‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon Has Audience in Fits of Laughter Explaining What It’s Like Working with Kid Actors in 1974 Interview

by Clayton Edwards

Michael Landon played Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. His character was tough, loving, and witty. Some of that wit came from Michael Landon’s writing on several of the episodes. Everyone who watched the show knows that Landon was a talented man. His acting, directing, and writing were all superb. He truly helped make the classic TV show what it was. Without his work in front of and behind the camera, who knows if the show would have worked as well as it did.

In a 1974 appearance on The Johnny Carson Show, audiences got to see just how funny the Little House on the Prairie star was behind-the-scenes. The entire interview with Michael Landon is hilarious. However, it gets particularly funny when he talks about working with the young stars of Little House.

Michael Landon on Working With Kids on Little House on the Prairie

From the time he sits in the guest’s chair, Michael Landon has the audience laughing. His sense of humor, much like Little House on the Prairie, is timeless. No matter what question Johnny Carson tosses his way, Landon has a joke. His humor ranges from quick one-liners to long hilarious stories. After keeping the audience in stitches for a couple of minutes while talking about his various failings as a handyman, Johnny asks him about the show.

In particular, Carson asked Michael Landon about working with his young costars on Little House on the Prairie. Michael Landon said that the hardest part about working with the kids is that they all know their lines. He goes on to say that it can get very embarrassing for adults on the set. This draws a laugh from both Carson and the crowd.

Then, he said that if an adult actor doesn’t say their line, the kids will immediately correct them. According to the Little House on the Prairie star, the kids would say the lines right to the adult actors. Being corrected by a kid can be embarrassing. Having it happen on a set full of professionals is probably worse.

Landon kept the jokes rolling throughout the rest of the interview, proving that he could really think on his feet.

Michael Landon Kept His Sense of Humor

Michael Landon was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in 1991. Weeks later, the Little House on the Prairie star made another appearance on The Johnny Carson Show. During that interview, he talked about his diagnosis, the press conference he called, and a few other things. Many people would have been down and out in his shoes and rightfully so. However, if they didn’t mention the diagnosis, you would have never known Landon was nearing the end of his life.

The Little House on the Prairie patriarch started cracking jokes as soon as he sat down. In fact, he even made a couple of jokes about his cancer. He also poked fun at the tabloids that were writing about his impending doom. At one point, he starts to get a little more serious while talking about his medical condition. You can almost see Landon catch himself. Then, he goes back to making jokes. At one point in the chat, he said that he tried to laugh every day to help get him through his ordeal.

Michael Landon faced his diagnosis with dignity and never lost his famous sense of humor.