Strap in, dipshits, and get your barf bags ready, because you are once again about to be taken on a scandalous journey through some of the most heinous factual inconsistencies presented by the plot of the NBC sitcom ALF, which ran from 1986 to 1990. You guys are probably not going to believe this, but ALF leaves us with a LOT more questions than answers about some pretty SERIOUS ISSUES such as SCIENCE THINGS and FACTS.
If contradictory information makes you feel a little queasy, this is gonna to be worse than an emergency landing in Mexico City. Pop a Dramamine now.
Last time I asked why ALF was called “ALF” instead of “Gordon,” which is his NAME which he can say IN ENGLISH by TALKING, which is a complete fucking miracle of a thing for an alien from a whole different planet (Melmack) who crash lands in your garage to be able to do, and yet everybody called him fucking “ALF” instead of fucking “Gordon.”
Alert reader Drew Bayers pointed out there might have been a psychological reason for ALF to prefer the new moniker. This does not fully explain the Tanner family’s decision to shorten “Alien Life Form” to “ALF” and then call the alien that to its face once communication IN ENGLISH was established, but I’ll take it as enough of an explanation to refer to ALF as ALF instead of Gordon for the purposes of discussion. Okay, assholes? Is that okay with YOU GUYS? Fuck off. That question was rhetorical.
Today I’m going to explode your brains by telling you everything I know about ALF and cats.
I’m not going to research this by re-watching every episode of the show. I might get a few things wrong, okay, fuckheads? If there are any ALF purists out there who want to correct me or point out how I’m wrong about some ALF facts, or if the show already addressed some of the CLEARLY QUITE DISTRESSING ISSUES I am now exploring in regards to the plot and premise of ALF, use the comments section. Today is, finally, your day.
If you are not an ALF expert but know one of these people, do me a favor. Print this blog out and slide it under the door to the basement where they live along with the next delivery of pancakes and other flat foods they are doomed to live off of because, like they already explained a million times to both their Mom and Aunt Pam, they can’t come out EVER.
Until corrected by the shut-in ALF experts of the world, all I have to go on is what I know.
Here’s one thing I know:
ALF loves to eat cats.
Specifically Earth housecats. Felis catus. Specifically, as depicted in the show, the Tanner family’s pet cat Lucky. He’s always trying to catch and eat the family cat. Why? Primarily, according to this hour long interview at the University of Connecticut that there is NO WAY I’m watching, because the show’s creator Paul Fusco thought it might be fun to try to trick NBC into letting him talk about “eating pussy” on NBC. ALF loves to eat pussy. He’s crazy for it. Ha ha ha. Are you laughing about that? Well GET SERIOUS. Because IT’S A PROBLEM.
Cats are apparently a livestock animal on ALF’s home planet of Melmack. That means there are, or were, ALF-like Melmackians whose job it was to herd cats. Ha ha ha. Like that old saying, “…like herding cats,” meaning doing a thing that is difficult. Oh man, that is ridiculous. A bunch of ALFs riding the Melmackian equivalent of horses, herding cats. Ha ha hee. Whee what fun. Well guess what? THIS IS DISTURBING.
Are Melmackian cats the same thing as Earth cats? THE SHOW NEVER TOLD US SO WE HAVE TO GUESS. Are you starting to see how fucking bad this is, you guys? It’s bad. It’s real, real bad.
Let’s say that Melmack cats are totally different organisms than Earth cats. Somehow they evolved separately on the two different planets but became, in both appearance and behavior, indistinguishable to the average Melmackian such as ALF. If this is the case, we know that the two catlike organisms look and behave similarly because ALF does not appear distressed by Lucky’s behavior.
Imagine if you crash-landed on another planet where families kept chickens as pets and there was a taboo against eating them. Okay, everything good so far. But then those chickens also behaved in a very unchickenlike manner, like if they floated gracefully through their surroundings or walked without bobbing their heads or they ate tiny cheeseburgers with a knife and fork. You’d be surprised and a little confused.
But if they were just regular chickens doing chicken things, you’d be totally cool. Like, “Oh chickens. We have these too. They’re called chickens. They are fucking TASTY when you chop them up and fry them. Oh, you don’t do that here? Well, shit. I could really go for some fried chicken. Goddamn things are everywhere.” That’s how ALF acts about cats. Notice how he also uses the word “cats.” Like, “On my home planet, billions of miles away, we have these things too and we call them cats, what do you call them here? Cats? WHAT A FUCKING COINCIDENCE.”
So it’s more likely that Melmack cats and Earth cats are the SAME THING. Holy fucking fuck, you guys. GET READY. There are three possible explanations for this.
Cats, or the ancient evolutionary ancestors of cats, are sufficiently technologically advanced to colonize more than one planet, where in each case they allowed themselves to be domesticated, and in one case, on Melmack, became chattel. I’d say given this structure of supposition it’d make more sense if all Earth cats came from Melmack, where they are persecuted, than the other way around. If you, as a member of an intelligent race of cats, knew enough to colonize another planet, you’d probably be able to avoid being slaughtered for your meat once you arrived there.
