Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘ALF’: How Ryan Reynolds Brought Back the 80s Icon

‘ALF’: How Ryan Reynolds Brought Back the 80s Icon

ALF made a return to screens this year to help Ryan Reynolds sling Mint Moblie, and it’s pure nostalgic gold.

In July, Ryan Reynolds announced his plans to bring the cat-eating Alien Life Form back in a new kind of reboot. With the help of ALF creator Paul Fusco, he created several advertising shorts that play on Reynolds’ network, Maximum Effort. The first of the shorts—dubbed Maximum Moments—dropped on July 29.

“At Maximum Effort, we love taking risks and blurring the lines between shows and sponsorship because we believe both can be equally entertaining,” Reynolds shared on July 24, per Deadline. “Besides my irrational love of ALF growing up, one of the reasons we licensed this show was precisely because Paul, Shout! Studios and our intrepid brand partners wanted to plot with us to bring ALF back to life. Tune in this Caturday!”

The shorts, such as the one below, put ALF back in his 1980s suburban home. Fusco voices the furry creature, just as he did decades ago. Alf writes letters and makes sarcastic quips in the same quirky and hilarious tone. Reynolds and Fusco were careful not to reinvent the character. They simply brought him back to life.

Despite its Massive Success, ‘ALF’ Never Got a Proper Finale

ALF was a staple on television from 1986 through 1990. For four seasons, the planet Melmac native hid with the Tanner family and evaded the FBI after crash-landing his spaceship in their garage.

The series was a massive hit in its time, and it still holds an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes today, which makes its relatively short run confusing. According to Mental Floss, the very thing that made it popular—the plot—is what led to its demise.

The entire storyline surrounds ALF staying inside the Tanner’s house and remaining a secret to everyone but his adoptive family. That didn’t give the writers a lot of room to expand. ALF could rarely go on adventures, and it was nearly impossible to introduce new characters. So, after several years, the show had played out.

Unfortunately, fans never got to see a proper series finale. NBC execs weren’t sure what they were going to do with the show when it came time to write and film the Season 4 finale. So, Fusco hoped for the best and left the show on a cliffhanger. After finally reconnecting with his fellow aliens, ALF goes to the middle of a secluded field to beam off to New Melmac. But just as he says goodbye to his friends, the US military speeds in and captures him.

Now that Ryan Reynolds owns the rights to the story, we’re hoping he can give the story a proper ending, even if it is through sponsored content.