The ALF Quiz

By: Staff Writer

About This Quiz

How well do you remember the coolest alien life form of the 1980s? Grab a can of cat food and see how well you remember ALF with a quiz that's out of this world.

What planet is ALF from?

ALF hails from the destroyed planet Melmac. He tells Kate Tanner his planet was also composed of the substance, which was (in real life) a popular post-World War II brand of plastic dinnerware made by the American Cyanamid Company.

What is ALF’s actual, Melmacian name?

Answer Blurb: ALF’s real name is Gordon Shumway. He claimed he was named after his grandmother.

Who gave ALF the name “ALF”?

Willie calls his family’s unexpected visitor “an ALF – A, L, F; that’s short for alien life form.” When young Brian compares ALF to E.T., Kate tells him, “E.T. was a movie, this is real—this is on our coffee table!”

When ALF’s spaceship crashes at the Tanners’ home, where does it land?

Alf’s spaceship crashes into the Tanners’ garage.

How did ALF’s creator, puppeteer Paul Fusco, successfully pitch ALF, the series, to NBC?

According to a 2012 interview Fusco gave to The Hollywood Reporter (, once ALF “just kind of looked around the room and picked his nose and wiped it on Tartikoff,” the show was a go.

What Earth life form was a favorite food on Melmac?

Melmacians eat cats, which means ALF spent a lot of time trying to catch the Tanners’ pet cat, Lucky—he even drops the video camera he’s using to record the first two seasons’ opening credit sequences to give chase.

Why did ALF once ask Kate where she kept her casserole dish?

Luckily, Lucky didn’t fit in the Tanners’ toaster. ALF tried getting to Lucky in a variety of ways, once even trying to hypnotize the cat into thinking he is a bagel.

What hobby project, which ALF inadvertently wrecked, did Willie claim it took him 10 years to put together?

ALF damaged Willie’s shortwave radio. In the episode “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” ALF had used it to try and call the President to talk about nuclear weapons, an act that briefly landed Willie in jail as a national security threat.

In the episode “Keepin’ the Faith,” what product does ALF try to sell in order to help the Tanner family’s finances?

ALF orders $4000 of “Terry Faith” brand makeup. He tells Willie, “I put it on your VISA. Oh, incidentally, you’re over your limit.”

What is a difference between pianos on Earth and on Melmac?

In “Keepin’ the Faith,” Kate discovers ALF playing a song called “Parasite Hotel” on the piano. He tells her, “It’s hard to play without the red keys.”

In the first two seasons’ opening credits sequence, what is Kate doing when ALF catches her on-camera?

Kate is stepping out of the shower, and quickly grabs a towel before shooing ALF away. Teenage daughter Lynne is chatting on the phone while hiding in the closet.

In the episode “Prime Time,” what TV show does ALF maneuver to the top of the ratings?

ALF uses his spaceship to rig the “Thompson ratings” and land “Polka Jamboree” on top. The Tanners’ neighbor, Trevor Ochmonek, called the show a “Slavic ‘Soul Train.’”

What do “the dreaded Melmacian hiccups” sound like?

In “Something’s Wrong with Me,” ALF tells the Tanners they are the first humans to hear the “irritating metallic echo” of Melmacian hiccups, which grow louder “day by day, week by week, year by year.” ALF’s Uncle Tinkle suffered from them for 50 years.

In one second season episode, cast members from which classic TV sitcom made cameo appearances?

In “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island” (aka “Somewhere Over the Rerun”), ALF dreams he is on the castaways’ island with Gilligan (Bob Denver), the Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.), the Professor (Russell Johnson) and Mary Ann (Dawn Wells).

In “We’re So Sorry, Uncle Albert,” what happens when Uncle Albert (Elisha Cook, Jr.) discovers ALF in the backyard?

Albert is so surprised, he dies of a heart attack. ALF reacts to Albert’s death by throwing a party, as Melmacian custom dictates—a critical piece of information inexplicably cut out of the syndicated and DVD edits of the episode.

What is the name of the Tanners’ nosy neighbor who saw ALF shaving through her window?

When Raquel Ochmonek first saw ALF, she described him as “a cross between a kangaroo and an aardvark.” Liz Sheridan, who played Raquel, later played Jerry’s mom on Seinfeld.

What’s the lyric missing in this quotation from the song ALF writes and records for Lynn: “I may be an unknown/__________________/But you’re the one who’s out of this world”?

“From the Twilight Zone.” In the music video ALF filmed for his song, he rocks out in the styles of such iconic ‘80s pop stars as Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

What is ALF’s none-too-flattering nickname for Anne’s mother, Dorothy?

ALF calls Dorothy Deaver “The Wicked Witch of the West.” Award-winning actress and comedian Anne Meara played Dorothy; she is perhaps best known for roles on Rhoda and Archie Bunker’s Place, as well as for being the wife and comedy partner of Jerry Stiller.

In the originally aired version of the first season “clip show” “Try to Remember,” what caused ALF’s memory loss?

