From 1993 to 1999, CBS gave audiences “The Nanny,” a vehicle for Fran Drescher’s witty, laugh-out-loud take on class and family life.
Her voice and laugh seared its way into the memories of many avid fans, but a few episodes stood out from the mass of quality TV during the show’s long run.
Here are the best episodes of Fran Drescher’s “The Nanny”.
'The Nanny' (Season 1, Episode 1)
It’s hard to do exposition well, but the pilot episode of the show smoothly introduces audiences to Fran, Maxwell, Niles, C.C., Brighton, Margaret, Grace and Sylvia, an impressive cast to squeeze in. The theme song’s plot plays out, Fran proves her inexplicable caretaking abilities, and viewers are off on the show’s bumpy ride.
'Deep Throat' (Season 1, Episode 15)
During a visit to the doctor for the kids, Fran learns she must get a tonsillectomy. While doped up, Fran confesses her love Mr. Sheffield, sending him into a tizzy … until it’s revealed that Fran has been saying that to everyone she encounters. The running gag sets up a series-long arc but does so in a cute, funny way.
'The Butler, the Husband, the Wife, and Her Mother' (Season 1, Episode 6)
“The Nanny” relied upon a stellar cast who were at their best in this classic identity mix-up. When Fran’s relatives come to visit, the titular nanny pretends to be a housewife and Niles stands in for her “husband” Maxwell. But then the National Butler's Association arrives to judge Niles on his service skills, followed by Mr. Sheffield himself who must then play Niles. See? Classic.
'Canasta Masta' (Season 2, Episode 6)
Any episode involving Yetta was always good, so a plot involving Brighton joining the old lady’s canasta team for a game in Atlantic City was destined for laughs. But the ultimate moment in the episode (and season, honestly) is when Maxwell does his best “Risky Business” impression while cleaning the house, only to be found dancing in his underwear by C.C.
'Oy to the World' (Season 3, Episode 14)
Who doesn’t love a good animated holiday special? This season 3 episode tackles the meaning of Christmas through an animated saga that sees Fran and Brighton in an allegorical struggle to defend a very Maxwell-like Santa and his elves (Maggie, Grace, and Niles) from the evil CC. the Abominable Babcock. Lessons are learned, laughs are shared.
'The Baby Shower' (Season 6, Episode 20)
Ok, so it may not be one of the funnier episodes or even one of the more compelling plots, but this episode late into the show’s run includes one of the most bizarre, meta scenes in all of sitcom history. Fran Drescher’s character Fran Fine meets the real-life Fran Drescher, and they discuss the plot of that same episode and the upcoming season finale, which would turn out to be the series finale. It’s surreal.