Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Alex "Al" Smutko is a Hungarian-born 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 has several Trekian namesakes:

From 1987, a strange phenomenon began spreading around Smutko: a few fans in Madison, Wisconsin, discovered him in the end credits of 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 Star Trek: Communicator issue 106. [1]

Smutko left his native Hungary in 1948, after the Communist takeover, and first lived in West Germany before arriving to the US four years later. In 1960, he began working in home construction in California. Five years later, a friend contacted him with a job offer at Desilu, which began his Hollywood career. 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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