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Trivia / The Nanny

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  • Acting for Two:
    • One episode had Bobbi Flekman appearing. Another episode had Fran Drescher acting as herself and as Fran Fine simultaneously.
    • In "Not Without My Nanny", Charles plays both Max and the Sultan.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Happened often with guest stars.
    Fred (played by Donald O'Connor): Let's face it, Fran, I'm just never going to be known for my dancing.
    • They also constantly mentioned that Grandma Yetta was played by the same actress who was Millie Halper on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
    • During the closing credits of "The Gym Teacher", as Fran and Miss Stone (nee Wickavich) are looking through a yearbook at a picture of Fran's old boyfriend, Miss Wickavich tells Fran "A boy like that, who'd kill your brother. Forget that boy and find another. One of your own kind, stick to your own kind!", which are lyrics from West Side Story. Rita Moreno who played Miss Wickavich, sang those very lines in the film adaptation.
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    • In "Stock Tip", as Fran flirts with Glenn, played by Corbin Bernsen:
    Fran: (on what Glenn's job is) So, we've ruled out Rabbi, and I can tell you're not a lawyer...
    Glenn: Why can't I pass as a lawyer?
    Fran: Well, not in New York. I mean, maybe in L.A....
    • Happened with Fran Drescher herself. In one episode, she plays Bobbi Flekman, a character she'd already played on This Is Spın̈al Tap. There are also several references to Saturday Night Fever, in which Fran Drescher played a minor role.
    • The show made a couple of references to the movie The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Apart from simply sharing the same "nanny" premise, Madeline Zima appeared in both.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Almost all of Fran Fine's life (except working at a bridal shop; her mother worked at one) was taken almost verbatim from Fran Drescher's own life. Both are from Queens, both have parents named Morty and Sylvia and a sister named Nadine, both graduated from Hillcrest High (with Ray Barone/Ray Romano).
  • Adored by the Network: TV Azteca, the Mexican network that had the rights of this show since the 90's and early 00's, really, really loved this show; after its original run, they used to put reruns of this for years, being the base of the afternoon schedule of his feed Azteca 7 (along withThe Fresh Prince Of Bel Air and The Simpsons).
  • Creator Backlash: Madeline Zima does not look back on the show fondly, claiming it wasn't a fun experience because she was treated more like a prop than a person. She revealed her positive experiences on other sets showed her just how bad "The Nanny" set was, as she felt there was a noticeable lack of kindness and compassion.
    • Daniel Davis was disappointed with Zima's comments, adding that she seemed like a very unhappy child, which might have colored her perception of events.
  • Cultural Translation: The Italian dub changed Fran to be an Italian woman living in Manhattan ("Fran" being short for Francesa instead of Francine). To make her look more like a Fish out of Water, Sylvia was changed to be Fran's Aunt Assunta, with Fran's "real parents" still living in Italy unseen. Grandma Yetta kept her name but was changed to be Assunta's Polish sister-in-law. Even Fran's sister, Nadine, was changed to be Cousin Nadia.
    • This comparison of scenes from the American version and the Russian remake shows how some jokes were culturally translated. For example, the movie that failed to move C.C./Zhanna is changed from Bambi to White Bim Black Ear.
  • The Danza: Fran Fine is played by Fran Drescher.
  • Dawson Casting: Done intentionally for laughs in S3 Ep 12, "The Kibbutz". Fran and Val play teenage versions of themselves in a flashback.
  • Fake Brit: Daniel Davis, who is from Arkansas, as Niles. He was good at it though, to the point where Charles Shaughnessy (Maxwell Sheffield), an actual Brit, was told by some critics that he should take lessons from Davis in order to get his "fake" accent right. Lampshaded in a late episode, where Niles has a bit part in Gracie's play and does very badly. Citing a review, he asks Max, "Do you think my accent sounded fake?"
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  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Lauren Lane's pregnancy was concealed during the fifth season, which lead to some hilarious Lampshade Hanging. One episode has C.C. enter Maxwell's office wearing all black, mentioning the techniques used on Elaine from Seinfeld, including holding massive objects. At the time, she is holding a huge purse, and after putting it down, picks up a potted plant she says needs watering before exiting the scene. She later reenters the room holding a giant poster that says "BABY".
  • The Other Darrin: Maxwell's sister Jocelyn was played by actress/model Twiggy Lawson in "Stop the Wedding, I Want To Get Off", but played by Sophie Ward in all subsequent appearances.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Twiggy Lawson playing Jocelyn, Maxwell's sister, in "Stop the Wedding, I Want to Get Off" is a nod to the fact that the whole show was inspired by Fran Drescher's experience in taking care of her daughter.
    • In "The Butler, the Husband, the Wife and Her Mother", Fran criticizes Maxwell for wearing bright yellow rain boots with his suit, saying "Normally, you're so GQ. Now, you're the Gorton's Fisherman?". Charles Shaughnessy, who plays Maxwell, had shown up to his original audition wearing those same exact boots.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Joseph Bologna (Renée Taylor's husband) guest starred in two different episodes, first as Small Name, Big Ego actor Alan Beck in "The Gym Teacher", and second as Dr. Joe Razzo, the man wooing Sylvia in "Ma'ternal Affairs".
    • Chester the Pomeranian was Fran Drescher's real-life dog, which is why he was always so excited around her.
    • Fran Drescher's real life parents Morty and Sylvia appeared on the show in several roles, later on as Uncle Stanley and Aunt Rose.
    • Lester, Jocelyn's chauffeur in "Stop the Wedding, I Want to Get Off" was played by Twiggy Lawson's real-life husband Leigh Lawson.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Lauren Lane's real-life pregnancy coincided with C.C.'s committal to a mental hospital.
    • The reason that Chester became an Evil-Detecting Dog around C.C. was that Chester was, in reality, Fran Drescher's dog, and was so fiercely loyal to his owner, that any time Lauren Lane picked him up or took him away from Fran, he would just naturally snap and snarl. Since Lane's character C.C. was a textbook Rich Bitch, it just turned Chester into, as Niles put it, "fluffy, and a good judge of character."
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Aside from the fashion sense (Maggie's babydoll dresses, especially), the earlier seasons made quite a few pop culture references and current events references to things like the O.J. Simpson trial and the Menendez Brothers that date the show to The '90s.
    • Many of the celebrities to appear on the show as themselves are now dead or visibly older, not to mention one cameo by an obviously pre-presidential Donald Trump.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Originally, there were just two Sheffield children: Brighton and Gracie. The executives suggested that a shy teenaged daughter would serve as an amusing contrast with Fran, which eventually became Maggie.
    • The Season 2 episode "The Chatterbox" was meant to serve as a pilot for a proposed spinoff series, which was ultimately passed over by NBC.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Steve Lawrence, who played Fran's (mostly) unseen father Morty, had appeared as himself with wife Eydie Gorme earlier in the show's run.
    • A couple of the extras who play nameless one-shot minor characters like a doctor reappear later as a security guard or priest.
    • Not just extras, several celebrities had multiple appearances, once in character and once as themselves. Like Steve Lawrence, it happened with Coolio, Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell as well.
    • The girl who played Fran's Generation Xerox cousin Tiffany in a first-season episode played a completely unrelated high school girl named Francine in a fourth-season episode, with both characters being written as "Just like Fran only Brighton's age."

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