Fran Drescher is not just a famous actress most well-known for her role as Fran Fine on the 90s hit sitcom The Nanny. She is also a 21-year uterine cancer survivor. In 2002, she published her New York Times best-selling memoir Cancer Schmancer, which chronicled her journey through multiple misdiagnoses and survival. Five years later, she founded the Cancer Schmancer Movement, an organization that promotes early detection of women’s cancers and aims to transform the nation’s healthcare system through policy change.
Listen to hear Jay and Fran discuss her long history of activism, her passion for women’s health issues, and why The Nanny’s recent resurgence proves the show was ahead of its time.
Fran Drescher, American actress, Comedian, Writer and Activist.
All Inclusive, a podcast on inclusion, innovation and social justice with Jay Ruderman.
Jay Ruderman: (00:13)
Hi, I’m Jay Ruderman, and this is All Inclusive. A podcast focused on inclusion, innovation and social justice. Fran Drescher almost needs no introduction. She’s famous for co-creating and starring as Fran Fine in the nineties, sitcom the Nanny. And of course, for her iconic voice. As of this past June, she is also a 21 year uterine cancer survivor. In 2002, she published the New York Times best selling memoir Cancer Schmancer, which chronicled her journey through multiple misdiagnoses and survival.
Jay Ruderman: (00:53)
In 2007, her book morphed into the Cancer Schmancer Movement with a mission to transform the nation’s healthcare system through prevention, early detection and policy change. Though a fierce and outspoken healthcare advocate, Drescher never comes up short on positive thinking. She believes being famous and surviving cancer has given her a platform to help educate people on early detection and live longer. Or as she likes to say, “The best gifts come in the ugliest packages.” Fran, it’s a pleasure to welcome you to All Inclusive. Let’s begin by talking about the cultural moment The Nanny is having on HBOMax. Why do you think 28 years after the first airing that it’s resonating with new generations?
Fran Drescher: (01:33)
Well, you know, timing is everything. And I think that the Nanny happened at a particular time when the internet was just beginning to happen and the kids that grew up watching it, who are now the millennials, were the ones that kind of drove the beginnings of social media. They really had a lot of nostalgia and love for the show. And so as they got older, they began to appreciate some of the jokes that went over their heads. They began to appreciate the costumes. I’m sure they enjoyed seeing, but didn’t really grasp what a truly stylish show it was. And they probably didn’t grasp the sexual tension between the nanny and her boss, Mr. Sheffield.
Fran Drescher: (02:39)
I think the millennials and their addiction to social media and the fact that the show has never been off the air since 1993, and now that it’s finally streaming on HBO Max, so they could binge it, watch it whenever they want and commercial free, they’re sharing it with their kids now. And it’s just an incredible phenomenon that I’m extremely grateful for and very proud to have been the creator and the producer of. So it’s just wonderful.
Jay Ruderman: (03:25)
Well, it’s a really funny show and you are wonderful in it. I want to talk about when you co-created it with your then husband, Peter Mark Jacobson. How did the idea come about for the show?
Fran Drescher: (03:39)
I was on a trip to Europe and on the flight over was the president of CBS. I kind of started chewing his ear off about how he should listen to ideas for shows for me that Peter and I had. Because I have a very unique brand of comedy and I don’t think just waiting for the right script or audition is quite going to do it. And nine and a half hours later, he threw up his arms and said, “Okay, when we all get back to LA, you’ll call my office and I’ll set you up a meeting with the head of comedy development.” And then I ended up walking around the streets of London with my girlfriend Twiggy’s daughter, who was just a proper little British school girl at the time. Maybe 11 or 12. And at some point she said, “Oh, Fran, my new shoes are hurting me.” And I thought, what the hell is she telling me for?
Fran Drescher: (04:44)
And then I thought, I didn’t feel like going back yet, so I told her just step on the backs of them. She says, innocently, “Won’t that break them?” And I said, “Break them in.” And I thought this is a very funny relationship because I’m not being the typical caregiver. I’m not telling her what’s good for her, I’m telling her what’s good for me. And I couldn’t get that idea out of my end. In the middle of the night, I called Peter because it was like nine hours earlier in LA and I said, “I think I got the idea for us to pitch to CBS when I return.” I said, “What do you think about a spin on the Sound of Music only instead of Julie Andrews, I come to the door?”
