I remember ALF’s stateside singing career, which consisted of four flexis released by Burger King during the “Many Faces of ALF” promotional campaign, and it still strikes me as a missed opportunity. Why did ALF condescend to sing in our popular Earth idioms while the field hollers and sea shanties of his native Melmac languished in his memory?
Recently discovered ALF’s recording career auf Deutsch, and it is of another order entirely.
The sitcom must have been really popular in Germany, since Tommi Piper, the actor who dubbed ALF’s voice in German, recorded two albums and four singles as the cat-eating alien between 1988 and 1991. (Did the German audience somehow tune into the series’ sordid behind-the-scenes milieu, an infamous sewer of total depravity, where the show’s creators wallowed in every abject and wretched vice cataloged in the pages of Hollywood Babylon? No, they could not have, because the previous sentence is in no way a correct or accurate description of Alien Productions, the TV show ALF, or any person or persons ever associated with either of those entities, to the best of my knowledge, at the present time.)
Following the singles “Frohfest,” “Tujujahe (Es Tut So Wohl, Schön Faul Zu Sein)” and “Hallo ALF, Hier Ist Rhonda” (b/w “ALF’s Geburtstag’s Boogie-Woogie”) came the one that strikes me as the most bizarre: a hip-hop number called “ALF Wird Unser Bundeskanzler,” which allegedly means “ALF Will Be Our Chancellor.”
It’s not just that the idea of a puppet from a sitcom running for chancellor of Germany is eerily reminiscent of that Black Mirror episode, or that the idea of a novelty rap record promoting ALF’s candidacy reminds me favorably of Alice Cooper’s “Elected,” though I like these aspects of “ALF Wird Unser Bundeskanzler” (as I understand it). You must actually listen to this thing. Especially if, like me, you speak no German, something about the massed voices chanting, the minor instrumental passages, and the humorless Schlager bass announcing “Ich bin ALF!” to the roar of cheering multitudes sounds maybe a little, ah, sinister? For a children’s record?
“ALF Wird Unser Bundeskanzler” came out in 1989. Again, I don’t have a clue what Tommi Piper is rhyming about, but if Billy Joel can act as if he helped bring down the Soviet Union, surely ALF can take some credit for tearing down the Berlin Wall?
Too bad they never made a music video, it would have been a fuckin’ classic…