The 'ALF Kid' On The Origins Of His Viral 'I F*** On The First Date' Photo
Back in 2002, before the time of social media supremacy and the mainstream use of memes, a photograph of an overweight kid with tight shorts, an ALF t-shirt and an unforgettable smile went viral online. The meme, now known as ALF Kid, is most known for a photoshopped variant that changes the shirt to read "I fuck on the first date" and shows ex radio-DJ Tiny, real name Andrew, in the 80s, standing outside his mother's house with a Super Mario lunchbox. We connected with Tiny to talk about the origins of the iconic image, what it was like to see the meme grow so big before the age of social media and the time Tiny appeared on "Ridiculousness."
Q: What's the story behind the "ALF Kid" photo?
A: That photo was taken in… Oh man, it must have been the mid-80s, ‘cause that was when I was in first grade. Even though it looks like I was ready for high school, I look like a full-on adult, the hair with the big poof and the glasses and the Velcro shoes, I was ready to go, man. But that’s in front of my parents’ house in first grade.
Q: What do you remember about that day?
A: That day to me was huge, you can see in the picture how proud I was. I remember my shoulders being back, my chest was pumped up. I felt so cool because I had brand new glasses and my mom had convinced me that they looked good on me and I was such a handsome boy, my Velcro shoes because they were super sweet and it made me feel like I could run faster and I needed all the help I could get and my blue lunch box, ‘cause it was the special edition, the Mario Brothers one that apparently is worth a lot of money, but even then I was super swagged out, I guess.
So my lunch box, my glasses and my Velcro shoes, man, that was the best. You could see it in my face. I felt like I was a superhero, like I could take off and lift off and fly away with my arm in the air. That ALF shirt meant everything to me, I wore that until it was threads.
Q: Is it true your mom has the photo hung up in her home?
A: My mom does have it, she does have it framed. Unfortunately, she recently passed, but she had this proud up on the mantle, so everyone could see, it was one of the first things you could see in my parents’ house when you walked in, me and ALF.
Q: Did you wear that outfit regularly?
A: I think I wore it for the next couple of days too, ‘cause it was the middle of the ‘80s, and you could get away with stuff like that. So I wore that outfit all the time. That was my go-to.
Q: How did the photo end up online?
A: So with the Marconi Show, [Marconi] and I met while working at the radio station with another guy named Nick, who was the producer of the show. They took me on and I ended up being the co-host of the radio show.
So I was the co-host of the Marconi Show and Marconi obviously was the host. He had come over to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, ‘cause his parents weren’t gonna be in town and he didn’t have anywhere else to go, so of course, he’s like a brother to me, I invited him over and it was front and center of my parents’ house. As soon as we walked in, he freaked out, he started like wheezing, laughing and doubled over holding his stomach because he saw this picture.
He knew it was gonna be big as soon as he saw the face. He commented how the shoulders were back, how the face was all puffy and smiley, and how the… the first thing he said, if you look in the picture how my shorts are a little tight, so my junk looks like it’s sanctioned, it’s like cut out a little bit ‘cause they’re just a little too snug in the crotch area. It was weird that he went there the first thing, but it was the funny thing about it, he liked it a lot.
So he found it at my parents’ house and asked my mom’s permission if we could use it for the fab website and of course, she gave it to him. So right after that, he had scanned it the next day, and my buddy Rob uploaded it to the website and instantly it took off from there.
Q: Are you a fan of the photograph?
A: I love the photo for so many different reasons. There is a lot of layers to it, but I’m glad that we could use it at the front of the website that we used to interact with everyone that listened to the radio show and I just like looking at it because like I said earlier, I know how happy I was in that moment. That was pure joy, feeling so cool with my lunch box and my shoes, that's something I try to mimic. So if I ever get upset or sad or anything, I definitely take a look at that picture to get happy.
Q: When did you first see the image used as a meme or outside of the website?
A: The first time that I saw the meme, I didn’t really see it on the internet. I saw it on the back of an import car magazine actually at a 7/11. I was flicking through a foreign car magazine and in the back, there’s my picture. It had ALF taken off, but it had words put on it, the, “I fuck on the first date.” And I’m like, “What the fuck is this? Where’d they get this picture?” That’s the first time that I really saw myself as a meme.
It was so random, I don’t remember if it was tied to an ad, or if they were using it for something funny. I don’t know if it was like picture of the week or something that they would do like that, I don’t remember the context that they used it in, but I did see it in the back of an import car magazine and that weirded me out for sure.
Q: Why do you think people enjoy the image and making memes out of it so much?
A: I think it’s my face, honestly. Even though it’s me, this might sound conceited, but it’s just so cute. Like you wanna punch it, like you just wanna grab his cheeks and just bite his face. The reaction makes it, it makes me feel when I look at it. I think it’s just kind of the cuteness of it, but it’s a "so cute, I wanna punch it" kind of thing.
Q: Some of the memes make direct jokes about your weight; do those memes effect you negatively or is it all fair game?