Fran Drescher: (05:39)
He thought for a moment and said, “That’s it. That’s the show we’ll develop as soon as you get back and then we’ll pitch it to CBS.” And the rest is TV history.
Jay Ruderman: (05:50)
I remember you saying either an interview or recording about seizing the day. So I think, can you talk a little bit about your philosophy about going for it in life?
Fran Drescher: (06:02)
From a very young age, I started to appreciate the life lessons that experience was teaching me. And when I was still a teenager living at home with my parents, I had a commercial audition to go up on. From where we lived in Queens, I had to take two buses and a train to get to this audition. I spent a great deal of time putting on my makeup perfectly and blowing my hair out like Farrah Fawcett and all this. But when I got there, I didn’t feel confident. They wanted me to like sing and dance with a paper bag over my head because I think it was for a Jack in the box commercial. And so I kind of got in my own way. I didn’t really give 100% because I was embarrassed a little bit.
Fran Drescher: (07:04)
On the train ride and two buses to get back home, I was beating myself up. Why did I do that? Why did I go to all this trouble just to end up getting in my way when I was finally at the audition? I said, this feeling of regret is profoundly worse than if I had just dived in and did it. And I said, I’m never going to do that again. Ever. And so I recall that 17 or 18 year old girl still living at home of my parents, when I saw the president of CBS walk on the plane. I thought to myself, carpe diem, seize the day. Because if this is divine intervention, and if I don’t take advantage of this moment now, I will have profound regrets. And I already know I hate feeling regretful. So I’m just going to dive in the deep end and convince this man that I know my brand of comedy better than any writer he’s going to be working with.
Jay Ruderman: (08:14)
It’s a great life lesson. And because there’s a lot of talk about the Nanny being ahead of its time. In fact, there have been several articles that have lauded the Nanny about being sexually liberated. Was your intention when creating the character of Fran Fine to have her as a sexually liberated woman, as a feminist?
Fran Drescher: (08:38)
First of all, we write what we know. I happen to come from a family of mostly women and they’re all very comfortable with their sexuality and sensuality. Starting with my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, I have a sister, my mother has a sister, we’re a bunch of women that are comfortable in our own skin and comfortable being women. And we don’t take no shit, but on the other hand, we’re comfortable with our sensuality. So when we wrote it, both Sylvia and Yetta were very comfortable in their own skin, in their womanliness. It was what it was.
Fran Drescher: (09:38)
So I don’t think we were particularly thinking in terms of, oh, we’re going to create a character who’s a feminist or who’s sexually liberated. We just wrote what we knew and what was truthful to us.
Jay Ruderman: (09:57)
You also mentioned about Fran’s wardrobe and what were you trying to convey about the iconic wardrobe that Fran Fine wore on the show?
Fran Drescher: (10:11)
Well, Peter and I understood very clearly that this was a star vehicle for me and that I’m a woman with a great deal of style, that wears clothes really well and that television is a visual media. So we wanted the character to put on a fashion show in every episode. We knew that going in. We even designed that circular staircase to accommodate her entrances. And so this was by design. But I had just finished a CBS series that was very short lived with Twiggy and Julie Hagerty, which was where I met Twiggy and how we became friends. And that was called Princesses. On that show, there was a woman second in command to the lead designer who I found to be extremely impressive. Her name was Brenda Cooper.
Fran Drescher: (11:27)
I said to Peter, “She really understands how to dress a woman from the undergarments out so she looks her best. If we ever do get a TV show up and running,” because I had already put that out to the universe and I was manifesting it, I knew that I really needed to be in charge, that I was more talented than some of the people I was working for and it wasn’t that satisfying. I really needed to manifest getting on the inside in a big way. And so I was already collecting people in my head, anticipating it happening. She was one of them, as was Anne Hampton Calloway who wrote the famous theme song.
Jay Ruderman: (12:27)
Yeah. I was going to ask you about the theme song because it’s one of the most famous in the history of sitcoms. How did that come about?
