The Flashy Girl From Flushing


To me, she will always be the flashy girl from Flushing. Fran Drescher’s latest sitcom “Indebted” debuted on NBC last Thursday and The Wing in Soho hosted an advanced screening of the pilot for a crowd of adoring fans (myself included) on Tuesday, February 4. I’ve always been a big fan of her hit ’90s show “The Nanny.”

Most Tuesday evenings are spent proofing The Independent’s newsletter and ordering Sweetgreen, so this was a treat. The queen herself, Nanny Fine, Fran Drescher. I was there as quickly as you could say “Oh, Mr. Sheffield!”

When NBC was casting “Indebted,” she stated that the show was looking for a “Fran Drescher Type.” So why not Fran Drescher herself?

Following the screening, Drescher engaged in a lively discussion.

“Everyone in the cast is in a place where we’re coming into it with gratitude,” she stated about the show, which, by the way, is very funny. It features a young family and their parents who run out of money and have to move in.

“The beauty of this project is that these people are all beautiful, wonderful people,” she said.

They even have a group chat going. Drescher’s go-to emojis, you wonder? They’re a heart, a kiss, praying hands, and the thumbs up. They’re “always in the ‘just used,’” she said.

The conversation navigated through spirituality — Drescher refers to herself as a Jubu (both Jewish and Buddhist) — and other topics like surviving cancer, growing up in Queens, and, of course, the unbelievable reach of “The Nanny.”

She described how her dad worked two jobs while she was growing up. “To be in this place and to have hit the bullseye so big and become so iconic in a classic television show that’s so vibrantly embraced by many people who weren’t even alive when we started doing it is just phenomenal.”

“We stopped shooting [‘The Nanny’] 21 years ago and it hasn’t been off the air for a single day,” she said.

Drescher is a uterine cancer survivor and also the founder of the cancer non-profit Cancer Schmancer. “As a cancer survivor and the founder of Cancer Schmancer, one of the things we tell people over and over again, is, ‘No joke — mind, body, and spirit balance is what you absolutely have to think about each and every day.’ Without that you’re compromising your immune system,” she said.

There’s no doubt that Drescher is a New York icon. “There are very few people who will hire me to play something other than a New Yorker,” said Drescher. “I’m always playing New Yorkers. It takes a lot of imagination to cast me as something else. It’s always very near and dear to my heart. It’s a phenomenal city.”

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