was Willie Tanner's brother, who moved in with them after separating from his wife. When he first met ALF, they both went on a bumpy ride. And that's just putting it lightly.
Soon enough, ALF's charms captivated Neal, and the two stitched up a close friendship. The furry friend from out of space and Uncle Neal had one of the funniest and most entertaining relationships on the screen. Before "ALF," Bullock was one of the leads of the TV show "Too Close for Comfort" and appeared in films such as "Full Moon High" and "Spaceballs," to name a few.
Jim J. Bullock - Now
Playing on "ALF" was not Jim J. Bullock's prime hour. He starred in "Too Close For Comfort" and proved that there was much more to him than just Uncle Neal. He was not only a classic sitcom actor, and he had a great future ahead of him.
He went on to play in "The Bold and the Beautiful" and even got some screen time in the classic "Roseanne." Other shows he showed up in include "Seinfeld," "The Bold and the Beautiful," and "Glee." The last we heard from Bullock was in 2015, and it appears he hasn't been doing much since.
How Did ALF End Up In Willies Garage?
Not many remember the full details of the show and recall that it told the story of the alien ALF, the way he always got into trouble, and his love for eating cats. But how did ALF get on planet Earth to start with? The answer is pretty simple, actually.
In short, ALF's spaceship got lost in space after his home planet was destroyed. The spaceship followed the radio signals from Willie's garage. Those signals lead the spaceship right to the Tanners' home. It's a pretty simple origin story and the real mystery is this: How did ALF stay on Earth for so long?
David Leisure as Brandon Tartikoff
David Leisure was warmly embraced onto the set of "ALF," being already famous for his role as Charley Dietz on "Empty Nest." He was also a recognized face in many commercials on TV back in the 1980s. On "ALF," Leisure played more than one role, albeit over the course of a couple of episodes.
He played Brandon Tartikoff, a big NBC executive, in one of the episodes. In another, he played Nicky "The Fish" Mintz. Both characters only had a brief appearance. Despite this, Leisure made a pretty big impact during his short stint on the show. He had also already appeared on shows such as "T.J. Hooker" and "Falcon Crest."
David Leisure - Now
David Leisure didn't reach his prime in movieland and, how should we put it, things dried up when it came to big screen shows. For the past 20 years, he has been guest-starring in many sitcoms and has played significant roles on many shows. Amongst others, we have seen him on "Days of Our Lives" and "General Hospital."
His personal life story has been quite rocky, to say the very least. Leisure has been married three times and divorced three times from three different women, having two children along the way. He once said that he was relieved that his career was not as unstable as his love life.
Back in the 1980s, every successful show, being animated or not, and almost every sports field had trading cards. There was nothing more satisfying than having all cards in a set. There were the "Garbage Pail Kids," and baseball cards, soccer cards, and just celebs on a card. ALF was no exception.
The ALF cards took things one step further. They were dedicated to sports and showed ALF in a variety of sports uniforms and highlight moments. The cards featured Melmac's most popular celebs participating in their national sport, Bouillabaisseball. If you're a diehard ALF fan, you definitely need these in your life - whatever the cost.
Ricky Paull Goldin as Danny Duckworth
Danny Duckworth, played by Ricky Paull Goldin, was Lynn's boyfriend, and during most of his time on the show, he played for the school's baseball team. While he wasn't in the show that much, Danny was a huge hit with the ladies due to his charm and good looks.
This was not Golding's first acting role, and when he joined "ALF's" cast, he brought an impressive CV. He starred on the ABC show "Hail to the Chief," where he played the son of the first-ever female president, played by Patty Duke. He also appeared in episodes of "MacGyver" and "St. Elsewhere."
Ricky Paull Goldin - Now
After his time on "ALF," Ricky Paull Goldin had regular roles on a number of other TV shows. These included the likes of "Another World," "The Young and the Restless," "Guiding Light" and "All My Children." He eventually ended up moving to the other side of the camera.
He loved the industry but wanted to invest his life in producing shows and movies. He has built an astonishing reputation and is one of the best in his field. "The Celebrity Arabian Adventure" and "Seeing VS Believing" were both produced by Goldin, and there is more from where that came from.
ALF Was a Pioneer
Now you might not have noticed this back then while watching the show, but the sound of the recording was unique, and something unheard of until the show aired. When it came to sound, ALF was a pioneer. These were the 1980s when technology kicked in, and every small change made a huge difference.
