Alien Species

Gordon Shumway

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Gordon Shumway
Biography Information
True Identity Gordon Shumway
Alias ALF
Homeworld Melmac
Species Melmacian
Gender Male
Age 230 (Circa 1986)
Language English
Status Active
Behind the Scenes
Universe ALF
Created by Paul Fusco; Tom Patchett
Performed by Paul Fusco

Gordon Shumway is an alien nicknamed A.L.F. (an acronym for Alien Life Form) by Willie Tanner in the pilot episode. ALF was born on October 28, 1756 on the Lower East Side of the planet Melmac. Melmac was located six parsecs past the Hydra-Centaurus Supercluster, and had a green sky, blue grass and a purple sun. The commonly-used currency is a "Wernick" (named after producer Sandy Wernick) which is equal to $10 American dollars. Lint, gravel and foam are as precious on Melmac as gold is on Earth, whereas gold and platinum are so common that they are used in place of porcelain to make toilets and sinks, as seen in the Season One episode "Baby, You Can Drive My Car", where ALF sells the gold and platinum plumbing in his ship to buy a Ferrari for Lynn.

ALF's body is covered with fur and he has a rippled snout, facial moles and eight stomachs. His heart is apparently located in his head. He likes to burp and eat cats, and can whistle without opening his mouth. He had a best friend on his home planet named Malhar Naik. He has a friend named Skip and a girlfriend named Rhonda, both of whom also escaped the explosion. He attended high school for 122 years and was captain of a Bouillabaisse ball team, a game played on ice using shellfish as a ball.

ALF has an enormous appetite; he is also troublesome, sarcastic, slovenly and cynical, and sometimes he puts himself at the risk of being discovered while perpetrating some of his often-unintentional pranks. However, if things have gone too far, he does as much as possible to make up for his mistakes, generally with positive results. In the episode "It's Not Easy Bein'... Green", he tries to help Brian, too afraid to perform, to gain confidence during a school show by giving him a "lucky tooth" which ALF claims helped him be a star of the stage on Melmac. On another occasion, in the episode "Keepin' the Faith", he helps Dorothy deal with Sparky's death and move on to accept Whizzer's friendship. In the episode "Take a Look at Me Now" after neighbor Raquel Ochmonek claims to see ALF and is ridiculed on a call-in television show, ALF calls into the show to defend her.

ALF comes from a large family and has at least 30 known relatives: cousins "Pretty Boy" Shumway and Blinky; two uncles, Tinkle and Goome; a Grandma Shumway; a brother, Curtis; parents Bob and Flo Shumway; and aunts Bubba, Wagner and Eugene. In a commercial for the NFL that ran during Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011, it was confirmed that ALF is a Carolina Panthers fan.


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