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Al Smutko

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Alex "Al" Smutko is a construction coordinator who worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation beginning with the first episode following the pilot episode, "The Naked Now". He then worked as construction coordinator on the remaining of the series, Star Trek: Voyager, and the video games Star Trek: Borg and Star Trek: Klingon. Earlier in his career at the Desilu Studios, Smutko worked as carpenter on Star Trek: The Original Series.

Smutko is namesake to the characters, Lieutenant Alex Smutko and Engineer Alex Smutko, whose names appeared on numerous dedication plaques and okudagrams, and also Alexander Smutkov. An element, Smutkoian, on a futuristic periodic table was also named for him.

From 1987, a strange phenomenon began spreading around Smutko: a few fans in Madison, Wisconsin, discovered him in the end credits of Star Trek: The Next Generation and made a strange game around his unusual name. They searched in the end credits for him, and cheered whenever he appeared. Many fans joined them, and soon they built a fan club around Smutko, which is still operating. Many Star Trek production staff members, and even Jonathan Frakes have joined the club since, and an article about the phenomenon and Smutko himself was published in the April 1996 issue of Star Trek Communicator. [1]

Beside his work on Star Trek, Smutko also worked in the art department of the television series The Paper Chase (1978-1986) and Bosom Buddies (1980-1982). Smutko retired in 2001 when Star Trek: Voyager ended.

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