Character: Alex P. Keaton
Actor: Michael J. Fox
Basically: The ’80s sitcom Family Ties revolved around one key theme- liberal parents of the ’60s raising their children in the money-hungry Reagan era. Elyse and Steven Keaton had three children when the series began in 1982- boy-crazy Mallory, tomboy Jennifer and ultra-conservative, Reagan-worshipping Young Republican Alex. Over the years, we watch young Alex P. Keaton counter his parents’ hippie-dippie, new age style parenting (love over money? Please), being the only boy in high school with a briefcase and a picture of Richard Nixon tacked up in his locker.
Also Seen In: Pretty much the only thing that all boys (The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads) can agree on is the fact that Back to the Future is categorically Awesome. If you haven’t seen it, welcome to America. I hope you enjoy processed cheese. I actually adore the entire catalog of MJF’s portfolio- Doc Hollywood, For Love or Money, Teen Wolf, The Secret of My Success as well as the ’90s sitcom Spin City which has an amazing cast and still a reliable go-to when I’m sick on my couch at 3pm on a Thursday. Or, you know, a regular Thursday.
Why We Love Him: Michael J. Fox was the breakout star of Family Ties and it’s easy to see why. He could play a block of wood and easily make it the most endearing block of wood in history. In anyone else’s hands, Alex Keaton would’ve ended up a grating, obnoxious character but there’s just something so charming about MJF and the way he slyly mocks his other family members reminds you of the loving way you mock the people in your own family. Not that I’m home with my family right now and there’s a lot of that going on or anything.
Ok, granted Michael J. Fox isn’t even this scene. Whatever, it’s still the best Family Ties clip ever.
My sister, who is standing over my shoulder as I type this, would like everyone to know that her favorite episode of Family Ties is the one when Alex and Ellen say good-bye at the train station. Unfortunately, despite our herculean efforts, we could not find the clip on Youtube and Jenn is really irritated about it.