"ALF" was the first television show in the entire world to be presented in Dolby Surround Sound. The surround sound enabled the audience to hear the sounds from the sides, above, and from behind. These days, that kind of sound is taken for granted, but back then, it was completely revolutionary.
Paul Dooley as Whizzer Deaver
Paul Dooley's role in "ALF" was a momentary one. He played Whizzer Deaver, a musician, among other things, and unlike Dorothy Halligan, his on-show wife, he forms a strong and meaningful relationship with ALF.
Although he only appeared in three episodes, he became one of the most popular guest stars on the show and one of the most significant ones too. Of course, Dooley had already done a lot on TV and beyond. Before "ALF" he appeared in shows such as "Get Smart," "Bewitched," "Sesame Street," and "The Golden Girls." He famously starred alongside the late Robin Williams in 1980's "Popeye."
Paul Dooley - Now
Paul Dooley's guest appearance on "ALF" was so welcomed. He was one of the superstars of the 1970s and was recognized for his role in "Breaking Away." He then moved on to "Sixteen Candles," "Strange Brew," and"Come Away Home."
Dooley has not only shared his acting talent, but he has been writing and performing as a stand-up comedian. Even today, well into his 10th decade, he is still successfully pulling off roles, engraving, even deeper, his mark. Since the turn of the millennium, he has shown up in shows such as "7th Heaven," "Scrubs," and "Grey's Anatomy," to name a few.
Hated Behind the Scenes
ALF was adored by everyone. Wherever you would go and whoever you asked, everyone loved the cute furry alien. He was the most popular figure at Halloween, he was the most talked about show for years, and he was the star of the screen. But truth be told, things were not the same behind the scenes.
No one could stay oblivious to the tension and aggravation that existed behind the curtains. ALF (the characters and the ones who operate the puppet) were not as popular as they were on screen. The other cast members found it difficult to compete for fame and play second fiddle to a doll.
Bill Dailey as Dr. Larry Dykstra
The storyline of "ALF" had to branch out. And therefore, it couldn't remain within the boundaries of the Tanner family. This is where Dr. Larry Dykstra, played by Bill Dailey, was introduced. ALF and Dr. Dykstra spent a lot of time together and formed an honest and warm relationship.
Whatever went on between ALF and Dr. Larry Dykstra was confidential and was never spoken about outside of the clinic's walls. ALF's therapy sessions helped him cope with day-to-day issues and obstacles that came his way while living with the Tanners. Before his time on "ALF," Dailey was a lead in the hit sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie."
Bill Dailey - Now
If there is one underrated actor mentioned here, it has to be Bill Dailey. Before becoming Dr. Larry Dykstra, Dailey was a rising star on "Dream of Jeannie" and "The Bob Newhart Show." After "ALF," he showed up in shows such as "Bob" and "The Naked Truth."
By the time he was cast in his role on "ALF," he was already past his prime days on the screen and spend the rest of his working days on the radio. In 2018, Dailey passed away of natural causes, five days after celebrating his 91st birthday. His ashes were scattered close to his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The last episode of the fourth season ended in a very unexpected way as the writers of the show ended the last episode with a cliffhanger. In the very last scene, ALF is taken by the U.S. army, a storyline that was apparently supposed to be resolved in the following season but was never shot.
The fans of the show had to wait almost six years to find out what had happened to their beloved furry friend. A spinoff series called "Project: ALF" was created, which revealed the ending of the story. However, it was nowhere near as close to being as successful as the original show.
Molly Hagan as Pregnant Woman
When a show becomes successful, it has a Christmas Special, and when "ALF" became successful, Molly Hagan starred in "ALF's" holiday treat. It was in 1987, and the two-part episode featured a woman in labor, played by Hagan. Imagine that, simply having a one-off role credited as "pregnant woman?"
ALF is called to the rescue when he realizes the woman is in need of help. Now, it all seemed to be a little unreal, and there was a feeling that the episode writers went a bit too far with the story, however, it did warm our hearts and fulfilled the holiday purpose.
Molly Hagan - Now
The two episodes Molly Hagan starred in back in 1987 were a drop in the ocean. As of today, she has gained more than 150 acting credits. She has starred in almost every show we can think of. "Grey’s Anatomy," "CIS: Los Angeles," and "iZombie" are just a small part of the list of TV shows that Hagan has featured in over the years.
