Who is your favorite TV alien to call Earth home? So many to choose from. And I’m not even talking about those aliens who called Earth home for a single episode on your favorite galactic warriors show. I mean the aliens who came to Earth specifically to star on their own TV show. Or so it would seem.
Gordon Shumway is probably my favorite alien to call this planet home. HIs planet, Melmac, exploded and he took to his spaceship to find someplace new to call his own. That someplace new started in the roof of the garage owned by the Tanner family. “ALF” was a bona fide sensation in the 1980s. He not only appeared on his prime time sitcom, but two different Saturday morning cartoons and he even made records. Of course, they were those cardboard records you find on the back of cereal boxes, but that’s a big deal? An “ALF” movie is apparently in the works as I write this. Good, because the network execs at NBC did one of those historically stupid deals where they allowed the final episode of a season to become the series finale which meant the entire deal ended with a cliffhanger.
My Favorite Martian
In a very real way “ALF” was a 1980s update of a 1960s sitcom standard. Uncle Martin was really a Martian. An actual alien from Mars. Little antenna would rise up from his head to prove it. Another similarity was that Uncle Martin’s spaceship crashed landed on Earth, forcing him to call our home his home. He took up residence with the only earthling to know his secret, a reporter named Tim. What a dumb name! One major difference between “ALF” and “My Favorite Martian” is that Alf–whose real name was Gordon Shumway just in case you are wondering what I meant by that–possessed no otherworldly powers at all whereas Uncle Martin was telepathic, telekinetic and could make himself invisible.
George Francisco is what they call a Newcomer. Ever watch “District 9” and wonder what that movie would be like if the aliens looked more like us and less like King Prawns? Well, “Alien Nation” is your answer. The aliens in “Alien Nation” were mostly humanoid and could pass themselves off as humans if the light was dark and the beer glass empty. Why someone from another world who came to Earth to live would want to join the LAPD without having special powers to beat innocent suspects senseless was always beyond me. But there it is.
Aliens in the Family
Maybe if the word “aliens” were pronounced more like “all-liens” this sitcom might have stood a better chance. But you do have to hand it to “Aliens in the Family” for adding something a little different to the long legacy of alien visitors to our home planet. Abduction by a female alien–which is different enough on its own–led to human/alien offspring and inter-galactic marriage. Bobut the baby was supposed to be like the baby on that “Dinosaurs” show. This sitcom was even created by those involved with “Dinosaurs.” It didn’t catch on in quite the same fashion.
Mork and Mindy
I can remembering finding “Mork and Mindy” funny when I was a teenager. In fact, I can remember laughing hysterically at the antics of Mork and my mother wondering what was so funny. And then I start to think that what I am taking as memories must actually be implanted memories that never occurred. Because when I catch “Mork and Mindy” on the Hub Network these days, I look at myself like my mother used to look me. What, in fact, was so funny?