ALF received an electric shock. Because of viewer complaints (and despite an onscreen commercial break caution from ALF himself about not mixing electricity and water), the episode’s beginning was reshot; in the subsequently aired version, ALF slips and hurts his head.

How was the effect of a full-body ALF moving independently (for example, running after Lucky in the original credits sequence) achieved?

Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros, a 2’9” tall Hungarian-born performer, wore an ALF costume when scripts in the first two seasons called for full-body shots of the furry Melmacian

In “Some Enchanted Evening,” how does ALF convince people at the Tanners’ Halloween party that he is a fellow costumed partygoer?

ALF wears a fake zipper. His original idea for a costume was Gene Shalit, long-time movie critic for the Today Show (which, probably not coincidentally, airs on ALF’s network, NBC).

Where did Willie and Kate take their honeymoon?

In the episode “Isn’t it Romantic?,” ALF, Lynne and Brian try to recreate Kate and Willie’s honeymoon in Niagara Falls (at the Duke of the Mist hotel, specifically).

What celebrity appeared as herself in the episode “We Are Family” to promote her then-current NBC sitcom, “Valerie’s Family”?

Sandy Duncan appeared to promote “Valerie’s Family,” which aired directly after ALF. Duncan replaced Valerie Harper, the series’ original star, who left the show due to a conflict with its producers. Duncan appears in a fantasy sequence in which ALF, instead of David Letterman, is hosting NBC’s Late Night.

In “Looking for Lucky,” ALF recreates an iconic scene from which of the following 1980s movies?

ALF recreates Tom Cruise’s performance of “That Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll” from Risky Business. Instead of a microphone, ALF sings into a cucumber.

Who did actress Anne Ramsey, an Academy Award nominee for her role in Throw Momma from the Train, play in “You Ain't Nothin’ But a Hound Dog”?

Ramsey played Ethel Buttonwood. When Willie asks her to give the dog back to its rightful owner, a little girl, Buttonwood demands $500 in cash. Ramsey died six months after the episode aired.

When she saw him, who did Maura Norris (Dorothy Lyman) think ALF was?

In the episode “Tequila,” Maura thought ALF was Sammy, her imaginary drinking buddy. “You realize I’m a figment of your imagination,” ALF asks her, “Not an alien from another planet?... Just checking.”

Which former M*A*S*H star played the homeless man who reported ALF to the Alien Task Force in season three’s two-part episode, “Turkey in the Straw”?

David Ogden Stiers played “Flakey Pete,” who initially reports ALF to the government’s Alien Task Force, but ultimately protects him by claiming that he thinks he himself is an extraterrestrial. The two-part episode was the series’ 1988 Thanksgiving special.

In “Suspicious Minds,” whom does ALF think the Tanners’ new neighbor actually is?

ALF thinks the new neighbor, Aaron King, is Elvis. Inexplicably, however, most of the episode is revealed, at the end, to have been ALF’s dream. We’re all shook up.

ALF’s third season ended with what change to the show’s format?

Kate gives birth to Eric William Tanner (in real life, the result of the writers having incorporated actress Anne Schedeen’s pregnancy into the show). ALF got ready for Eric’s arrival by studying Laura Petrie’s pregnancy on reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

In “Hooked on a Feeling,” the Tanners stage an intervention to cure ALF of his addiction to what substance?

ALF discovers that cotton can intoxicate Melmacians when he begins using it as a cooking ingredient.

In the episode “Make ‘Em Laugh,” ALF dreams he is a famous stand-up comedian. What real-life comic guest stars?

David Spade is the episode’s guest star. The episode also features NBC President Brandon Tartikoff as himself offering ALF his very own prime-time sitcom; and Casey Kasem as himself, presenting ALF with a lifetime achievement award

What was the cliffhanger that ended ALF’s fourth—and final—season?

In “Consider Me Gone,” ALF’s friends Rhonda and Skip do invite him to New Melmac, but the Alien Task Force captures him before he can join them. NBC made the decision to cancel the series only after the episode aired, and the cliffhanger remained unresolved until the ABC made-for-TV movie, Project: ALF (1996).

Who was ALF’s primary sidekick in the short-lived ALF’s Hit Talk Show (2004)?

Ed McMahon introduced and chatted with ALF on ALF’s Hit Talk Show, which ran for only seven episodes on the TV Land cable network.

What company did ALF sell products for in a Super Bowl XLVIII commercial?

ALF appeared along with numerous other instantly recognizable faces from the 1980s (including John Ratzenberger as Cheers’ Cliff, Erik Estrada as CHiPS’ Ponch, and Hulk Hogan as himself) in a Radio Shack commercial.

In which Marvel Studios superhero movie does ALF merchandise make a brief appearance?

In Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Peter “Star Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt), who was abducted from Earth in the 1980s, has decorated the tape deck aboard his ship, the Milano, with puffy ALF stickers. The Melmacian lives!

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