The more mature audience will remember her from "Knots Landing" and "Dallas." These days she plays in the series "Walker," playing the character Abilene Walker. She has also appeared in shows such as "Better Call Saul," "The Orville," "Legion," and "How to Get Away with Murder" in recent times.
Marvel Had a Saying
Marvel of then was not the Marvel of today. Yes, Superman and Spiderman have always been and always will be, but as a profitable company, back in the 1980s, Marvel was nowhere near where it is today. They wanted to grab some of the fame that came with ALF, and they took ALF and gave it a Marvel touch.
Marvel Comics published a series of books telling the tale of ALF, the comics. All together 50 books were released, and for the huge fans and collectors, they are worth a few big bucks. We don't expect him to show up in an "Avengers" movie anytime soon though.
The Tanner Family was one of the most popular families in the 1980s. Everyone was familiar with Willie, Kate, Lynn, Brian, and their cat Lucky. But who remembers baby Eric? In the third season of the show, Kate gives birth to a new baby boy named Eric. Eric was part of the cast until the final episode.
Having another child was not part of the original script, and it were all kinds of improvisation as the show was running. Anne Schedeen (who played Kate Tanner) fell pregnant in real life. The production didn't want to let Anne go or replace her with another actress, so her pregnancy was written into the storyline.
Josh Blake as Jake Ochmonek
Josh Blake plays the role of Jake Ochmonek, the nephew who comes to live with his aunt and uncle. He goes through a difficult time, as most young teenagers would go through what he did, and eventually moves in next door with the Tanners.
ALF is Jake's role model. He looks up to him and sees beyond the lump of fur and, oh yeah, the fact that he's an extraterrestrial from the planet of Melmac. ALF helps Jake cope with life's obstacles and turns him into a well-educated and polite young man. Before "ALF," Blake had already been on TV shows such as "Comedy Factory" and "Once a Hero."
Josh Blake - Now
Many kids who ruled the industry in the 1980s continued to appear on many sitcoms that aired then, and Josh Blake was no exception. He starred in "Married with Children" and "Full House" and planned for a grand acting career.
But not everything in life goes the way we hoped it would, and this can definitely be said for Blake. Ultimately, in the early '00s, he dropped acting altogether and invested his time into real estate. Becoming an actor was always too risky in Josh's eyes, therefore he turned to a much more stable profession. He played his cards right as he is very successful in what he does.
What Do You Know About ALF?
The TV show "ALF" was one of a kind, and there are facts and figures that we are sure you have forgotten or never knew to begin with. ALF was born on the 28th of October, 1756. He came from the planet Melmac, where the sky is green, and the grass is blue.
The sun in Melmac was not as hot as the one on Earth, and instead of being in a shade of gold, it was in all shades of purple. Melmac was destroyed, and ALF found himself lost in space. Hence why he ended up in the Tanners' household in search of a new life.
Fran Drescher as Brian's Love Intrest
Fran Drescher plays a small but extremely entertaining role in "ALF." She appears in one of ALF's dreams as the love interest of Brian Tanner, she dislikes ALF and tells Brian to get rid of him. Luckily enough, this was only in ALF's dream.
Fran Drescher didn't have to do much to make the audience laugh. Her unique and squeaky tone of voice and her overall appearance was enough to make this specific episode one to remember. Before "ALF," Drescher had already shown up in shows such as "Who's the Boss?" and "Fame," among others. She even had a cameo in "Saturday Night Fever."
Fran Drescher - Now
There is no need to introduce Fran Drescher, the coolest nanny in town. Not everyone will remember her for her role in "ALF" as it was a minor one, however, no one is unfamiliar with Drescher's greatest show, "The Nanny." She was one of the biggest names in the 1990s.
Playing the lead on "The Nanny" opened the door for many other roles to come her way, and she contributed her unique voice to many animated shows. In more recent times, Drescher has been known for being the National President of the SAG-AFTRA - otherwise known as the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
Jerry Stahl (One of the Writers of "ALF")
Jerry Stahl was one of the writers of the series - officially penning three episodes. He is no stranger to showbiz, nor are his life scandals. And he is better known for his autobiography, "Permanent Midnight," which covers the story of Stahl's previous life habits and what it was like being a writer in Hollywood.
His book was then turned into a movie that featured Ben Stiller. "ALF" even makes an appearance in the movie too. He appears as Mr. Chompers in a much different environment than the Tanner household. It's safe to say though that "ALF" was where Stahl got his big break as a TV writer.
