With what I’m writing here… I am NOT minimizing the fact that a Hollywood great has died. A couple of days ago the diminutive actor, Michu Meszaros, passed away at the age of 76 after several years of ill health. He had various film and television roles, but most of what he is being remembered for in news stories is ALF.
With all the “viral” RIP mash-up vids and some of the articles proclaiming as such— Michu was not ALF. That is Paul Fusco.
The video above— the first eight seconds— that’s Michu Meszaros, in a full ALF suit, standing with the box over his head. And immediately thereafter is Paul Fusco’s puppeteering and voicing of ALF. That’s essentially what Michu did over about ten episodes during the life of the series which lasted four seasons. Rare occasions called for ALF to be seen in wide shots either standing, walking or even running for a few scant seconds. The biggest prominence of this was the series intro in the first couple seasons, at the end, which I’ll post below.
I best remember Michu in his role in Big Top Pee-wee where he had a few scenes, including in the finale with the late Kevin Peter Hall…
Another thing I remember is the time he had a street named after him in the late 1980s in the city of Hawthorne…
I think what’s gotten me the most is the fact that some journalists refuse to do full research, and those born in the latter half of the 90s and into the millennium haven’t as well… especially when they mock up these RIP videos of Paul Fusco’s work as ALF with a music track. And they don’t include any of Michu’s scenes.
Today was the day, and quite a build-up it was for the latest Pee-wee Herman film, and I was happy to finally be able to see it. I had been a fan since the Pee-wee’s Big Adventure days, leading on into the Pee-wee’s Playhouse era and beyond. Big Holiday had been in the works for a while, and came together with much of the help coming from Netflix who, in large part, made this all possible today for it’s debut.
What do I think? It took me a while to finally get it after watching the film late in the afternoon…but I liked it!!!!!
This is one of my favorite old school game shows from the 80s. I recall seeing this most every day during my kindergarten year (’84-’85) as it’d be playing immediately before I’d have to leave for school. I believe this aired around the 10/11am hour as I was in the PM class, and not long after $25,000 Pyramid with Dick Clark would come on— I’d be headed out the door. I’ve seen a lot of Super Password clips from a couple of years ago, but more recently, thanks to Buzzr (a new digital broadcasting network, launched this past January), more shows have been uploaded to YouTube with an amazing quality.
Here are some of my favorite moments in clip form…
I have always had an affinity for Old Hollywood and it’s Golden Age era. I suppose I initially came to this from being an early-on fan of watching a lot of I Love Lucy when it was in heavy syndication on KTTV Fox 11 back in the 1980s. The Hollywood episodes are what really opened my eyes as a grade school kid of who some of the original greats were. Although Joan Crawford was never on I Love Lucy, she did appear in the late 60’s on The Lucy Show in a memorable episode playing herself.
Joan was the hardcore, consummate professional at the height of her craft, and although her career had later declined— her self-discipline and values never changed. They really show in this 1970 interview she did on David Frost’s show. I’ve seen this before, but it’s the first full video posted that shows it in it’s entirety and not in six separate parts. It’s a worthy watch if you’re into this genre.
Early on when she talks about wardrobe— and she mentions Adrian— that’s Adrian Adolph Greenberg. He was simply known by his first name, and was a legendary costume designer for MGM Studios. His most famous costuming is seen in Wizard of Oz.
Joan died a couple years before I was born, but over a decade ago I was very lucky to meet one of her film directors, Vincent Sherman. At nearly 100 years of age he still had a sharp mind and great wit, and I will forever be grateful for the conversation he and I had about her. FYI- they had a three year fling, but that was no secret of course back in the day. But furthering on into this millennium… how many of her lovers do you think you could go find and talk to today? Nearly nil, I suppose.