Underground Film Journal

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Full Episode Online: ALF’s Special Christmas

By Mike Everleth ⋅ December 25, 2013

[NOTE: Sorry, internet-surfer! While we’re glad you landed on this page, the ALF Christmas special gets put online and taken down so quickly that we can’t keep up anymore. Which is too bad since we wish everyone could enjoy this as much as we have. You can still read about it below, though.]

Revisit a holiday classic with ALF’s Special Christmas in which patriarch Willie Tanner attempts to reconnect with his youth by dragging his family — wife Kate, daughter Lynn and son Brian — to a remote cabin to celebrate the holiday where the irascible extraterrestrial ALF does his best to ruin the good times for everybody.

Granted, this 1987 TV special is neither very underground nor very film-y to be featured on the Underground Film Journal, yet the show ALF held great influence on the Journal as a youngster, to which we are now paying our respect.

While the show never seemed to be terribly popular, it did run for a surprising four seasons and spun off into several franchises, including a Saturday morning cartoon show and a Marvel comic book series. ALF, the show, never did quite reach a level of greatness that it could have, even though it did remain consistently enjoyable for its run. While there was an anarchic and subversiveness quality to the eponymous lead character, enough of the show was engineered to make it palatable for as wide an audience as possible, squashing any true radicalness that seemed to lurk within the concept.

The alien ALF wears a red scarf because it's Christmas and it's cold

Still, it was an oddball enough program to delight that certain type of youngster searching for any kind of fringe material pushing at the walls of 1980s commercial entertainment, even if they were gentle pushes.

So, thanks for the good times, ALF, and for teaching us the true meaning of Christmas!

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