Carla Gugino as Laura
There is no sitcom without a cute romantic storyline. In "ALF," one of these love stories belongs to Jake and his love interest, Laura, played by the wonderful Carla Gugino. She was the classic girl from next door. Jake falls madly in love with Laura, and ALF is there to help Jack make the first move.
The alien is basically Jake's wingman. With ALF's help, Jack writes Laura love letters, expressing his feelings towards her. Sadly, no matter how hard Jack tried, their love story never bloomed and remained just a sweet dream. Gugio has already appeared on shows such as "Who's the Boss?" and "Saved by the Bell" prior to her appearance on "ALF."
Carla Gugino - Now
Although she had just a small supporting role in "ALF," Gugino has made it big in the industry. She developed her career through small roles in "Chicago Hope" and "Threshold" and slowly progressed to much greater things.
She has become a Hollywood superstar and made it big in "American Gangster" and "Watchmen." She recently played a vital role in the Netflix hit series "The Haunting of Hill House," and she also shown up in sequel shows such as "The Haunting of Bly Manor" and "Midnight Mass." It is reported that she is working on other significant and wonderful things too.
The Set Was Way Up High
The set of the Tanner home had to be built four feet above the ground. That was the only way Paul Fusco could puppet ALF from anywhere on the stage. Throughout the entire show, trapdoors were used to help Fusco operate the puppet. Those trapdoors were transferable, and occasionally they would be reset to fit the scene.
More time and manpower were invested in operating ALF than any other puppet seen on a tv show, and a rehearsal puppet was occasionally used so the team wouldn't wear out. You thought that it was a huge effort to make Yoda come to life? ALF took things to a whole new level.
Dean Cameron as Robert Sherwood
Dean Cameron plays a small role in "ALF," a mime who was part of the catering staff at one of the Tanner's parties. This party is where Robert Sherwood (Cameron) meets Lynn, the Tanner daughter, for the first time. It is not long after that the two begin dating.
The love story between Robert and Lynn didn't stretch into too many episodes, and the two young love birds went their separate ways. Truth be told, Cameron, didn't do too much prior to his time on "ALF." He showed in some TV productions such as the film "Prince of Bel Air" and the show "Fast Times." But afterward? Completely different story.
Dean Cameron - Now
In the 1980s, Dean Cameron was a fairly big name in the industry, so it was no surprise that he was cast for "ALF." But it was after his time on the show when things really took off for the talented young actor. Cameron would go on to appear in shows such as "The Mentalist" and "American Horror Story."
Cameron's most recent TV appearance came in an episode of the hit sitcom "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Prior to that, he appeared sporadically in shows such as "Glee" and "Shameless." He also had a role in the hit biopic "Straight Outta Compton," which came out in 2015.
Not Only a Domestic Success
"ALF" was huge in almost every household in the United States. It shared the same success in Europe, Oceania, and the Middle East, so besides reruns and home video cassettes of the show, "ALF" grasped a few awards on the way.
In 1987 it won The People's Choice Award. In 1988, it won the favorite show in The Kid's Choice Award, and the following year, the character of ALF, won the favorite actor award. The actors who played Lynn and Brian (Gregory and Elson) had a share of the nominees in the Young Actor category. In 1989 "ALF" was nominated for Best Family TV Series.
Teresa Ganzel as The Matinee Lady
It was an overwhelming shock when Teresa Ganzel appeared on "ALF." She was familiar with her role as a Matinee Lady on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," and the last place she was expected to be seen was on the alien sitcom. And yet, there she was, in a stunning dress and doing her classy thing.
In one episode, ALF hosts the "Tonight Show," where Ganzel accompanies him. This was another try of the show's writers to throw in a bit of spice and make the show a little more meta. Before "ALF," Ganzel also appeared in shows such as "Three's Company" and "What's Happening Now!"
Teresa Ganzel - Now
Teresa Ganzel will forever be remembered for "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." However, there are a few other roles she managed to get her hands on, and she has been part of the entertainment world for years. Her voice has been used in some of the most successful animated movies, like "Monsters, Inc," "Inside Out," and "Despicable Me," to name a few.
And she is also spending her time on online broadcasting and has been participating in several podcasts. In 2022, she showed up in the Nickelodeon series "Side Hustle." Also, did you know that at one point, she dated iconic voice actor Frank Welker? Just throwing that out there.