Leave it to “Little House on the Prairie” star Alison Arngrim as she busted the image that everything around the show was perfect.
Arngrim, who played brat Nellie Oleson on the NBC family drama, talked about the crew’s drinking habits. She shared her thoughts in a 2018 interview with From The Desk.
“So the place was very much a well-oiled machine,” Arngrim said. “In the case of some crew members, quite ‘oiled’ as they were very fond of beer!”
That revelation might come as a surprise to avid viewers of the family-friendly show.
‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Said Show Was ‘Running on Beer and Liquor’
“It sounds bizarre to say that the set of ‘Little House’, such a family, wholesome show,” she said. “And one that where nearly every episode came in ahead of schedule and under budget, was running on beer and liquor all day, but it was.”
Arngrim asked fans to compare those people in “Little House on the Prairie” with the “Mad Men” era. That reference goes toward the AMC series about people in the advertising world in the 1960s and 1970s.
She additionally said that was “when everyone acted like it was totally normal to drink a three-martini lunch and keep a bar in your office.”
“These guys were straight out of that whole time period and thought nothing of it,” Arngrim said. “Oh and they all smoked as well. Lovely!”
Alison Arngrim Found A Lot Of Nellie’s Nastiness Planned By Michael Landon
That does not sound like the Ingalls family and show people watched for many seasons on NBC. Arngrim was part of “Little House on the Prairie” for seven seasons and returned as a guest star in the ninth season.
Nellie was a nasty little girl on the show. For example, she picked fights and caused a lot of trouble, especially for Laura [Melissa Gilbert]. Many of her exploits, thought, were planned by show star and executive producer Michael Landon.
“Yeah, on ‘Little House,’ my character got to do things you just don’t normally do on other shows,” Arngrim said in a 2018 interview with The College Crowd Digs Me. “Eggs over the head. Falling in rivers. Going down a hill in a little wheelchair. Just y’know…who does this?”
In conclusion, she gave credit to Landon for coming up with the different Nellie scenarios.
“But that was just so Michael,” Arngrim said. “Let’s pour a whole bucket of raw eggs over her head. And it was hilarious!”
Arngrim has used her success on the show to her advantage. She performed a one-woman play about Nellie and her own personal life. Arngrim also released an autobiography on her life in 2010. “Little House on the Prairie” will always be a part of her career as new generations watch the show for the first time.