Jovial Willie O'Hara, a traveling, patent-medicine salesman, comes to Walnut Grove with his talking crow and chimpanzee "circus", appears to immediately cure Mr. Hanson's incurable headache... See full summary »



(developed for television by), (based upon the series of books "Little House" by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Harriet Oleson (as Katherine MacGregor)
William 'Willie' O'Hara

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Jovial Willie O'Hara, a traveling, patent-medicine salesman, comes to Walnut Grove with his talking crow and chimpanzee "circus", appears to immediately cure Mr. Hanson's incurable headache and convinces most of the community that his remedy is good for anything, and everything, that ails them. But an angry Doc Baker must intervene when Mrs. Oleson believes that the potion will cure her life-threatening appendicitis and later, Laura learns a difficult lesson when she expects O'Hara's miraculous medicine to heal her seriously injured best friend...her beloved dog, Jack. Written by shepherd1138

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Release Date:

5 February 1975 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the episode "The Circus Man", when Mr. O'Hara is telling Laura that his secret potion doesn't work, her braids keep moving from in front of her to in back of her. See more »


Raven: Time to go! Time to go!
Charles Ingalls: I think the bird's right. Time to go to school!
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User Reviews

a very good lesson episode.
25 August 2015 | by (South Africa) – See all my reviews

Aah the circus man.Remembered when I first saw it I recognized red buttons immediately bc of his appearance in another one of my favorite Walt Disney classics "pete's dragon". Back to the episode Not my favorite but still good.A Irish circus man stumbles across the ingalls farm and asked he can stay a while.One night he is attacked by I don't know what(we never saw) he claims he broke his ribs. Charles took him inside and once inside he asks the girls to go and get his "secret box". He tells them a fantasy story about the "secret of shami" a special powder that can heal anything.Now the girl believe his ribs are broken but their not really so he drinks the powder and tada his ribs are healed.The girll slurps this up for the true and Laura spreads the word all over town.Mr Hanson's "headache" gets cures by the powder.Mrs oleson must get her appendix removed but she doesn't want to shed rather just drink the "special powder". This makes doc Baker furious bc the powders does not really work and the circus man has not told anyone the truth that its actually worthless and its only a trick of mind. Therefore this episodes lesson. It is very important to always set truth from fantasy because in some cases it could be harmful to you. This episode also has its funny episodes but it also deals with serious issues. Give it a look it had very good life lessons. Now continue to episode 20

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