Michael Landon Did Whatever It Took to ‘Gross Out’ Other ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Cast Members

Michael Landon had some serious moments as Little House on the Prairie character Pa Ingalls. When it came to his life behind-the-scenes, though, this actor was into “bathroom jokes” and playing pranks on his cast members. 

Here’s what we know about Landon’s time on this television series.

Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls in 'Little House on the Prairie'
Karen Grassle as Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls, Michael Landon as Charles Philip Ingalls in ‘Little House on the Prairie’ | NBCU Photo Bank

Michael Landon portrayed ‘Pa’ on ‘Little House on the Prairie’ 

He appeared in Highway to Heaven and Bonanza. Additionally, Landon was a regular cast member on the series, Little House on the Prairie, based on the work of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

There, he portrayed the father of the series, starting out with his three girls, Mary, Carrie, and Laura. The character eventually opened his home and heart to more children, adopting several before the series ended in 1983. There were some pretty serious topics discussed in this series.

That includes Mary Ingalls going blind and being sent away to a school, Ma Ingalls falling ill after cutting her leg, and hazardous working conditions for Landon’s character, Pa. 

There still were uplifting moments, though. Especially when the cameras weren’t rolling. Landon was known for playing pranks on other cast members, especially the younger girls in his fictional family. 

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Michael Landon was known for surprising people on set with his unique sense of humor

When he wasn’t shooting a scene for this series, Landon was known for his pranks and practical jokes. There was a birdseed incident with a Little House on the Prairie guest star.

There was a frog-related joke with the young girls in the cast and the women who would see him on set. He would even pick imaginary lice out of people’s hair.

“He always has a joke, a story or a quip,” Little House on the Prairie makeup artist Whitey Snider said, according to People. “He won’t stand for hostility.” 

Even when appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1991, the host shared a story about a Landon prank involving a dead cat and a fake menu with some surprising dishes for ordering.

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Other ‘Little House on the Prairie’ cast members shared their experience working with Landon 

Although Little House on the Prairie has since premiered its last episode, cast members still shared stories of their time on the set. That includes some of the parents of the younger kids on the series.

“Michael is into bathroom jokes, the worst,” the mother of actors Patrick and Matthew Laborteaux, Frankie Laborteaux said, according to an interview with People. “They try to out gross one another. There’s a lot of kid mixed in with all that genius.”

The Little House on the Prairie television series has since ended, but fans can watch episodes on several networks, which broadcast episodes featuring Landon and his character, Pa Ingalls.