Fran Drescher: (12:34)
I went to a cabaret in the theater district of Manhattan and she was performing. It was a friend of mine, Todd [Graff 00:12:46], who’s a writer and director who took me to this cabaret show that she was headlining. And I was blown away by her. I thought, she’s singing songs that she wrote and I’m not used to hearing original music in cabarets that I really think are great. I mean, she’s written songs for Barbara Streisand. So I thought, wow, if ever we need someone to write music, I’m going to get her. I started to just collect people that impressed me, including the company that animated a commercial that ended up being the company that did the animated opening titles.
Jay Ruderman: (13:40)
It’s like a very holistic view to life. Everything adds on it itself.
Fran Drescher: (13:48)
Yes, exactly. And when you want to manifest something, you start living it and eventually the pieces come together to create a whole picture. But you can’t get in your way ever. Opportunity is constantly knocking at your door, you have to have the tenacity to not only recognize it, but then Carpe diem, seize the day.
Jay Ruderman: (14:23)
Right. One of the great things about the Nanny is how unapologetically Jewish you are in the show. And in light of antisemitism on the rise today, can you talk about your efforts to keep Fran Fine as Jewish on the show?
Fran Drescher: (14:41)
Well, the character was always written as Jewish because it was created for me. And then CBS called when we were writing the pilot script and said that they have an opportunity to pre-sell the entire series to Proctor and Gamble. The only thing is they want the character to be Italian, not Jewish. Now, again, here’s this concern about feeling regret because I know myself. And although this was my big break, I knew it was going to be my big break. If I didn’t stand firm on how this character must be written and the show failed, I would have a very difficult time living with the fact that I didn’t do it my way.
Fran Drescher: (15:41)
Whereas, if I do it my way and I fail, I think that would be easier for me to live with because I did my vision and I felt in my heart it was right. But to do it for no good reason, just to kind of get it on the air and not stand firm to the vision was not an option. I really dug in my heels and said, “I’m sorry, but the character of Fran Fine must be Jewish.” It’s an extremely fast medium, writing, performing, it’s all very fast and there’s no time for us to do it with an Italian character being because I’m not Italian. And we can’t write Italian with the richness of specificity that is our brand of comedy.
Jay Ruderman: (16:43)
Well, Fran, you’re a very strong person. I want to talk a little bit about your activism and your journey in founding Cancer Schmancer. I understand it took eight doctors and two years to finally determine that you had uterine cancer. Can you talk about that journey?
Fran Drescher: (17:01)
Well, again, this kind of plays into the fact that I challenge the status quo constantly. I am a visionary. I like to be in the leadership role. I’m not afraid to reinvent the wheel. I’m not afraid to walk away from something that does not feel right to me. So that personality within me saved my life frankly. Because we are living in a time where doctors are bludgeoned by big business health insurance to go the least expensive route of diagnostic testing. So many doctors, and certainly the eight that I saw, subscribe to the philosophy, if you hear who’s galloping, don’t look for zebra, it’s probably a horse. But if you happen to be a zebra, you’re going to be screwed. And I slipped through the cracks every step of the way, because I was too young and too thin to be a candidate for uterine cancer. Even though one in four women or 25% of the women who get uterine cancer are young and thin.
Fran Drescher: (18:39)
That to me, warrants ruling it out before you start treating them for the more benign possibility which for me, was peri menopause, is what they assumed it must be. Doctor number one said, :Oh, well, you’re too young for an end endometrial biopsy.” At the time I didn’t say, well, why? What would that prove or disprove? I was just thrilled to be too young for anything. I was 40 at the time. By the time I was 42, doctor number eight gave me one, because after trying over the course of those two years, four different hormone replacement therapies for a condition that I did not have, the last one, doctor number eight gave me a hormone that had estrogen in it, which is literally like taking poison if you have uterine cancer. And I started immediately bleeding 24/7.
Fran Drescher: (20:02)
When I called her up, I said, “This cannot be right for me.” She said, “Well, I’ll give you an endometrial biopsy, but it’s probably just not the right hormone combination.” While she’s giving me this endometrial biopsy, which is a very uncomfortable but very brief test, she was saying to me, still convinced I was perimenopausal, and I had like five minutes of fertility left, that I should definitely freeze some embryos if I ever want to have a biologic child. Three days later, she called me and said, “I’m very surprised, but you have adenocarcinoma.” I said, “What’s that?” And she said, “Uterine cancer.” I literally dropped to my knees and wept because I thought, I knew something was wrong with me. I hoped it wasn’t cancer, but I’ve had this a long time and I may be at an advanced stage.
