Thursday, May 2, 2013

Inconsistencies in the ALF Mythology: Part One of a Nine Part Series


Newsflash, you guys. The NBC sitcom ALF, which ran from 1986 to 1990 and featured a wisecracking puppet alien in the lead role, presents some RATHER GLARING inconsistencies in its diegesis. I’m sorry. I want to be respectful of the creative forces behind the show, but this is a truth which must be addressed. To you. RIGHT NOW.

Did you know that ALF stands for Alien Life Form? And that the other characters in the show referred to ALF as “ALF” for the entire show? Did you also know that the ALF character’s “real name,” on his home planet of Melmac, was Gordon Shumway? 

Did you already click on something else on the internet yet? Perhaps boobs? 

Because pay attention, fucksticks. All of those above rhetorical questions are true. True about ALF.

Okay, hotshots. Let’s say a wisecracking alien crash-landed in your garage. Okay? And you see this incredible thing happen, and you go investigate and you find, holy shit, there is an alive alien in your garage. So far so good. Let’s say you’re a weird human, so you heard or read somewhere or just kind of instinctively know that aliens aren’t just “aliens,” they’re “alien life forms.” So you say, “Looks like I’ve got an Alien Life Form in my garage. An A.L.F. Alf, if you will. I’ve got AN ALF.”

Still with me? We’re at “I’ve got an ALF in my garage.”

Somebody, maybe your idiot kid, I don’t know, it’s not like I’m going to actually watch the show again because it’s horrible; anyway, somebody says, “We should call him ALF for all time.” And you’re like, “Cool, yeah, that.” Alright guys? You tracking me, here?


Holy fucking fuck, right? 

You learn the story, slowly. Turns out he crash-landed after escaping his home planet’s nuclear destruction, okay, and  he was following your ham radio signal as a beacon, sure, and he’s not some genius or anything, in fact he’s just a gardener on his home world who happened to be in a spaceship at the time of his planet’s doom because he was conscripted into some kind of space-protection military service. All totally normal so far. Oh, and by the way, his fucking name is Gordon. He tells you this. “My name is Gordon,” he says.

You’re telling me you’re going to stick to calling him “ALF” after that? No way. No WAY, you guys.

If your dog stood up on his hind legs and in perfect American English said, “Among my people, my name is Randall,” would you still call him Snickers for the rest of his life? Or, worse, CADU, because of some weird overdone acronym for Canine American Dog Unit? NO YOU WOULD NOT, my friends. No you would not. You would not do that. You would call him Randall. You'd be like, "Whatever you say, Randall. Share your wisdom with me," and you would call your dog Randall for the rest of his life even if that was the only interaction you ever had where he talked to you. You'd be terrified and amazed enough to call him Randall forever after that, even if he spent the rest of his time on earth eating his own shit. You just fucking would, you guys.

And if it was a fucking ALIEN from OUTER SPACE? Who flew into your garage from a whole other planet? On a spaceship? And then he was like, "My name is Gordon?" You'd be like, "Yes SIR, mister Gordon, I sure will never call you anything dumb like ALF ever because you got here on a spaceship that went across more fucking space than fucking LIGHT can get across in MORE THAN ONE YEAR." 

Okay, maybe you wouldn't be like that. Maybe you're an idiot. Maybe you're as dumb as the "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That" lady, and your reaction to an alien in your garage is, "Oh Lord Oh Lord it's a alien! It's a hair monster, Lord!" But if you know enough to refer to the alien as an acronym of "Alien Life Form" instead of just as a "Motherfucking Space Alien, Holy Fuckballs," you know enough to respect that alien's wishes when it tells you that its name is Gordon. 

And you'd know to do this as SOON as you find out the alien's name is Gordon. Even if the alien turns out to be a cat-eating idiot with preternatural comic timing, who had some crash-related amnesia and didn't remember his own name until a little later. As soon as he drops "Gordon" on you, he's Gordon. Fly into my garage from space and you say your name's Gordon? I'm calling you Gordon. Them's the rules in MY house.

You know want to know what else I’m about to tell you? 

Any fictionalized account of this scenario would be called “Gordon.” 

Let’s say you made the monumentally irresponsible decision to hide an alien in your laundry room in order to avoid subjecting your family to the invasive techniques of the U.S. Government’s improbably well-funded and efficient Alien Task Force. The alien’s name is Gordon. Somebody makes a show about it. A sitcom. What’s that sitcom called? Fucking “Gordon.”

Right? Why would you call it anything else? Calling such a fictional account “Gordon” indicates “we are talking about an alien named Gordon who crash-landed in our garage” EXACTLY as much as “ALF” indicates “which is short for Alien Life Form, because it’s an alien (named Gordon) who crash-landed in our garage.” 


You guys.

That’s just the NAME OF THE SHOW. It should be Gordon instead of ALF. That’s how far I just got. To, like, the first thing you see in your TV Guide in 1986. (TV Guide was how you knew what was on TV). ((It was a motherfucking NEWSPAPER MAGAZINE THAT YOU HELD IN YOUR HAND)). I am just now getting started on this. As of now I have just gotten started.

Stay tuned for parts two through nine.