‘Bonanza’ and ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Michael Landon Detailed His Transition Between Cast

by Anna Dunn
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Co-workers knew Michael Landon for his kindness and humor. But what was it like for Landon to transition between two different casts? In a 1974 Interview with Bobbie Wygant, Landon detailed what it was like transitioning from the cast of “Bonanza” to “Little House on the Prarie.”

In the interview, Wygant joked about the fact that Michael Landon was transitioning from a set full of men to a set with more women. “You’re going to have to clean up your act, Michael,” she laughed.

“A lot of the guys we had on the ‘Bonanza’ crew are back with us,” he said while noting that the new cast and crew he was working with was a good group.

“It’s a little different atmosphere, isn’t it, with all those women around?” Wygant asked. Michael Landon said that it’s a very similar experience.

“It’s the same laughs – that doesn’t change. We have an awful lot of fun on the show. I don’t think you can make a show week in and week out and work that kind of schedule if you’re not having a good time.”

Michael Landon Loved to Joke Around on Set

Michael Landon formed plenty of bonds and friendships within the cast and crew of “Little House on the Prarie.” One cast member, in particular, Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls, has nothing but kind words for Landon. She’s said that Landon was like a “surrogate father” to her. Her bond with Michael Landon was incredibly important to her, even off-set.

Landon was also quite the prankster. For instance, during one of the seasons of “Little House on The Prarie,” Landon and other production team members decided to host a Halloween. When the kids trick or treated at Landon’s hotel door, they got a gross surprise. He dropped a pair of boxers covered in peanut butter into their bag.

He was known on set for his laughter and his humor. Allison Ingram said in an interview, “Michael Landon was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and worked with. He had this absolutely juvenile sense of humor, which made it great for all the kids, and he was like a big kid himself. He loved to laugh and do practical jokes. It crazy because we worked at a furious pace, and he was a real task masker.”

Whether it was on “Bonanza” or “Little House on the Prarie,” Landon brought entertainment to millions. Regardless of the cast, it sounds like he was just as much of a joy to be around on set as he was a joy to watch on screen.

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