Fran Drescher: (21:12)
But you have to be lucky with even the kind of cancer you get and I was. Because unlike ovarian cancer, which is very aggressive and spreads its seeds very quickly, uterine cancer grows very slowly and keeps building on itself. So it just the tumor gets bigger and bigger until it starts to penetrate the endometrial wall and eventually reaching a lymph node where, it might spread. But that wasn’t the case with me, even after two years and eight doctors, I was still in stage one. Which means the tumor was just resting on the uterus and not penetrating the endometrial wall.
Jay Ruderman: (22:08)
I know that you have a statement that I’ve heard you say a few times, get it on arrival, good chance-
Fran Drescher: (22:18)
Jay Ruderman: (22:20)
95% survival. So I guess I would ask you, the women who are listening to this show, what should they look out for and why do you think people ignore early warning signs of cancer?
Fran Drescher: (22:33)
Well, women tend to put their families before their own needs. This is classic of certainly my generation and it’s lot. Many women work and still they are the principal caregiver to the spouse, the elder and the children in every home nationwide. So, at the earliest and most curable stage, which I call the whisper stage, you may feel something seems unusual, irregular, abnormal, but you can dismiss it because it’s not that bad and you have a lot on your plate already, and maybe it’ll just correct itself and go away. Unfortunately, in most cases, that is not what happens. And so we at Cancer Schmancer, have been trying to pivot women’s thinking to realize that they have to put their health and wellbeing first, because they’re useless to their family if they’re six feet under.
Fran Drescher: (24:03)
So you can say to yourself, Oh, it’s probably nothing and I got to get the kids off to school and I gotta get to work and everything like that.” You could say that to yourself and keep your head in the sand. But really what you have to say is this may be nothing, but God, forbid it’s something, I have to catch it at the whisper stage. So I’m going to make a doctor’s appointment. I am going to go and check this out. And I’m also going to be my own patient advocate. I’m going to transform from being a patient, which already the word implies, passivity, to a medical consumer. I’m going to go online and do a little research and see what this might be and what tests could be that are available because all too often, they’re not even on the menu at the doctor’s office.
Fran Drescher: (25:16)
There are things that we encourage women to ask for when they go for their gynecologic exam, that is not part of a normal gynecologic exam. And that is completely predicated on big business health insurance and has nothing to do with what the actual patient needs are for a thorough exam.
Jay Ruderman: (25:46)
What would be your advice to doctors or health professionals in terms of how can they better listen to their patients?
Fran Drescher: (25:54)
Well, I think that first of all you need time. You need to know that the patient actually knows more than you’re giving them credit for. You need to ask more questions and you need to look at the whole body as a complete system and not just the end symptom. You must pivot towards causation. Which is rare to find a doctor as that and why I tend to go to functional medical doctors. Because they have that extra layer of training where they know if for example, and this is a very simplistic example, but if you have chronic acne or seborrheic psoriasis or any kind of skin condition, it behooves them to look at your liver because skin is liver. It behooves them to look at your hormones, particularly in women because a hormone imbalance will show up on your face. So, that didn’t happen with me and this is all stuff that I’ve learned the hard way.
Fran Drescher: (27:22)
But the body is a system. If you are having emotional problems, mental issues, anything that has to do with your brain, it behooves you to look at your gut and see what kind of microbiome you have in your gut. Because gut is brain. Likewise, if you’re getting sick a lot, even two colds a year would be considered too much. You need to check out your gut, because gut is also immune system. And at Cancer Schmancer, we have a very progressive radical program called Detox Your Home. Most people don’t know that the home is the most toxic place you spend the most time in. More than living across the street from an oil refinery. And ironically, the place we have the most control over. But we’re so brainwashed by advertising and big business manufacturers that compromise our health and the health of the planet for the almighty dollar that we have to become more mindful consumers, because what we buy is our vote and what we don’t buy becomes our protest.
Fran Drescher: (29:05)
We have the capability to clean up everybody’s acts because money talks and the only language big business understands is the bottom line.
Jay Ruderman: (29:20)
So what would be your advice to the consumer? What are they looking for and how do they educate themselves to rid more toxic items from their home?
