Child Star turns stand-up comic to poke fun at Marie Osmond's teeth, Pee-wee's misadventure and Different Strokes stars
STAR April 7, 1997
Alison Arngrim is now an outrageous comedienne, startling audiences with off-color jokes about Little House on the Prairie, kiddie stars and other celebrities.
"When I first get on stage, I tell people that they may recognize me as Nellie Oleson, often known es 'The Prairie Bitch,"'Alison, 30, tells STAR. "They go nuts Then I tell them I was the living embodiment of PMS for seven years there was no Midol on the prairie."
Alison's been doing her no-holds-barred stand-up comedy around the country, performing for AIDS benefits and headlining at the Laugh Factory Hollywood. She also has a serious side-she's an AIDS awareness volunteer.
"I'm one of the few child stars you'll ever meet who hasn't been to Betty Ford, posed nude for Playboy, shot my drug dealer or held up a video store," quips Alison, who's wed to actor/writer Donald Spencer.
"Melissa Gilbert and I were at a party recently, and we talked about what's happening to all the child stars from Different Strokes. l've never felt that Dana Plato or Todd Bridges were wrapped real tight.
"I remember on the set of Little House they used to tell us over and over again, 'Don't play with the children from Different Strokes.'"
Alison doesn't hesitate to joke about her celebrity friends, including Marie Osmond. "I pick on Marie's teeth. I say, 'It's not that her teeth are abnormally large. It's just that she has this very small head.'
"When Marie heard that joke, she sort of snorted at me and said, 'Tacky Alison, really tacky.'
"But she was very cool about it. Everybody thinks she's Miss Goody Two Shoes. She's no slouch."
Alison also targeted Pee-wee Herman in his hometown of Sarasota, Fla joking about Herman's plight after his arrest for exposing himself in a porn theater. Alison recalls: "They warned me not to make fun of Pee-wee because his parents were in the audience, but I did anyway I said 'God, this town is so uptight, I'm afraid to touch the microphone the wrong way.' His parents didn't freak out at all."
And she also pokes fun at herself in her routines. "When I started on Little House I was still wearing a training bra," she jokes. "I don't have to anymore, I have them trained. Then I glance down at my breasts and yell, 'Sit!' People crack up. They love it."
Although Little House Ieft prime time almost 10 years ago, Alison says people still can't separate her from nasty Nellie Oleson
"People still think I'm really Nellie-that I tease stuttering children and make fun of crippled people.
"I once got hit in the head by a cup of orange soda during the Hollywood Christmas parade," she adds. "I've even had some people tell me, 'I hate you for what you did to Laura!"'