Hollywood fashion expert, VIP personal shopper and commentator Joseph "Joe" Katz brings you interviews with celebrities and influencers about their style and personal experiences. He also shares the best beauty & lifestyle tips and tricks to help you look and feel your best.
Fran Drescher: 'The Nanny' Star Discusses Her Rise to Fame, Iconic Style, and Cancer Schmancer
You know her and you love her- It's Fran Dresher!! Fran shares personal stories about growing up in Queens, NY, her first role with John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, how she came up with the hit show idea of The Nanny, and her organization Cancer Schmancer.
Love the Nanny’s fashion?! Fran shares some of her favorite looks from the show, as well as how she achieved her iconic style. She also gives her tips to help you look and feel your best!
Fran Dresher is an American actress, comedian, writer and activist. Drescher is best known for her role as Fran Fine in the hit TV series The Nanny (1993–1999).
Drescher made her screen debut with a small role in the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, and later appeared in American Hot Wax (1978) and Wes Craven's horror tale Stranger in Our House (1978). In the 1980s, she gained recognition as a comedic actress in the films Gorp (1980), The Hollywood Knights (1980), Doctor Detroit (1983), This Is Spinal Tap (1984), and UHF (1989) while establishing a television career with guest appearances on several series. In 1993, she achieved wider fame as Fran Fine in her own sitcom vehicle The Nanny, for which she was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Television Series during the show's run. In the 2000s, Drescher reinforced her position as a leading sitcom star with Living with Fran and Happily Divorced.Since 2012, she has starred in the animated Hotel Transylvania film series.
On February 4, 2014, Drescher made her Broadway debut in Cinderella as stepmother Madame. In 2020, she starred in the NBC comedy Indebted.
A uterine cancer survivor, Drescher is an outspoken healthcare advocate and LGBT rights activist, and is noted for her work as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women's Health Issues for the U.S. State Department. Divorced from writer and producer Peter Marc Jacobson, she lives in Malibu, California.
The Katz Walk is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Executive Producer Gerardo Orlando, Producer Leah Longbrake and Audio Engineer Dave Douglas.
Joe Katz: Hey, you guys. I am so excited for my next guest. You know her, you love her. It's The Nanny. It's Fran Drescher. She's on the show today. She's a Golden Globe nominated, Emmy nominated, best-selling author. She's a philanthropist and she's a health advocate. And today she's here talking about Cancer Schmancer. She's also going to give us some behind the scenes information that happened at The Nanny. And of course, she's going to talk about her style secrets, stay tuned. She's coming up right now.
Joe Katz: Well, I am so excited. I have got Fran Drescher on my show today. I'm so excited to have you on the show. Everybody knows you. You are an Emmy nominated, Golden Globe nominated, you're a philanthropist, a health advocate and a best-selling author. I mean, it goes on and on and on, and you've got [inaudible 00:01:06]. You're so cute. If people don't know what that means, it means a very cute face. We're going to talk about your organization, which is Cancer Schmancer. So thanks so much for being here.
Fran Drescher: Oh, it's my pleasure. Thank you for having me and I appreciate your support.
Joe Katz: My show, we talk all about fashion and we talk about all different kinds of shows and entertainment and celebrity stuff, but I always like to give my audience a little bit of background on you because everybody of course knows you for The Nanny, but I wondered growing up in Queens, who was Fran Drescher? Were you a popular girl? Were you a cheerleader? Were you a quiet girl growing up? What were you like?
Fran Drescher: Well, I was never a cheerleader. I was always either in the drama class or being helpful to... in volunteer jobs with the vice principal or something. At one point I was part of a program where I'd go after school to a senior center and I always had aspirations to become a professional actress. So as I entered high school, I entered the Miss New York Teenager pageant and I started trying to get an agent, trying to get professional pictures and all that stuff. And I was in a special program in high school that was for theater careers. And so I went for half a day taking different theater courses. And so I really had my eye on the prize quite early on. Probably by the time I was in middle school I deduced that out of all the things that I enjoyed, this felt like the most fun, the least like work, the easiest for me. And so I decided to pursue acting.