Fran Drescher: (29:31)
Only eat organic food, number one, because otherwise you are what you eat. And if you are eating an animal or a plant that has tons of chemicals or antibiotics in it, if the animal is living a Dickensian life of misery and enslavement and being fed GMO grain when that’s the not even natural to the animal’s diet, or they’re full of antibiotics or growth hormones, you’re eating that. That’s what’s going into your body. Don’t do it. We have to have an end to industrial farming. We need the farm bill to pivot toward encouraging these farmers that drank the Kool-Aid in the 20th century to get out of the agro-chemical industry and to start learning regenerative farming. That’s what our tax paying dollars should go to, because everything else is a downward spiral towards destroying our health and the health of the planet and the water beneath the soil.
Jay Ruderman: (30:54)
Very powerful and really important. I hope people take that in. In 2002, you wrote your bestselling book, Cancer Schmancer. How did it come from being a bestselling book to being a movement and then a foundation?
Fran Drescher: (31:11)
Well, I started the book because I, in earnest, didn’t want what happened to me to happen to other people. And it was a very cathartic process for me, I actually wrote four versions of it, longhand, until I finally struck a chord where it was useful information delivered in the more familial voice that my audience has become accustomed to. It did become a New York Times bestseller and helped more people than I can count. People said to me that they made those words, Cancer Schmancer their mantra when they were going through their own bouts cancer. And it was a fast read and an informative and empowering one that made a big difference in a lot of people’s lives.
Fran Drescher: (32:15)
So when you’re a celebrity and a cancer survivor, who has a New York Times bestselling book, you’re invited to go speak publicly at many major events. And I did that. And in my speaking, and on my book tours, I realized that I was not unique. I was one of millions of Americans who are misdiagnosed and mistreated. As an unfortunate consequence for many though, thank God, not me, late stage cancer diagnosis is the price they pay for a medical community that does not delve deep enough, that does not give the patient enough time, that does not look for causation. So, I realized that the book was not the end, but just the beginning of what has become a life mission.
Fran Drescher: (33:17)
I said, I’m going to start a movement. A nonprofit called the Cancer Schmancer Movement, but we’re a three prong organization. We’re advocates, activists, and it’s prevention. It’s early detection and it’s advocacy. So the organization divided into what’s a 501 C-3 and C-4, which means that we could go to Washington. We can lobby, we can make laws, and then also we can get donations for our programs that are tax deductible dollars. So that’s the kind of just subtle difference between the movement and the foundation. But I always refer to us as the Cancer Schmancer Movement, because we’re all about waking, shaking and educating you to change the way you are and let’s shift this paradigm from a sick care system to a truly healthcare system.
Fran Drescher: (34:45)
And that’s one of the very sad, unfortunate, missed opportunities with this whole pandemic. That no one on the national broadcasts or in the high levels of government is really trying to use this as an opportunity to educate the public on how to not compromise your immune system by living an unhealthy life and buying unhealthy cleaning products, personal care items, and gardening products that are constantly eroding our immune system and making us more vulnerable to all kinds of disease. But you see, because that would cut into someone’s profit margin, and because big business really pulls the strings on many of our elected officials, it’s nearly impossible to break this cycle. This unhealthy paradigm.
Fran Drescher: (35:57)
And it’s only organizations like Cancer Schmancer Movement, and the partners that we align with who are mostly frankly, environmental groups. Because if you are in an unhealthy environment, you will eventually be unhealthy. And so there’s no wiggle room with how you live equals how you feel.
Jay Ruderman: (36:22)
What’s the best way for people to get in touch with Cancer Schmancer? To go on the website, if they’re interested in getting involved?
Fran Drescher: (36:29)
Yes. Info@cancerschmancer.org. Everything gets looked at, everything gets read. It’s an excellent way to reach us and we’re always interested in anything that are fighting the good fight. Because it’s really about grassroots movement and reaching people and waking them up to realize that they wield a lot of power. And it can be very overwhelming when you think about how many things are wrong in this world. I would say every single thing at its core, is driven by greed. So that is a very deep rabbit hole. But who’s fueling that fire? Who’s fanning that flame? Mindless consumerism. Who’s supporting big business. Who’s ruining so many things. From our health and the health of our families, to the planet, the water, the air, everything.
