Background information
Feature films Project ALF
Television programs ALF
ALF: The Animated Series
ALF Tales
Video games ALF
Park attractions
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Voice Paul Fusco
Performance model
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name Gordon Shumway
Other names ALF and Alien Life Form.
Personality Sarcastic, clumsy, funny, friendly, rude (sometimes), and disobedient.
Appearance Obese anteater-like alien
Birthday October 26, 1756
Occupation Formerly the captain of Bouillabaisseball team.
Home The Tanners' house, formerly Melmac.
Relatives Bob (father)

Flo (mother)
Curtis (brother)
Augie (siter)
Tinkle (uncle)

Allies Willie, Kate, Lynn, Brian, Rhonda, Jake Ochmonek, and Lucky.
Enemies The Alien Task Force, Dorothy Halligan, the Burglar, Lee Fraser, Paul, Rodney, and Keith.
Likes Cats, eating, watching TV, Gilligan's Island, and Polka Jamboree.
Dislikes Getting in trouble, Raw spinach, and Dorothy Halligan.
Powers and abilities Loud hiccups

Gordon Shumway, aka ALF, is the main character of the 1986 science-fiction situation comedy television series of the same name as well as its animated spin-offs. He is an alien from the planet Melmac who crash-landed into the Tanner family's garage. Willie is the member of the Tanner family that ALF communicates with the most. He is voiced by puppeteer and show creator Paul Fusco.


ALF was born off October 28, 1756 and has a younger brother and sister. He once mentions that he was conceived in a DeSoto. ALF's body is covered with rust-colored fur (he once described his color ar burnt sienna), but has implied that it is not his natural color. He has a rippled snout, facial moles, and eight stomachs. He is about three feet tall.

He attended Melmac High School for 112 years, where he majored in software and pedestrian crossing, and was captain of a Bouillabaisseball team. In college, ALF majored in physical education.

ALF was later employed as an Orbit Guard and was called to duty shortly before his planet was destroyed in a nuclear war. His girlfriend Rhonda escaped the destruction of Melmac in a spaceship piloted by his best friend Skip. However, At the end of Galactic War III, ALF was arrested by the angry prince of the Melmacian Trade Federation, he escaped and fled, he ended up hitting Torkwrish and encountered Torks & Blood Torks, While attempting to refuel his spaceship, in his search for fuel, he got attacked by a Blood Tork and nearly suffered the fate of a Kiss of Blood.

In addition to his native Melmacian tongue, ALF can speak both English and Spanish proficiently, although his English spelling and penmanship is very poor. Although there is no explanation given as to how he learned these languages, it is evident that elements of Earth culture have infused themselves into Melmacian culture (perhaps through observation or monitoring of television and radio broadcasts), in that ALF was once in a dinner theatre production of Man of La Mancha on Melmac. ALF is also an avid musician who sings and plays saxophone, guitar, bass guitar, drums, and piano.


ALF is troublesome, sarcastic, cynical, and he is a hungry alien who loves to eat food such as pizza. Whenever the Tanners find him causing trouble, they punish him for his mischievous actions, most frequently Willie, the father figure of the family. ALF dislikes spinach, as revealed in the season two episode Something's Wrong With Me, and also told the Tanners that Popeye was considered a insult target to fellow Melmacians.


ALF's body is covered with rust-colored fur, but has implied that it is not his natural color. He has a rippled snout, facial mole, and eight stomachs. In the pilot episode, it is said that he is only three-feet tall.

One day, ALF followed an amateur radio signal to Earth and crash-landed his ship into the garage of the Tanner family. The Tanners are a suburban middle class family consisting of the social worker Willie, his wife Kate, their children Lynn, Brian, and Eric, and their cat Lucky. Since the crash-landing, the Tanners have helped take care of ALF and hide him from the Alien Task Force, a secret U.S. military organization that tracks down alien creatures.

Budget ProblemsEdit

ALF increased the Tanners' expenses. The budget for extra food and repairs for damages in the house were what forced the Tanners to increase their spending budget. In Varsity Drag, Lynn was upset because she couldn't go to college, due to the Tanners not being able to afford it. In Keepin' the Faith, he bought $4,000 of cosmetics with Willie's credit card, and in The Gambler, he put the Tanners into a gambling debt of $6,000 to Nick "The Fish" Mints. In Project ALF, it is said that ALF has made over 300 fires, though most of them were barbeque-related.

In Stairway to Heaven, ALF dreamed that he had crashed somewhere on Earth other than the Tanners' home, and the Tanners had become very wealthy. However, the Tanners became so wealthy that they were miserably bored and are unable to find interest in talking to each other. Even ALF had become very wealthy as he created a business for selling cosmetics made out of fluids from his space ship.