Joe Katz: Wow. And so then after you did that, did you go on to college and then pursue it there? Or how did that-
Fran Drescher: I went to college, but I didn't even last a full year because my professional career started to take off. And the school that I went to didn't really offer freshmen's theater classes. You had to wait until you were a junior or a senior. And that seemed like a long way off and I already knew I wanted to be an actress and I was already starting to work as an actress. So I dropped out of college to pursue beauty culture school so I would have something to fall back on. That was something else that I enjoyed doing. And I thought if the acting didn't work out, I had ambitions for becoming the next Vidal and Beverly Sassoon.
Joe Katz: Really? Wow. Did you actually do hair?
Fran Drescher: Yeah, I still do hair.
Joe Katz: Oh, you still do it.
Fran Drescher: Yeah, I just gave my dad a great haircut and my mom said, "No one cuts his hair as good as you do."
Joe Katz: Who would have known that you still cut hair?
Fran Drescher: Yeah, I'm good at it. I like it. I probably would have specialized in doing men's hair because I do like cutting men's hair, but yeah, I put in 1,000 hours. I went to Ultissima Beauty Institute.
Joe Katz: Oh, that's so funny. Wow. That's so interesting. So you're licensed you're... Yeah, you can do it. That's amazing. And then what happened then? You decided then your career started to taking off after that?
Fran Drescher: Yes. I got that small part in Saturday Night Fever when I was still in school and working part-time on Saturdays at a beauty salon in Brooklyn. And once I got Saturday Night Fever, after that I was flown out to California by the same studio to do American Hot Wax and that was it. I came out to do American hot wax and I just never went back. And I started working as an actress, so I never really fully realized a career as a beautician, but I did cut a lot of my friends' heads at the time who were also just starting their careers, like David Caruso and Dennis Quaid and Dan Aykroyd. I used to cut all their hair.
Joe Katz: Wow. So you're a celebrity hairstylist.
Fran Drescher: Yes, literally.
Joe Katz: That's great. That's so interesting that... because if people don't know, you were in the scene with John Travolta on Saturday Night Fever and you were dancing with him in that famous scene. That was-
Fran Drescher: Yeah. Well I came over to where he was sitting with his brother who he brought to the 2000 Club and I say that line, "Are you as good in bed as you are on the dance floor?" As a matter of fact, that line, I said to him on a Golden Globe red carpet when we were both next to each other being interviewed by different people on the press line. And I walked over to him and said that and he knew who I was and why I was saying that.
Joe Katz: That's amazing. It's like that really spearheaded your career, the Saturday Night Fever.
Fran Drescher: It did. It absolutely did. I mean, I had only done some commercials prior to that and that was my first speaking part. And after that, I got this other movie playing opposite, Jay Leno called American Hot Wax and that's what brought me out to LA.
Joe Katz: Wow. Were you always funny growing up?
Fran Drescher: The Dreschers are kind of funny and I don't know, but I know that I was always kind of a problem solver and I was always a leader within the pack of friends and always there with the popular kids, but I was kind of a home body too. And I really liked hanging out with my parents. So it wasn't like I had to be out of the house all the time. I really didn't. And when I got into high school, I had a boyfriend and then we broke up and then I started becoming friends with Peter who, by the end of high school, he and I were a couple. And by the time we were 21, we were wed.
Joe Katz: That's amazing. So young. Wow.
Fran Drescher: Too young really.
Joe Katz: When you were growing up and as you were coming into your career, who did you look up to as a role model?
Fran Drescher: Well, I think I learned a lot from watching I Love Lucy reruns. That was one of my favorite shows and it was on every day. So I watched it all the time and I really loved it from when I was very small. And my mom always had a lot of street smarts and wisdom. And so I learned a lot from her. And then eventually when I came out here to do that movie, I was 19, about to turn 20 and that was when I met my manager who became like a surrogate second mom to me and a great influence in my life as an adult. So I would say Lucy, my mom and Elaine.