Fran Drescher: (37:58)
Listen, I’m not against making money, but making money at the expense of all things of true value is a sociopath. It’s completely maniacal. What kind of a fool ruins the microbiome in the soil where the food comes from, or the water below that? Because they’re using glyphosate that is water soluble and pollutes everything all the way down to the very watershed in our earth. Or ruins the ocean. We have to stop using single use plastic, and we have to do I now. Everybody can start altering their lives by reading labels. And if you don’t understand any something on the ingredients list, don’t buy it. Because we should dial it back to a time when it’s whatever we eat or buy should have nothing more than what might have grown in your grandma’s garden. Period. End.
Jay Ruderman: (39:18)
Fran, you’re very passionate and you’ve had a tremendous amount of success as an activist. You’ve talked in the past about the fact that you’ve identified or you have always identified with marginalized communities. How have these experiences shaped you as an actor and an activist? I mean, was this from a very young age, did you always feel this way?
Fran Drescher: (39:43)
I do think that I have a gift to articulate on behalf of those who are marginalized and to fight on the side of what’s correct and good. I mean, I feel like I have the tools to do it. That was a gift from God and I don’t want to waste them. By the same token, I feel like I got famous, I got cancer and I lived to talk about it. So I’m talking.
Jay Ruderman: (40:23)
I want to talk about briefly your activism through art. The Nanny is cherished by the LGBTQ community. There’s talk about the show being ahead of its time. How did you use the show to uplift that community?
Fran Drescher: (40:34)
In the nineties I think that many of the humor was at the expense of people. We never did that on the Nanny. We celebrated people over and over and over again. And we were always very accepting. the characters were very accepting of the diversity within the human experience. That was unusual for that decade, quite frankly. But Peter and I always wanted to do… I like being self deprecating, I don’t like humor that puts other people down. And so we never did that. It’s an easy pot shot and we had to always corral our writers to not go there. We really never did. Even in the regard that I thought that the show was actually too white. And so we gave grandma Yetta a boyfriend and that boyfriend was Ray Charles.
Jay Ruderman: (41:58)
I remember that.
Fran Drescher: (41:58)
He had a whole family that was Brian Gumble and Coolio and Whoopi Goldberg. And nobody was doing that either in the nineties. You had casts that were predominantly black and then you had casts that were white. But you very rarely saw interracial relationships. I don’t think you ever did actually, except on our show. And even though it was an eight o’clock show, much like Mr. Rogers, we, in a very kind and unchallenging way, normalized what was really not being normalized in that decade.
Jay Ruderman: (42:50)
There was an episode of the Nanny where Mr. Sheffield hires a PR person, everyone thinks the two of them are gonna get together but it turns out that she’s gay and this episode was truly ahead of its time. Do you remember the response that you got to that episode?
Fran Drescher: (43:07)
Well, I remember the scene when she’s hugging me and she doesn’t let go and she’s stroking my hair and I said, “I’m letting go, but you are not why?” I mean, look, we were very aware that very early on in the series, the gay bars were having Nanny viewing parties on the night that we aired. And the bars were making big business just by putting that on their TVs and everybody was enjoying watching the show together. And then in the pride parades and wig stock and Halloween, the character of the nanny was constantly being copied by drag queens. That made us extremely happy, because Peter and I, have always known that where the gays go, the rest follow. In style, in attitude, in enlightened thinking, I mean everything. And so when they embraced the show, we thought, oh my God, we’ve hit the bullseye.
Jay Ruderman: (44:39)
Do you feel that you and Peter, when you wrote the shows that there was a deeper message, even though it was comedy, there was a deeper message behind your shows? Like when you-
Fran Drescher: (44:49)
Definitely. Definitely every single show that I do has what I call a global message. The global message of the Nanny that we pounded, not only to every episode, but in our writer’s room was, it doesn’t matter what you look like or what you sound like, it’s what’s in your heart that counts. Now when Peter and I did Happily Divorced, the global message for that show was, everybody has a right to live an authentic life. And that was exemplified episode after episode, because we remained in love, as Peter and I continue to be. Even though he’s gay and I’m not.
Jay Ruderman: (45:44)
Well, that’s beautiful. I hear that Nanny, the musical is coming out on Broadway. Is there anything you can tell us about that?