A: Starting off my entertainment career, being a radio DJ, I kind of had to hurry up and get thick skin. I had thick skin anyway, I definitely was the typical big dude who used comedy in defense when getting bullied and stuff like that. I had thick skin, those jokes don’t bother me. Some of ‘em are really funny. It only makes me mad if they suck or if they’re just blatantly really stupid. Like, come on man. Yes, I know I’m fat, I get it, I have mirrors like at least be funny about it.
Q: Does your family know about the meme and what do they think of it?
A: Most of my family does. I remember my mom sending me the picture [with 'I fuck on the first date'] and asked me to explain myself, what the shirt meant. She was like, “How did they put that shirt on you? That’s not the shirt that you had,” [laughter] It was funny. My family thinks it’s pretty funny. I’ve been the jokester, the funny one of the family. They almost kind of expected it.
Q: Growing up, did friends find the photograph funny?
A: Yeah, they’d all have a ritual. Whenever they’d come in, like football players when they leave the locker room that slap the top of the locker room when they leave, when my friends would come over, they’d kiss their hand and tap the picture before they come in, ‘cause it’s right there up front, like you can’t not see it when you walk in. So they'd treat it like it was some sacred thing and tap it, make sure it’d get love and respect before they entered the house.
Q: Do you know who made the "I fuck on the first date" edit?
A: I have no idea who put those words there, I saw a couple of the listeners of the radio show, they did a few things with the picture, but it wasn’t that, it was silly edits, adding something in or taking something out. I didn’t see the actual meme with those words for a while.
Q: Do you have a favorite version of the meme you've seen?
A: Yeah, it’s a little, I guess in poor taste. So it’s all for jokes and I don’t necessarily agree with the opinion or the backend story of what they’re trying to say, but the one where they put Michael Jackson where he gets all happy, because I’m a kid that says, “I fuck on the first date.” [laughter] That’s kind of funny. Allegedly he had a problem with kids, I can’t say he did or didn’t, I like his music, I definitely danced to it. But, for what it is, that meme was kind of funny.
Q: Lots of people don't know you're the ALF Kid. Do you wish more people recognized you for the meme?
A: No, I don’t really. Maybe 10 years ago, maybe I would have wanted to be more involved, ‘cause I definitely tried to be, but now I’m cool with not being involved. I think it’s kinda funny because I’ll get like a link or a screenshot of people saying that they know that guy in real life, “Hey, I know that guy.” Or “Hey, I went to school with that guy.” Or “I listened to that guy on the radio. I know that guy.” And then people are like, “Oh, that guy doesn’t even live anymore, he’s dead, he’s so fat. There is no way he’s still alive. Surely he died years ago.” So yeah, it’s kinda funny to watch all the things that people come up with.
Q: Have you ever gone viral for anything else?
A: Well, with my buddy Nick, we tried to create a few things. I danced in front of his driveway in one of his studios in women’s underwear, scantily-clad clothes and a couple of those went viral. One of them ended up on "Ridiculousness" on the episode with Wee-man and Preston, where there is a montage of a bunch of different big dudes. I think I was doing the jazz dance.
I did like a six or seven or eight different types of dances, interpretive, jazz, that type of stuff, in women’s underwear and I have a tattoo on my stomach in Japanese writing. They said, “Hey, look on the stomach, it says Big Mac.” And I’m dancing doing my thing and it was pretty funny. It’s a good episode.
Q: Do you fuck on the first date?
A: Typically, yeah, they can have it usually. They can catch these hands and whatever else I throw at them. Yes, absolutely. The meme is accurate. Absolutely.
Q: What have you been up to since the Marconi Show?
A: After the Marconi Show, I kinda went into the medical field and now I’m back in the entertainment field. I work at the Nike World Headquarters and I also work for my friend Nick for his automotive review company called Our Auto Expert. I do some of the back-end stuff, the editing and the audio stuff and help on his radio show.
Q: What's your overall opinion of becoming a meme?
A: I think it’s fantastic. It’s great to see people poke fun at it. The jokes are awesome. I think if it’s really funny, then I love it. At least, like I said, it takes time to be funny, but I love that it blew up. I think it’s great. I think that if this is gonna be my legacy, I’m okay with it. This is my legacy as the ALF kid. I’m good with it.
Q: Do you still have anything you wore in the photograph?
A: The only thing that I think that I have left from that photo is the lunch box and allegedly it’s in my parents garage. I wish I had the Alf shirt. If I didn’t wore that thing into threads, then I definitely would have kept it and framed it.
Q: The photo blew up before social media took over; what do you credit with getting the meme to blow up?
A: I think for the most part, the reason it kinda blew up is from the website. I don’t think it would’ve got posted otherwise had Marconi not come over. I’m not computer-savvy enough, I wouldn’t have the vision, for a lack of better terms, with that picture, I just would have enjoyed it. Had it not been for my buddy Rob, who made that website and posted it for us and Marconi’s idea, yeah, it just would have stayed at my parents’, so I’m thankful for the website and people, they stole it right away, man. It was beautiful, I loved it.
If you want to keep up with and support Tiny, visit the automotive news and review website ourautoexpert.com.
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