Joe Katz: Is it still your manager today?
Fran Drescher: She dropped dead going out to lunch once after 38 years of representing me and it was really tragic. I never saw her alive again. Fortunately, I happened to see her two days before and I took a little video of her and her husband, but life gets in the way sometimes.
Joe Katz: Yeah. Wow. She gave you guidance when you were here.
Fran Drescher: Yeah. She was a very stylish woman. She was a great entertainer. She threw great parties. She was an art collector. She was a world-class traveler and all of that rubbed off on me.
Joe Katz: Did she teach you about fashion kind of? Or was that you?
Fran Drescher: I always had my own sense of style. Back in Queens, I didn't really dress like the other kids. I was influenced from Audrey Hepburn and stuff growing up. But other things, I mean, she did have a lot of style, Elaine. And so I don't know, probably a little bit.
Joe Katz: Yeah, but maybe a little bit of your own. [crosstalk 00:10:59]
Fran Drescher: I think more in the area of art collecting, of getting to know yourself in therapy, of traveling, of entertaining. And also the way she handled my career. I often bring her up with my current representation because she was really in a league all her own.
Joe Katz: What did she do that was so different?
Fran Drescher: She regarded me as her blue chip stock. She said, "I'm never going to lose money on my investment in you."
Joe Katz: And she didn't.
Fran Drescher: No, she didn't. Just in the way, the expectation that she had of how other people dealt with me and knew how special I was, how uniquely different I was. She always used to say, "With you it's either a fast pass or a quick yes." And the more talented people say yes quickly.
Joe Katz: Oh, interesting. It really goes to show when you find somebody that truly believes in you, right?
Fran Drescher: Well, the first thing is to believe in yourself and then to find... If you're really lucky, I was very blessed to find someone that believed in me as much as she did.
Joe Katz: Growing up, did you always have that self-esteem about you believing in yourself?
Fran Drescher: I think so. Coming from a family where my parents definitely were very loving people, very supportive and very loving with each other too. So that was a good foundation for me. My mom once said to me, "You don't need to take typing because you're going to have a secretary." So I grew up feeling confident that I was special. And then I was lucky enough to meet Elaine who also absolutely thought I was a star long before I literally was one.
Joe Katz: But you had that self-confidence in beginning, which is very important. I think that's a great point that you make. You have the confidence first and that transitions to other people too.
Fran Drescher: Yes. I mean, when I go up on an audition if I didn't get it, I sincerely thought they made a mistake. That they didn't know what they were doing and that was why ultimately I manifested the opportunity to become the boss because I really was getting tired working for people that I didn't think was as talented as I was. And I remember the last pilot that I did that I said, "Never again. I'm not going to just take any piece of crap because it might get picked up and I'll be stuck doing it." I really am uncomfortable with mediocrity in my art, in my craft. So for a long time I just did my own things. And then the last series that I did, once again, I was working for somebody else and it was a good experience because I loved the people I was working with, but it was also a good reminder that I really have to produce my own shows and be the star of them, and I was relieved when it didn't get picked up.
Joe Katz: Wow. That's so interesting. So you knew right away that you wanted to maybe have your own.
Fran Drescher: Well, after I did that lousy pilot and I was working a lot. I was always doing pilots and things, but that last one, I said, "That's the last one I'll do for the money or whatever." I'm either going to get on the inside in a very significant way within the next five years or I'm getting out because there's other ways I can make money.
Joe Katz: And so tell the audience how The Nanny came about.
Fran Drescher: Well, within those five years, I did a short-lived series for CBS called Princesses with Twiggy and Julie Hagerty. That only lasted, I think we did eight or nine or 10 episodes and only seven aired and they pulled it. And then I did a pilot for CBS that was like a spoof on soap operas, but it was a nighttime show, and that didn't get picked up either. So my girlfriend said that she was going to her country house in the south of France and did I want to join her? And I thought, "Well, I just did a series. I just did a summer replacement pilot. Pilot season is over. I'm not going to work again for a couple of months, so I'm going to cash in my frequent flyer miles on TWA and join her." And wouldn't you know, on the plane ride to France was the president of CBS.
