The Mysteries of ALF, the adorable ’80s series that was behind-the-scenes hell for its protagonist

ALF made audiences around the world laugh, but their behind-the-scenes story is a troubling one.

It hit the NBC screens on September 22, 1986. alfThe story of an alien named Alien gordon shumway From the planet Melmac who was forced to flee his home when all the residents connected their dryers at the same time. After wandering the universe for a year, ALF (acronym for Extraterrestrial Life Form) arrives on Earth and becomes a member. the tanner familyGetting embroiled in all kinds of situations during your stay.

alf It was not very well received in the United States at first, but in countries such as Spain, Germany, and a large part of Latin America, the misadventures of the little gray and hairy alien were a complete success, making it a cult figure in popular culture. Full reference. of years 80.

The series ran for four seasons, ending on March 24, 1990 with a total of 102 episodes. And although the series has channeled a lot of nostalgia for several generations of viewers since its inception, the truth is that the experience the cast lived through was not only complicated, but almost painful.

Paul Fusco was the puppeteer who created the charismatic character of ALF in 1984two years before the show aired. Fusco took on the role of Alf with the intention of annoying his friends and family, but he became so attached to him that the idea of ​​an ALF show starring him haunted him day and night. after meeting Tom Patchett, screenwriter of the MuppetsThe two creatives began formulating the entire concept of ALF, which immediately became a rage. Brandon Tartikoff, President of NBC.

Initially, actors with dwarfism Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros He was in charge of putting himself in the shoes (or fur) of Alien Gordon (who was named ALF both outside and inside the series). However, Fusco decides to pull the strings himself.

Mihály “Michu” Meszáros played ALF in the first few episodes, but its producers decided to change ALF to a puppet. “Michu” passed away in 2016

alf was a flop in the United States during its first seasonwith comments comparing him to Kermit the Frog or ET and leaving him in a very bad light. The cancellation of the series was considered, But NBC spent millions to put the aliens into all kinds of work. saleSo with everything and the stress that was experienced due to the low rating levels, the series continued.

The second season became a hit and NBC was finally able to breathe. It was American kids who fell in love with ALF and saved the show, so, The producers asked Fusco to change his character to be more “family”., Reluctantly, Fusco agreed, creating ALF as an adult who drank beer and said what he wanted because he did not follow Earth’s social norms.

Fusco was forbidden not only from allowing ALF to drink beer, but also for leaving behind his desire to eat the Tanner family cat (known as a suertudo in Spanish America); then the news broke A child microwaved a feline as the alien had tried to do several times in the show.

ALF Quits Trying To Eat The Tanners’ Cat After It Was News A Kid Microwaved His Cat

The idea that ALF could say what it wanted went too far, as in 2010, footage revealed that it did not make it until the final cut of the episode with the ALF puppet (controlled by Fusco). Throwing sexual and racist jokes.

When a production falters and is on the verge of failure, it can create a lot of tension among those involved. However, even with the worldwide success of ALF, Tanner was far from happy as the hero of the family Friend,

Each tanner lived in his own hell. In short, the person who suffered least from the recording of the program was benji gregory, who gave life to the little one Brian Tanner. Although the young actor doesn’t remember much about his work on ALF due to his young age, he decided to walk away from Hollywood entirely, and little is known about him until his last acting job in 1993. Was in an animated film. once upon a time in the woods, Later, Joined Navy in 2005,

Benji Gregory quit acting and entered the Navy in 2005.

The Tanners’ teenage daughter experienced very difficult moments during the filming of the series. Actress Andrea Elson confessed suffered bulimia because NBC required that she look like a 15-year-old girl most possible time. It wreaked havoc on her body and mind, as Elson herself explained in a 2000 interview for People.

“When I started the first season, I was a skinny girl, then my breasts and hips started to stick out and I didn’t like it. I just wanted to be skinny. I would run for two hours a day to slim down. Was.

The Tanners’ teenage daughter Andrea Elson had bulimia during ALF recording

Lynn also admitted that there was a lot of tension on set because of the cast. “I had to play second fiddle to the puppets. It was ALF and then Little Family.”

Three years after the series was cancelled, Lynn married the producer. Scott Hooper and gave birth to their first daughter in 1997, permanently away from the cameras.

Till today, Anne Schedeen made few comments on the series, but was blunt in declaring that “there was no joy on set, in an interview to the media holiday heroes Confessed, held in 2005 Program recording reached 14 hours a day, This is because moving the ALF puppet was extremely complex; In fact, the set in the Tanners’ house was built five feet above the ground so that the puppeteers could work more freely.

Anne Schedeen, who played Kate Tanner on ALF, admitted there was “no happiness on set”

In this interview, Schedeen had also accepted this fact. There was no fifth season as viewership began to decline. and the tension between Paul Fusco and Brandon Tartikoff Exacerbated by constructive difference.

Few may remember this, but the Tanners’ nosy neighbor also made a very harsh comment about alf, After the scandal of the leaked video in 2010, the actor Joe LaMotta just said: “I always thought so alf It was bullshit…the worst thing I’ve ever done.”

Joe LaMotta, who played Trevor Ochmonek on ALF, claimed in 2010 that the show was “bullshit.”

Without a doubt, the father of the family with ALF was the one who had the best moments of the series, and ironically, Actor Max Wright was one of those who suffered the most from his role, Prior to the show, Wright was a stage actor used to playing more complex storylines, so it was very difficult for a puppeteer to be the sidekick. During the season, Max complained that the best jokes were taken by the puppeteers, as Andrea Elson said at the time.

“It was hard work and very sad (…) I really wanted it to endWright told People those days. Anne Schedeen herself remarked that at the end of recording the final episode of the series, Wright left the set, took his bag and left without saying goodbye to anyone. Shows how fed up he was with the show.

Wright’s post-ALF storyline was just as grim as his experience on the show. However, he managed to return to his beloved theater and even Won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his work in the play Ivanov in 1998, Problems would come when he was arrested twice for drunk driving. in 2001, Pictures of him with two men taking drugs and sexual positions were leaked, which had a huge impact on Wright’s life.

Several newspapers published photographs of Max Wright using crack and in compromising situations with unknown men.

since 1995, Wright was diagnosed with lymphomaAnd although for years he managed to control the disease, it eventually defeated him and He died on June 26, 2019 at the age of 75.

Max Wright passed away in 2019 from lymphoma. In later years, his face deteriorated significantly.

The series concludes with an episode in which ALF was captured by the US government, which left a bad taste in the mouths of all followers of the program. Due to the criticism, it was decided to make a film to give the character a true ending. tape came out in 1996 under the name of ALF Project and told how the charismatic alien escaped his imprisonment by the government and, after various adventures, was released and became an ambassador for the aliens on Earth.

No one from the Tanner family was involved in this film.Justifying his absence with the fact that he is being kept in a safe house in Iceland shows the entire cast’s dissatisfaction with the series that has brought such joy to thousands of families around the world and so much to its cast. Has brought pain.

The series ended with ALF being captured by the United States government, leaving viewers dissatisfied. In 1996, a film would come out in which none of the original cast members participated.

keep reading:

Why did Alf want to eat cats? The troubled history of the series
Maia Debowicz and an emotional rescue from Alf, the alien who defined the ’80s

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