Alf – “A.L.F.”

Alf Season One DVD

Original Air Date: September 22, 1986
Starring: Max Wright, Anne Schedeen, Paul Fusco
Also Starring: Sparks
Directed by: Tom Patchett

Synopsis: In the pilot episode of this sitcom, the Tanner family is shocked when a spacecraft crashes into their garage.  Inside they find an Alien Life Form, a wise-cracking furry creature, which endears himself to the family, making it hard for them to decide if they should turn him over to the authorities or harbor him.

Featured Feline: One of the most memorable running jokes from this series was the fact that Alf, who is from the planet Melmac, liked to eat cats.  Of course the Tanner family has a cat of their own, a large Maine Coon named Lucky.  Lucky was featured throughout the series and even appeared in the show’s theme song.

Alf - Pilot episode Lucky cat sitting on floor behind chair

A couple of times Alf encounters or tries to catch Lucky in this episode.  The first time Alf and Brian (Benji Gregory) go into the kitchen to get something to eat.  Moments later Lucky leaps through the connecting window between the kitchen and living room, actually stumbling and falling as he scurries away with Alf looking out behind him.

Alf - Pilot episode Lucky cat leaps from kitchen to living room

The second time Alf watches as Lucky scurries by on the other side of the couch.  This was just the beginning of a long-running interaction between the two.

Alf - Pilot episode Lucky cat scurries past couch

According to the book The Encyclopedia of TV Pets written by Ken Beck and Jim Clark, Lucky was played by several different cats but the lead cat actor was named Sparks.  Other felines on the team were named Gordo, Fat Cat, Electra and Sparkle.  The trainer Sam Coulter, who worked for Frank Inn Animals, explained in the book how working on the series was a challenge, since the cats had to get used to interacting with a puppet and not respond to the puppeteers manipulating Alf from below.

Final Mewsings: Cats usually don’t have to worry about being eaten!

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