Joe Katz: Did you know it was him when you saw him?
Fran Drescher: Yes, yeah.
Joe Katz: Oh you knew.
Fran Drescher: Yeah because I had already just worked for the network twice very recently. So I recognized him. He had a distinctive look anyway, and I said, "Jeff," and he said, "Fran." And then I ran into the bathroom to put some makeup on.
Joe Katz: Just one minute.
Fran Drescher: While I'm powdering my face, I'm thinking, "Carpe diem, this is an opportunity." And Carpe diem is seize the day. He was a captive audience because where was it going to go, coach?
Joe Katz: Right. Right.
Fran Drescher: I knew that this was a great shot at convincing him that I should be given my own show and I should write and produce it. And nine and a half hours later, I kid you not-
Joe Katz: Nine and a half, wow.
Fran Drescher: Yeah, we flew all the way to Europe. And he said, "Okay, look, when you get back, call my office and I'll set you up a pitch meeting with comedy development." And I was so over the moon. I said, "Thank you. You're not going to regret this." I didn't even have the idea.
Joe Katz: Oh, nothing.
Fran Drescher: Peter and I were writing something, but that was not The Nanny. And when I ended up leaving my friend in the south of France and joining Twiggy in London. I was touring London with her little 12 year old daughter. And the kid all of a sudden said, "Oh Fran, my new shoes are hurting me." And I'm thinking, "What's she telling me for?"
Joe Katz: Fix it yourself, yeah.
Fran Drescher: I thought, "I hope she doesn't want me to take her home because I'm not ready yet." So I said, "Oh honey, just step on the backs of them." And she asked innocently, "Won't that break them?" And I said, "Break them in." Well, I couldn't get this relationship out of my head because I wasn't telling her what was good for her, I was telling her what was good for me.
Fran Drescher: And so in the middle of the night London time, it was eight hours earlier in LA. I called Peter and I said, "I think I thought of an idea for this series that we should pitch Jeff. What do you think about a spin on The Sound of Music, only instead of Julie Andrews, I come to the door?" And he only thought for a second and he has a very good sense of these things. And he said, "That's it. As soon as you get home, we'll develop it and that's what we'll pitch to CBS." And that's what we did. We walked into development and I gave them that one liner and he walked into Jeff's office and said, "Fran Drescher is the nanny from hell," unbeknownst to us, they were looking for 8:00 family shows. And that was the beginning. He said, "Sold." Right away and green-lighted the project.
Joe Katz: Wow. Did you only come in with one idea?
Fran Drescher: Yes. That was it. We knew that-
Joe Katz: Just that.
Fran Drescher: That was it. That was it. And it was so easy to pitch because it's kind of The Sound of Music, only instead of Julie Andrews, it's me. It really says it all.
Joe Katz: Right. Right. [crosstalk 00:20:27]
Fran Drescher: And the handsome widower father. I mean, they bought it right on the spot.
Joe Katz: That's amazing. Kind of like what your manager said, "It's a fast yes or a something no."
Fran Drescher: Or a fast pass.
Joe Katz: A fast pass. A fast yes or a fast pass. Yeah, exactly. Wow. And then you got to be so known for the fashion on the show.
Fran Drescher: Correct. Well, Peter and I instinctively knew that I was the type of a star that has wardrobe and can carry it. And I will always believe that television is a visual media and it's a small screen and it has to make a big statement. So we definitely wanted The Nanny to put on a fashion show in every episode. And in fact, we designed that staircase to give her her own runway.
Fran Drescher: And then the second in command in the costume department of Princesses, she was the head costumer, but I really responded to her. I thought she was brilliant. I told Peter, "If ever we're in a position to hire a costume designer, we should get Brenda Cooper." So that was she, me and Peter conceived the look of The Nanny.
Joe Katz: Wow. But then you also work with designer, right? She worked with the designers to get looks or did she create the looks?
