Michael Landon caused a riot and had to escape via ladder

Early Michael Landon performances were a dangerous affair!

The more you learn about fame, the more it seems not what it's cracked up to be. 

Oh sure, we might pine for notoriety and glory in some shallow way, but dig a little deeper and the whole fame thing is a treacherous racket. Who wants to be followed around by paparazzi all the time? That would get old pretty quickly, as would the constant barrage of autograph requests. When you're famous, everyone wants a piece of you.

For a young Michael Landon, the "piece of you" part was pretty literal.

Long before his days on the Ponderosa as Joe Cartwright in Bonanza, Michael Landon toured the country singing in theaters. To hear him tell the tale, Landon caused quite the fervor at one venue in particular. In 1960, he spoke with the Tampa Bay Times about the riotous reception.

"I was the last one on the bill and I sang my one song, 'Give Me a Little Kiss, Will Ya, Huh?' nine times! There were about 3,500 people in a little hall, and at the most, six of them were guys. Well, when I finished singing, there was a wave of people coming towards me. I turned around and there was no one behind me. There had been an orchestra onstage a minute ago, but suddenly I was out there by myself. I started to run and somewhere in the wings, I saw someone beckoning to me. Before I could get to them, the kids got to me and ripped off my coat, shirt, one trouser leg, and my shoes. Finally, I got away and was given refuge in a small room that was the ticket office. I still couldn't figure out where everyone had disappeared to, but the man in the office cleared it up for me.

"This small riot was a regular procedure, so they had a ladder that was lowered from the ceiling at the end of every performance. Everyone on stage climbed up and got into an attic and waited until the excitement was over. The only trouble was, no one told me about it. See why I want to be a white-shirt singer? It's safer."

Heavens to Murgatroyd... Exit stage up?!

Next time you think your workplace is hazardous, just remember that nobody's tearing you to pieces.

Watch Bonanza on MeTV!

Monday - Saturday at 2 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

10 Comments

LoveMETV22 2 months ago
cperrynaples LoveMETV22 2 months ago
Yeah, but Landon didn't crawl while the camera was angled...LOL!
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 2 months ago
More like a quick climb. Sounds like the venue he was performing in was somewhat questionable.

"This small riot was a regular procedure, so they had a ladder that was lowered from the ceiling at the end of every performance."

It does leave a bit to the imagination or begs the question that maybe the interview was a bit "exaggerated."
WGH 2 months ago
Sounds like a story for public relations. If true, I'm sure it was grossly exaggerated.
Runeshaper 2 months ago
Hahaha 😆 glad he made it out with some of his clothes on lol
DeborahRoberts 2 months ago
So ... he didn't actually escape via ladder.
KJExpress DeborahRoberts 2 months ago
Yeah, strange title to this story, in retrospect.
Snickers DeborahRoberts 2 months ago
Kind of makes you wonder if the place had exit signs.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?