Melmacian Physical TroublesEdit

  • Wild Thing - Like every Melmacian, each 75 years, ALF goes into a frenzy in which he will do literally anything to eat cats. He lied and mimicked the Tanner's voices perfectly to try to trick them into letting him from the cage. When he did get free of the cage, he locked Brian in. He then went on a rampage trying to find Lucky (who was spending the night at the Ochmonek's house) and stole Raquel's lawnmower, which he used to go to the zoo and steal a tiger.
  • Something's Wrong With Me' '- He develops the dreaded Melmacian hiccups. Two cures are drinking cat juice or eating raw spinach. When ALF is given fake cat juice, it cured his hiccups until he learned it wasn't real, indicating it had a placebo effect.
  • Fever - Catches an Earth virus, and can only be cured by Carl Shrub, but was cured by ragweed, a plant similar to Carl Shrub.

Villainous/Antagonistic SideEdit

Although generally a good-natured and comedic character for most of the time, ALF was sometimes a despicable and selfish character, especially in the last season where he becomes much more brutal and threatening in nature.

Season 1Edit

  • A.L.F.: Chased the family cat, asking the Tanners if he could have a cat for dinner, and tried to make Brian drink beer in which children like Brian are not intended to drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Looking for Lucky: Hypnotized Lucky into thinking he was a bagel, going to the pound, stealing a cat from the Animal Shelter or Pound accusing it to be Lucky.
  • Pennsylvania 6-5000: Yet one of his most antagonistic roles in the show. He stole Willie's radio, accused Willie of being a terrorist, and got him arrested.
  • Oh, Tannerbaum: Wrecked the Tanners' Christmas Tree.
  • Wild Thing: Locked Brian in a cage and stole a tiger from the zoo.
  • Lookin' Through the Windows: Accused Trevor Ochmonek of killing his wife, harassed Trevor on the phone, stole Mrs. Ochmonek's chattering teeth accusing it is her real teeth, and lied about Trevor murdering Raquel.
  • Weird Science: Almost killed Willie with a TV.
  • La Cucaracha: Brought in a Melmacian cockroach and made it wreck the house, but then showed heroic acts when he killed the giant cockroach while stopping it from destroying the Tanner house.

Season 2Edit

Oh yeah? Yeah, well, you're a weiner!
~ ALF insulting Dorothy Halligan Tanner in the episode, Something's Wrong With Me.
  • The Ballad of Gilligan's Island: Made a big puddle and accused Willie of doing it.
  • Prime Time: Telling thousands of people to try to get his favorite TV show, Polka Jamboree to become number one in the ratings and rigging the ratings, which was considered illegal to Kate Tanner.
  • Some Enchanted Evening: Asking for a cat in his Trick-or-Treat bag.
  • Oh, Pretty Woman: Sprayed Willie and Kate with a water hose, though it was just a prank.
  • Something's Wrong With Me: Bullied Kate's mother Dorothy and ruined the wedding with his loud, strange, and disturbing hiccups.
  • We're So Sorry, Uncle Albert: Killed Uncle Albert by scaring him to death.
  • I'm Your Puppet: Brought in a rude ventriloquist dummy and ruined the fun for the Tanners.

Season 3Edit

  • Turkey in the Straw Part 1: Stole the Tanners' turkey and ate it.
  • Do You Believe in Magic?: Vandalized the refrigerator.
  • Baby Love: Sneezed in front of a human infant and thinks he is "allergic" to them.

Season 4Edit

In this season, ALF has become a far more antagonistic character.

  • The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: Bullied Neal and threatened to kill him.
  • Live and Let Die: Bullied Lynn and Brian by calling them "Funeral Poopers" during Lucky's funeral and spit on Willie because he was a "cat lover". ALF also told Willie he was looking for Lucky's body. He also attempted to eat the adorable kittens found from Lucky's funeral before the Tanners returned, and lied to the Tanners about eating the last kitten.
  • Happy Together: Bullied the family, generally Willie, broke Neal's snow globe, sought vengeance on Willie, destroyed Neal's apartment.

Other mediaEdit

Do you wanna help or do you wanna be lunch!?
~ ALF to Garfield in Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue
  • Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue: Threatened to eat Garfield if he wouldn't help.

Heroic ActsEdit

Season 1Edit

  • La Cucaracha: He defeated Rodney the giant cockroach by using perfume.

Season 2Edit

  • ALF's Special Christmas: He became a doctor and helped a pregnant woman bring a baby to the world.
  • I'm Your Puppet: He defeated Paul the Dummy by throwing him to the ground.

Other mediaEdit

  • Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue: He, along with the other cartoon characters, taught the youth that drugs were not okay for them.


  • He appeared on a 2011 Super Bowl advertisement and was confirmed to be a fan of the Football team called the Carolina Panthers, however the team didn't exist back in the 1980's, which was when the show was running.
  • ALF appeared on the Fox Network with Bill O'Reilly during November 2007.