Fran Drescher: No, no. She would shop the looks with all the up and coming designers of the day from Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Todd Oldham. I wore a lot of those designers and she would often make adjustments to the original design, either making the shirts shorter or adding a detail or changing the buttons. And everything was picked to complement the story or a joke. She was very good about reading the script and matching the right costume for that scene. And she was very good at also building your body from the undergarments out so you looked your best, but she did work closely with the designers of the day. And rarely, if ever actually did a design, but that look and how the color palettes, how all the other people in the same scene complemented each other. All of that was Brenda.
Joe Katz: Wow. Interesting. What was your favorite look from the show? I know it was six years. It was a lot of show. I mean, was there a look that you were like, "Oh my God, I can't believe..." Because you did fun things with feathers and stones and all different-
Fran Drescher: Well, I always enjoyed when I'd wear a gorgeous evening gown that really showed off my figure. That was always fun. The mini dresses and mini skirts and hot pants was a lot of fun. And then she'd always find these great pieces. It would be a fantastic vest or would be thigh-high boots, or it would be a hip chain link belt. And it all came together. The important thing was that the character never looked slutty or trampy. There was a sweetness to her, even though she was sexy.
Joe Katz: Kind of like you.
Fran Drescher: Yes, thank you.
Joe Katz: Don't you think?
Fran Drescher: Yes. Well, I was always self-described as the hooker with the heart of gold in many of my parts.
Joe Katz: Really?
Fran Drescher: Yeah. In the early days when I was doing small parts. Very often I'd be either... I don't know, a hooker or the fast girl in school. But I never played it that way. I always played her where she was really adorable and-
Joe Katz: You loved her. Yeah. Right, right.
Fran Drescher: I can't really get away with playing an unlikable character. The audience is disappointed.
Joe Katz: I know. It's so funny when I told people, "I'm going to be interviewing Fran Drescher." the common response everybody always says, everybody that I said it to, "I love her." They always say that. Nobody's like, "Ugh, not her." Everybody's like, "I love her." You were just a lovable character. Yeah.
Fran Drescher: And I think over the years subsequent to the series, I've offered myself honestly and nakedly to the fans in a very real and authentic way. I've shared things that have happened in my life that were very painful. I go to [inaudible 00:26:12] for those that are marginalized. I started my own nonprofit. I've written 10 New York Times Best Sellers and a children's book. I made a law in Washington that was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent, which means all 100 senators said yes.
Fran Drescher: And then I was appointed Public Diplomacy Envoy for the US State Department, which is a vetted position that took me all over the world to our allied nations and military talking about health and how we have to take control of our bodies and choose what we bring into the home, what we eat, all of our personal care items, what we clean and garden with, make much more mindful choices because it's all that stuff that is compromising our immune system and increasing our risk of getting all kinds of diseases.
Fran Drescher: So I think that over the years I've developed a relationship with my fandom that goes beyond the character. The character continues to be very beloved. We're now on HBO Max, so people can stream it with no commercials and it's fantastic. I mean, I'm watching it again. Peter's-
Joe Katz: I watched it. Yeah. I just watched it a couple nights ago. You get all the seasons. Yeah.
Fran Drescher: Yes and it's really good without the commercials. It's just so enjoyable to watch and you could just watch what... You could cherry pick whatever ones you want to watch. So everybody's really enjoying that. It's, I think, even more popular now on HBO Max than it was back in the day on CBS. It's more appreciated now that the public has had time to catch up to some of the things that we were doing. And a lot of the millennials now that were children then missed a lot of the humor, a lot of the double entendres, a lot of the gay humor and the Jewish humor. And of course the clothes. We're doing The Nanny the musical now.
Joe Katz: I heard about that too. You're in the process of writing that, right?
Fran Drescher: Yeah.
Joe Katz: Or is it written?
Fran Drescher: Peter and I are constantly doing rewrites as more people step into the collective. So we started with a producer and then we got a director and we got... No. After the producer, we got Rachel Bloom from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and she's writing the lyrics. And then we got our director, Marc Bruni, who directed Beautiful on Broadway.
