bear, I became the perfect child.
And I got a lot of positive rein-
forcement for it: "Fran's so
smart. I can leave Fran alone
for hours and you don't hear a
peep out of her."
Not expressing any needs
was always considered a good
thing. But I didn't dare fail
at anything. I had to conquer
the world. Then to avoid
looking at myself, I started
helping other people — mak-
ing their problems into issues
LK: "The Nanny" takes a great
delight in food. It's pretty rare
to see a beautiful woman eat
with such gusto on prime-time
FD: She does occasionally pig
out. She never just delivers
lines. She's always doing a mil-
lion other things — like snack-
FD: Yes, we've been studying
sitcoms since we were kids.
LK: In your teens you were
planning your show?
FD: Yeah. We wrote little sto-
ries — always knowing that we
wanted to be Desilu.
LK: Hopefully with a better
FD: We're very solid emotion-
LK: But Fran, you have to ad-
mit that Peter isn't your only
love relationship — talk to me
FD: He's a very special dog. He
comes to work with us; he likes
being an actor.
LK: He did Cadillac Man,
LK: Do you and Peter analyze
other shows to see what works
and what doesn't?
FD: The script called for my
character to have an obnoxious
little dog, so I thought, well
who's littler and more obnoxious
than Chester? I brought him to
the audition, thinking he'd bring
a level of animation to the
"I was at a Dustin Hoffman-
hosted fund-raiser for summer
camp for terminally ill children
once when a group of campers
surrounded me, telling me how
great I was and naturally I think
they're talking about me until
one of them says how great I was
in Pretty Woinan. I signed all
their autographs 'Warmest re
gards, Laura San Giacomo.' I just
didn't have the heart to disap-
point all those poor little bald
Or how about this, which de-
scribes a gathering of Fran and
her friends before a "Late Night
With David Letterman" show tap-
"In the background, Elaine,
Carl, Robbie, and Peter are at-
tacking the shrimp like they were
just released from Auschwitz ..."
While performing in concert
here last summer, David Clayton-
Thomas of Blood. Sweat & Tears
casually remarked that the
weather was 'as hot as the last
train car to Auschwitz." Concert-
goers and organizers were out-
raged. The singer issued a formal
What, then, are we to make of
Drescher's comments? No doubt
she thinks it's different because
she is, after all, Jewish herself.
Yes, she certainly makes quite
a show of being Jewish. But the
most Jewish aspect of Drescher
evinced in Enter Whining is her
constant use of the word "oy."
(Overshadowed only by her fre-
quent "ya know.") I'm not asking
her to join a synagogue tomor-
row, but did she really feel it nec-
essary to let the whole world
know "it was an audition on Yom
Kippur (the High Holy Day) for
the movie American Hot Wax (co-
starring Jay Leno) that turned
out to be my first big break's?
Enter Whining appears to be
filled with more pictures of
Drescher than all her mother's
photo albums put together. Fran
and John Travolta. Fran and
screen test. But every time
Robin Williams got close to me,
Chester would growl.
LK: What happened?
Top Left: Joe Lando,
Fran Drescher and Jane
Seymour in a scene
from "The Nanny,"
which airs locally at 8
p.m. Monday nights on
FD: We both got the part. Then
he kind of developed a swelled
head. He didn't want to play
dogs anymore. He wanted to go
up for Danny DeVito roles. And
you know, when that didn't hap-
Above: Milton Berle and
LK: Shifting gears for a mo-
ment. Chances are, you're not
going to be doing any Merchant-
Ivory films. You're not consid-
ered for the Emma Thompson
Left:A nice Jewish girl
from Queens, with no
whatsoever, winds up
tending to three
children and a
FD: I'll probably never go up for
Meryl Streep parts either. I
have a very strong personality
— it's hard to bury that. But I'm
totally cool with it. I have a re-
alistic attitude about this busi-
ness. I know exactly how things
work — it's not everlasting.
FD: I can work a room, if I have
to, but ordinarily I'm not into
big scenes. I love entertaining.
LK: Are you shy?
FD: The network executives. I
Dennis Quaid. Fran and David
Caruso. Wow! I am so impressed
that she knows all these big-name
stars! And, as if that wasn't
enough, you can read about im.-
portant directors who think Fran
is the cat's meow.
"You're so accessible --- were
you always like this, or did the se-
ries help bring it out?" Francis
Ford Coppola asks. "Sometimes
I have to work so hard to get an
actor's performance, but you,
Fran, make my job so easy. You
do one thing, and then if I ask
somethin.g else of you, you do that,
We get the picture, Fran.
You're beautiful. You're talented.
You're fabulous! We have to get
it. You tell us 1,000 times.
I might have been able to for-
give a lot, though, if only this book
was funny. Isn't she, after 21l, a
"I was so nervous (before an au-
dition) I thought a good ice break-
er would be to talk about corn
LK: Whom were you entertain-
ing the night you caught fire?
doodles and how they appear in
your doody after ingesting too
much corn," she writes.
Finally, no review of Enter
Whining would be complete with
out making mention of Fran
Drescher's profound observations
on human nature.
One of the most "valuable
lessons" she has learned is to
"Understand your friends for
who they are, not who you wish
them to be. Accept them for their
flaws as well as their attributes.
Turn to them for their strengths,
what good stuff they can bring to
your life, and forget about the
I've read more meaningful ad-
vice on the back of a cereal box.
Oy, Fran, what were you think-
ing? Ya know, ya could be a re-
ally nice person for all I know.
But, oy, your book is dreadful.
Since you were, ya know, offering
me some words of wisdom, let me
give you some: don't write a se-
gave a dinner party in my back
yard and invited all the kings.
They were about to decide on
a lineup for the new season.
It's one thing to put on a good
show every week, but if I
haven't broken. bread with
these people - I just think the
only way for them to know me
is if I feed them.
Anyway, I have a beautiful
cottage that kind of nests in
the middle of this Monet-like
garden, so it's very magical at
night. We put votive candles
all over the place, we had opera
playing and beautiful food and
wine. But just as I was about
to start shmoozing the head
honcho of CBS, my mohair
sweater brushed against a
flame and the whole thing
went up like a Roman candle.
I was this big orange ball of
light in the middle of the gar-
den. So I quickly pulled off my
sweater and stood totally top-
less in front of all these
stunned executives. Someone
gave me his jacket, and the
show got picked up. I don't
know what we'll ever do to top
LK: You may find that has a
lasting effect. n