ALF is a TV sitcom aired on NBC from September 22, 1986, to March 24, 1990. ALF is an acronym for Alien Life Form, whose real name is Gordon Shumway. He crash-lands in the garage of the Tanner family, a suburban middle-class family. But did you know how long it takes to shoot a 30-minute episode?
ALF’s production was tense. The set was elevated and full of trap doors that were constantly reset. Due to technical difficulties, the 30-minute show took 20 to 25 hours to film. Max Wright attacked ALF on a particularly stressful day, and the two had to be separated.
The Recording Nightmare?
Anne Schedeen, who played the matriarch, Kate Tanner, revealed that “there was no joy on the set” and that she was depressed working on the series. Furthermore, he dared to claim that his co-stars, such as Max Wright, had difficult personalities; it is even claimed that the actor once began to beat the doll, forcing them to intervene to remove it.
However, Fusco also made the workplace hostile to each of his coworkers. Meanwhile, little Brian Tanner, played by Ben Hertzberg, stated that he did not have apparent memories during the filming of ALF but did not want to continue acting at the end of the series. John LaMotta, who played neighbor Trevor Ochmonek, was the most forthright.
I’ve always thought ALF was crap. The worst job I’ve ever doneJohn LaMotta, Actor
The Rules on the ALF Production
Because its creator, Paul Fusco, had already developed an irreverent personality for the alien, NBC asked him to “soften the tone” of the alien, but he refused.
Alf’s beer consumption was only reflected in the first season, which the television network only did after much insistence. Another issue was the feline tastes of this being covered in orange fur, which had to be moderated, reluctantly, by its creator after a child microwaved his cat after watching the series.
Because the alien’s actions in the Tanner home were deemed dangerous, several scenes had to be re-shot, which irritated Fusco.
The strongest was seen in 2010 when unaired scenes were where ALF made sexual jokes and racist comments towards African Americans; these were not going to be broadcast, but they were still allowed. (Source: Archyde)
The Empowered Alien Doll
The actor Michu Meszaros, who was 84 centimeters tall and suffered from dwarfism, played ALF in some episodes of the first season, but for the rest of the series, an expertly controlled puppet performed in front of our screens, which is why the Tanner house was built on a stage five feet above the ground to facilitate their work for puppeteers, according to Formula TV.
But, in reality, the man behind this much-loved alien was Paul Fusco, a professional puppeteer and co-creator of the series with Tom Patchett. Despite having a great idea, his personality made everyone on set uncomfortable because he had a large ego.
In addition to handling Melmac’s sole survivor, he gave him his voice in the American version and did practically everything he wanted. The NBC network, where it was broadcast, criticized Fusco’s behavior, but Fusco justified himself by saying that ALF is a 285-year-old alien and can do these things. (Source: Archyde)
Image from Deadline