Gordon Shumway, nicknamed ALF (abbreviation of Alien Life Form), is an alien from the planet Melmac.
ALF was born on October 28, 1756 (According to the Melmacian Calendar, he was born on the 28th of Nathinganger) and has a younger brother and sister. He once mentions that he was conceived in a DeSoto. ALF's body is covered with rust-colored fur (he once described his color as burnt sienna), but has implied that it is not his natural color. (ALF: "A.L.F.") He has a rippled snout, facial moles, eight stomachs and he likes to eat cats. He is about three feet tall. (ALF: "A.L.F.")
He attended Melmac High School for 122 years, where he majored in software and pedestrian crossing, and was captain of a Bouillabaisseball team (which is played on ice using shellfish as a ball). In college, ALF majored in physical education.
ALF was later employed as an Orbit Guard and was called to duty shortly before his planet was destroyed in a nuclear war. His girlfriend Rhonda escaped the destruction of Melmac in a spaceship piloted by his best friend Skip.
In addition to his native Melmacian tongue, ALF can speak both English and Spanish proficiently, although his English spelling and penmanship is very poor. Although there is no explanation given as to how he learned these languages, it is evident that elements of Earth culture have infused themselves into Melmacian culture (perhaps through observation or monitoring of television and radio broadcasts), in that ALF was once in a dinner theatre production of Man of La Mancha on Melmac.
ALF is an avid musician who sings and plays saxophone, guitar, bass guitar, drums, and piano (although he finds it hard to play without the "red" keys).
ALF is troublesome, sarcastic and cynical, and sometimes he puts himself at the risk of being discovered while doing some of his often unintentional pranks. ALF is known to have set 246 fires with the Tanner family, but most were barbeque related. Before he met Rhonda, his girlfriend, he was engaged to Ruby.