‘Little House on the Prairie’: Alison Arngrim Revealed How She ‘Always Knew’ Michael Landon Was on Set ‘From a Mile Away’

Alison Arngrim starred as mean girl Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie for seven seasons. Hired by Michael Landon when he created the show in 1974, Arngrim recalled how her boss and co-star always made his presence known when he was on set.

Michael Landon of 'Little House on the Prairie' |
Michael Landon of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ | NBCU Photo Bank

Michael Landon ‘loved to laugh’

Landon was known for his side-splitting sense of humor and penchant for pranks. Arngrim remembered the Little House star as being a joy to work with thanks to his balance of business and fun.

“Michael Landon was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and worked with,” Arngrim told Fox News in 2020. “He had this absolutely juvenile sense of humor, which made it great for all the kids. He was like a big kid himself. He loved to laugh and do practical jokes. It’s crazy because we worked at a furious pace and he was a real task masker.”

Though Landon required professionalism from all cast members regardless of age, he made plenty of time for laughter when the cameras weren’t rolling.

“He was writing the show, producing, directing, and starring in it,” Arngrim explained. “And all of us, even [the] children were held with a very high standard of work. We were very much treated like grownups during filming and expected to really perform on set. But in between scenes, when we weren’t filming? Gosh, he was constantly goofing around.”

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Alison Arngrim knew Michael Landon’s iconic laugh

Fans of Little House got to see Landon perform a myriad of emotions on each episode. While he often showed tears in dramatic scenes, Landon also shared his trademark belly laugh during the show’s comedic turns. Arngrim said his legendary laugh would ring through the set no matter where he happened to be at the moment.

“You always knew when Michael was on set because you could hear him laugh from a mile away,” the Little House alum remarked. “He had this high-pitched giggle, like a little girl. If you pay attention to the show, you’ll hear him do it a couple of times. When he really laughed, it was like this little giggle. And you would go, ‘Oh, Michael’s here’. You could just hear it for miles.”

Despite his fun-loving nature, Landon had no trouble switching gears when it was time to get to work.

“He was so funny, goofy and childlike in his sense of humor and laughter,” Arngrim said. “And yet when it came time to shooting, he was all business and no-nonsense with our schedules.”

‘Little House’ alum recalled plenty of laughter on set

Though Landon had high expectations of his cast, he created an environment that his co-stars and crew enjoyed throughout the work day where laughter was a priority.

“I think that’s how we got through so much hard work,” Arngrim shared. “He was always joking around, so we were laughing all the time. We used to laugh ourselves silly in Little House – so much that our sides would hurt. We’d laugh all day. It was great.

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