Fact Check

Did 'ALF' Predict a Global Pandemic Would Occur in 2020?

The Alien Life Form known as Gordon Shumway is not a prognosticator.

Published Sep 18, 2021

Image Via YouTube
An episode of the 1980s television show "ALF" predicted that there would be a global pandemic in 2020.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the globe in 2020, many social media users found themselves concerned with a relatively irrelevant aspect of this dire situation: Who predicted it? Was it "The Simpsons?" No. A 1981 novel by Dean Koontz? Not really. How about good ol' Nostradamus? Nope. While some of these pandemic prediction claims attempted to spread the conspiratorial idea that the pandemic had been planned, others fell squarely into the humor category. One claim, for example, held that the Alien Life Form known as Gordon Shumway had predicted the COVID-19 pandemic during an episode of the 1980s sitcom "ALF":

This is not a genuine clip from "ALF." This is a comedy video from "Brad Pitt's Cooler Brother" that racked more up more than 3 million views after it was posted on TikTok.

The above-displayed clip comes from an episode of "ALF" called "On The Road" that aired during the show's first season in 1986. In the original clip, ALF and Will are arguing about how much fun they are having (or aren't having) during a rainy day of their road trip. While there are jokes about eating cats and the death of democracy (ALF doesn't get a vote on dinner), there are no predictions about pandemics. Here's the original clip:

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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