Fran Drescher: (45:52)
Well, it’s coming out great. We’re working with Rachel Bloom who’s writing the lyrics and there’s a big backup on Broadway for theater. So we just keep writing and approving and she gets writing more songs. We’re not ready to go on the stage yet. So, it’s a very unusual time and no one has ever experienced anything like this before.
Jay Ruderman: (46:23)
Fran Drescher: (46:23)
But for us, it just gives us more time to perfect it and keep writing for our beloved characters. Because for many years, we didn’t write on the show. It was done and it was just in reruns. And even though that were true, Peter and I sometimes would say, “Oh, that would’ve been so funny on the Nanny, if we were still in production.” I’m saying like 15 years after we stopped making it, we were still pitching jokes. So now that we’re writing for that world again, it’s so fun and so satisfying and we love it. We love the characters and we love Fran Fine and Mr. Sheffield and we love the opportunity to write it for the musical theater. Which is opening up to all kinds of possibilities that you can do in the theater that you really could never do on the small box.
Jay Ruderman: (47:28)
Right. Is there a role for you on Broadway?
Fran Drescher: (47:30)
In the Nanny?
Jay Ruderman: (47:31)
In the Nanny.
Fran Drescher: (47:33)
Well, I mean, it’s not my plan to be in the show, because I want this to stand on its own with a superlative cast as does our lead producer [inaudible 00:47:47] Productions. I mean, this should be able to go around the world with different casts and countries everywhere. It should be able to be done at high schools and junior highs everywhere. It’s going to be great on its own, but of course, yeah, I could probably play Sylvia if I wanted to, but I really think that there’s no shortage on really excellent actresses who could play the mom and the grandmother. The real challenge will be finding Fran Fine, who can be funny and gorgeous and has a great voice. And somewhere out there is the next Barbara Streisand and we aim to find her.
Jay Ruderman: (48:36)
That’d be great. Fran, it’s been a pleasure having you. I just want to say this past June, you celebrated 21 years being cancer free. What are some of the most important lessons that you learned through that journey that you could leave with our audience?
Fran Drescher: (48:53)
Well, I certainly to honor your body. Never dishonor your body because it’s going to come back to bite you on the ass. So just honor your body. If you’re tired, lay down. iI you’re stressed, meditate or take a brisk walk or start looking in the moment to notice leaves on a tree or a bird or a cloud floating through the sky, and that’ll take you out of your stress faster than anything. Because the most important thing is, understand and how to bolster your immune system and understand what compromises it. Your immune system is the most perfect operation. It’s a system in your body designed to keep you healthy. To kill cancer cells, to attack viruses, to clean up bad bacteria overload, all of it, but you have to help it. We live in very toxic times.
Fran Drescher: (50:07)
So please go cancershmancer.org, sign up, it’s free. You’ll get my emails and they’re all informative and motivating and it’s a very optimistic, empowering organization that’s going to open your eyes up to how you can live more healthfully for you, for your family, for your pets, for the very planet on which we live that feeds and supports all life.
Jay Ruderman: (50:41)
Thank you so much, Fran. It’s been a pleasure. [inaudible 00:50:44]
Fran Drescher: (50:45)
How sweet of you? Thank you. And also you can learn all about firstname.lastname@example.org also. And if you’re a Mahjong player, participate. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
Jay Ruderman: (50:59)
Sounds like fun. Thank you.
Fran Drescher: (51:00)
Jay Ruderman: (51:04)
The Forward, one of the most influential American Jewish publications has just launched a podcast, we can’t wait for you to hear. A Bentel brief, their historic advice column has been updated for the 21st century now in podcast form. Hosts Gina Green and Lynn Harris are two very different moms who join forces to tackle modern life dilemmas about everything from being social after 16 months in quarantine, to worrying about a family member who has been politically radicalized. I loved the first episode, Mr. Not Dad. Regina and Lynn respond to a single man in his fifties, grieving his lack of partner and children. The show brings in archival material and great experts, such as community leaders and social workers. Find it wherever you listen to podcasts.
All Inclusive is a production of the Ruderman Family Foundation. Our key mission is the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. You can find All Inclusive on Apple podcast, Google Play, Spotify and Stitcher. To view the show notes, transcripts, or to learn more, go to rudermanfoundation.org/allinclusive. Have an idea for a podcast, be sure to tweet @jayruderman.