So in this scenario, cats came to Earth from Melmack. I don’t think this is likely either, because how do you then explain tigers and sabertooth tigers and all of the other cats we’ve ever had? Wouldn’t the arriving Melmackian cats immediately become the dominant species on Earth, like a Planet of the Apes situation but with cats? And why would there still be cats on Melmack, suffering in bondage, if some of them figured out a way to get out of there? Wouldn’t they build up a society on Earth and then come back for their fallen brothers? I am not ready to consider the CAT EARTH universe simply because ALF thinks Lucky looks like a tasty snack.
Let’s say a bunch of Melmackian cats are just kind of regular stupid cats which somehow stole and operated a spaceship that was designed for ALFs. Then they arrived on Earth, then they evolved into every single cat species Earth has ever seen. But if that happened, Earth cats would behave in some ways like herd animals because they’d been originally domesticated that way on Melmack. And our cats don't act that way. The idea is so ridiculous, we even make jokes about it. Hilarious jokes and YouTubes of Super Bowl commercials.
I’m done with this. Cats don’t drive space ships. That’s just fucking ridiculous.
I’m done with this. Cats don’t drive space ships. That’s just fucking ridiculous.
There is, or once was, a secret program on Earth that sent cats out into space, possibly through a mythical Stargate-like portal. Okay, you guys? Alright? I just fucking made a reference to fucking STARGATE. I feel like a CLOWN right now. Don’t look at me. This is probably the worst I’ve ever felt. Aside from my personal feelings on the matter (I HAVE A JOB TO DO HERE AND THAT JOB IS TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT ALF FOR THE FIRST TIME) I don’t think a secret cat-sending portal cabal is likely.
If the portal in question had any potential use other than sending cats, I don’t see why or how it would have been kept a secret for this long. And if it didn’t have any other use, I don’t see why anybody would have built it. Can you imagine? Your friend Tim is like, “Hey guys, I built a portal to another place, it only works on cats, you put cats into it and they never come back and that’s as much as I know about the portal I built.” You’d be like, “Tim is a weird dude and I think he’s killing cats, I should call the police.” And that would be the END of the cat portal.
Some long ago Melmackians STOLE SOME OF OUR CATS. Okay you guys? Are you fucking understanding me here?
I think this is the most likely explanation given that Melmackians as presented in the ALF universe both refer to their cats as “cats” AND have demonstrated interplanetary travel capabilities. This is alarming, because domesticated cats, by definition, are domesticated by HUMANS. Which means ALF is from a race of INTERPLANETARY CAT THIEVES, and they at one point STOLE SOME CATS from RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES. This is probably why Bob Barker was so adamant about spaying and neutering your cats. He knew the score. Don’t give those fucking sneaky ALFs the satisfaction of putting your cat out to stud back on their home planet.
Alright? So there we go. Logically, ALF is from a race of interplanetary marauders who so far have avoided detection, but have definitely stolen some cats from us. It seems like Willy Tanner could have figured this out. It was pretty easy for me to piece it together. Instead, Willy just responds with exasperation whenever the crash-landed alien he is hosting tries to eat the family housecat. “AAALF, you CAN’T eat the CAT,” he whines. What are you BLIND, Willy Tanner? This guy is NOT TO BE TRUSTED. He KNOWS too much about cats.
If an alien crash-landed in my garage and tried to eat my cat, and called it a “cat,” and told me he had cats on his home planet and that they’re fucking tasty, I would run through the above steps in logic and then call the fucking cops on him. Maybe I’d put the phone down if he said, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, I’m just fucking with you. You don’t know how bored I am and how stupid you humans seem to me, please don’t subject me to a series of government controlled quarantines and anatomical probings.” MAYBE.
But I’d still be deeply suspicious that this little furry fucking alien was running a con on me. Either the cat thing is true and I don’t trust him because he’s from a culture which goes to other planets and steals cats, and I have no way of knowing what other devious shit they do, or else he’s just fucking with me and making up ridiculous lies in order to kill the time, in which case I don’t trust him either. Regardless, I’m sure as shit not going to harbor him and feed him and keep him safe, going so far as to habitually deny his existence to my nosy neighbors. No matter how annoying those fucking Ochmoneks are.
Okay, you guys? ALFs are not to be trusted. If you see one in your garage, call the cops. Don’t be a Willy Tanner. What a blubbering simp of a man. If there was any reality at all to ALF, it’d be a show about an alien smooth-operator having his way with the biggest idiot mark of all humankind. ALF says, “Listen, you give me food, okay, and I don’t do any work and I never have to leave the house. In return I’ll be furry and do a bunch of cute shit.” If it was me instead of Willy Tanner I’d say, “Hit the bricks, pal, I wasn’t born yesterday.” Here’s the most ironic thing about it: the ALF con is roughly akin to the con that domestic cats are currently running all over the world.
I hope your skull just imploded, because that is some SERIOUSLY mind-destroying shit. About ALF. The TV show ALF which I am talking about.
I haven’t even started about how odd it is that ALF sometimes wants to eat the cat raw but also sometimes attempts to lure it into a soup pot or a microwave. My theory is this has to do with ALF’s anatomy, and that is DEFINITELY a reason why this is a nine-part series. There is too much truth out there for one human brain to hold without breaking it down into nine chunks.
But don’t worry, buttwipes, I’ll be back. I’ll be back REAL GOOD.