Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘ALF’ Fans Still Need Answers Over 30 Years After Cliffhanger Finale

‘ALF’ Fans Still Need Answers Over 30 Years After Cliffhanger Finale

On March 24, 1990, audiences tuned into NBC and watched their favorite furry alien, ALF, come face to face with the United States military during a heart-wrenching cliffhanger. Over 30 years later, we’re still waiting to learn his fate. 

ALF was an absolute phenomenon during his first few seasons. After premiering in 1986, people fell in love with the sarcastic Melmac native. He was so popular that his face earned a place on watches, lunch boxes, trading cards, and more. The puppet hosted game shows and regularly sat in a box on Hollywood Squares. He even guest starred in cartoons and in an episode of Matlock

The ALF mania was so intense that Nancy Reagan invited him to the White House for Christmas in 1987, and he went. There were countless other projects he worked on as well. So one would think he would have gotten major love when his show concluded. But instead of sending the alien off with a proper series finale, the show closed with a regular-season finale. 

During Season 4, audiences started tuning out of ALF. The plot kept him hidden inside the Tanner’s suburban home, and because he was a secret, new characters rarely came into the story. So there wasn’t a lot the writers could do after so many episodes. Nonetheless, NBC gave creator and ALF voice Paul Fusco a verbal agreement for a Season 5. To try and spice up the tale and win back fans, Fusco ended Season 4 with ALF finally contacting his fellow aliens just in time for the US government to learn about his existence. 

‘ALF’ Ends up With the US Military 

During the very last installment of the show, the cat-eating alien intercepted a coded message sent to him by other ALFs. He was able to communicate with them, and they asked him to start over with them on New Melmac. If you remember, his first planet was destroyed. ALF agrees, and the Tanners drive him to a secluded spot to meet the spaceship. They give him tear-filled goodbyes as the ship approaches. 

Just as he’s about to make his escape, the U.S. Military Alien Task Force pulls up and captures him. His friends fly away, and the scene ends with a “To Be Continued” banner. However, as we sadly know, the story never continued. 

When the series ended, people still showed ALF love. He continued making appearances in TV shows like Blossom, Love Boat: The Next Wave, and Space Cats. More recently, he even showed up in Mr. RobotDuncanville, and The Simpsons. So, his legacy is alive and well. 

There was a little-known TV movie called Project: ALF released in 1996 that gave the creature a bit of a conclusion. Fans weren’t impressed with the attempt, however, and gave it a Rotten score of 58% on RottenTomatoes. So, in the era of reboots, we’re hoping the series makes a return to the screens, and he gets a more appropriate ending. 

If you want to watch the TV movie, it’s free for subscribers on Amazon Prime.