If it feels like the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are the talk of the internet right now, it’s for good reason. Hollywood is essentially shut down due to the work stoppage, and the unlikely hero of the union is SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher. After verbally eviscerating Disney CEO Bob Iger and standing tall and confident in the defense of her fellow actors and writers, fans worldwide were reminded of how Drescher’s fierce demeanor has translated to fiery excitement both on and off the screen. She has long been a combative force in the fight for marriage equality, and she was an outspoken spokesperson for women’s cancer research after overcoming uterine cancer in the early 2000s.
Fran Drescher’s biggest role remains on the classic 1990s sitcom The Nanny, in which she played the overbearing live-in nanny of a wealthy New York City family of four. Like many comedies of the decade, Fran’s character, Fran Fine, was a mixture of her own personality along with fictional additions to spice up the story. (Seinfeld, Home Improvement, The Drew Carey Show, and many others come to mind when thinking of shows in this vein) This allowed her to dominate the spotlight and shine bright during each 22-minute episode, and we’re here to look back on and celebrate her best moments on The Nanny!
Season 6 Episode 22: “The Baby Shower”
A popular sitcom trope of the 1990s was to have the star of the show play two different characters appearing on screen at the same time (Lisa Kudrow playing Phoebe’s twin sister on Friends.) Fran adds a few extra layers to this scene, though, by making a cameo as herself! Fran Fine immediately recognizes Fran Drescher and the two have a hilarious conversation about the actress’s real-life hair style, storylines on the show, and when the series finale was going to air. There are brilliant uses of breaking the fourth wall and self-deprecating humor throughout the skit, creating a truly *Fran-tastic* comedic clip that reminds us how underrated The Nanny truly was. Shoutout to Niles for his quips about the butler being the best character in the show!
Fran’s Work-Life Balance
Season 3 Episode 5: “Val’s Apartment”
One of the drawbacks of being a nanny is that living with and taking care of a family is a 24/7 proposition. You can’t simply clock in and clock out, and Fran makes sure to let her boss and eventual husband Max Sheffield know about these issues in the funniest way possible. When Fran says it might be time to move out, Max plays it off like it will all be just fine. Fran knows otherwise, though, and her blunt arguments against Max’s ability to nanny the household without her around shows the incredible chemistry between Drescher and Charles Shaughnessy.
Fran the Fashion Icon
Fran Fine was always a striking fashion icon every time she appeared on The Nanny. Fans clamored to find outfits that could replicate her style, and she even turned into a popular drag character in the LGBTQ+ community. You don’t become fashionable without the help of your favorite cosmetics, and this short clip showing Fran’s distress over some discontinued makeup is full of her typical self-referential joking and pop culturally-relevant one-liners.
The Power of Fran’s Hair
Season 2 Episode 25: “The Chatterbox”
If there is one item that trumps Fran’s makeup and fashion sense, it’s here legendary hair. She shows the world that her nest wields immense power over everyone, especially Max, when she dons a short-styled wig for a night out on the town. Fran never seemed to find an outfit that could dim her fire and wit!
Fran Teaches the Birds and the Bees . . . Kind Of
Season 2 Episode 19: “A Fine Friendship”
Fran’s verbal clumsiness often got her in trouble through the six years of the show, but she was also equally adept at creating solutions to the problems she created. While unknowingly talking about soap opera gossip with Max’s daughter in the background, Fran makes Gracie worry that she is pregnant. Fran is able to comfort her in fine time, averting the stress without having to explain anything too “adult” to the children.
Fran Navigates the Buffet
If you’ve never been to a buffet, the amount of food can probably be a little shocking and overbearing at first glance. Fran makes sure to calm Maggie by explaining the importance of hoarding the shrimp in her purse first, a completely unsanitary but naturally funny skit that shows how random and off-the-rails Drescher’s humor was on the show.
Fran’s Voice’s Kryptonite is Wasabi
Season 3 Episode 18: “Val’s Boyfriend”
While many people were not fans of Fran’s nasally voice, the comedienne knew how to leverage the power of her vocal chords for bits like these. After eating some wasabi at a restaurant, the ensuing skit in which she is overcome by the spice, loses her typical New York accent, and then goes right back into it is a tour-de-force of her talent!
What is your favorite Fran Fine fierce moment? Let us know in the comments section!
The Nanny is available to stream on Max in the U.S.