Fran Drescher: And now we're in search of a composer, but the thing about this kind of form of entertainment, musical theater, it's really a collective art form. And so good for us that we have that kind of experience through writing and television because that's very collective too, but it does take a very long time also. And so we were very blessed in the sense that we were able to continue working on it, even though Broadway was shut down unfortunately through this pandemic. And tragically, we lost our composer to the virus. So-
Joe Katz: Oh my God.
Fran Drescher: Yes, Adam Schlesinger. We've been doing rewrites and Rachel has been writing songs, lyrics. And so now we're ready to try and entice an excellent composer.
Joe Katz: When would it come out, the Broadway musical?
Fran Drescher: Well, I'm going to say that... Well, I don't really know. I don't have a lot of experience doing this, but I've already been given a schedule that's through the rest of 2021, advancing it to a place where we actually have a cast and we could workshop it. After workshopping it, I guess you do out of town.
Joe Katz: Oh right, right. To get it all worked out. So maybe in a year or so, or a year or two. [crosstalk 00:31:19]
Fran Drescher: Yes. I would say within the next two years seems realistic.
Joe Katz: So people can look forward to that, yes. It's going to be amazing adding music to The Nanny. When people listen, they always love to know little tips. When you were dressing for The Nanny, did you have any style tips that you're like, "I always did this?"
Fran Drescher: Sometimes we would take a very sexy spaghetti strap mini dress and turn it into a jumper and put a turtleneck under it.
Joe Katz: Oh, change it up.
Fran Drescher: And that became a very unique look that nobody else was doing in the day. The character had very big hair and that was a lot of fun. I was always checking my lipstick and so much so that we put it into the character that she would often look in the mirror and do this and then [crosstalk 00:32:21] go on her way.
Joe Katz: I always like when people, sometimes they like to know how much of your style secrets or things that... Under garments are always important, having the right fit, and all of that with clothes are always so important.
Fran Drescher: Yeah. Having the right size bra, the right kind of stockings and undergarments were very important for shaping and smoothing and I think accessories too. We never really over accessorized. It always seemed like it was too much very quickly. Earrings, necklaces, there wasn't a whole lot of that. It was more of a clean look. Brenda likes a clean look. And finding the right shoe that was flattering on my leg, that elongated the silhouette was really important to us. And so, it was a complete look because hair, makeup, accessories, and then the clothes had to not only complement each other, but complement the script.
Joe Katz: Right, right.
Joe Katz: It's so much, I mean, you are so honest I feel like with your fans. I mean, you're so open and I want to talk about the Cancer Schmancer because I think it's such an important thing that you're doing and I looked on the website and I've watched the videos. And all of those things, I think, which is so key. One of the things I think that you were very open about is things you went through with some of the trauma that happened early on. And then of course the cancer and one of my main questions is did that trauma, did that happen before The Nanny?
Fran Drescher: Yes. It happened in my twenties. I think I was around 25-ish, 26, something like that. And that was when I was a victim of a violent crime in my own home by a stranger who was on parole. And I was still in the place in my own development psychologically where I didn't really allow myself to get too into feeling my feelings. I just picked myself up, dusted myself off and pushed my feelings out of the way and just continued on. But of course, I now know that they don't really go anywhere but deep inside and I feel like having done that, it contributed to why I ended up getting cancer 10 years later, or being diagnosed with cancer 10 years later. So over the course of those 10 or 12 years, Peter and I had had a painful separation and I had started therapy.
Fran Drescher: And so I learned how to feel my feelings instead of pushing them away. And so when I got diagnosed with the cancer, I thought, "I'm not going to handle this pain like I did the last one. I've spent too much money on therapy to do that." And I really have to approach it from a different point of view by means of feeling my fear, feeling my pain, asking for help, being vulnerable, all of that, that I was unable to do after the break-in. But for the cancer, I did do it. And so, in a way the universe gave me another opportunity to learn an invaluable life lesson. You got to really put yourself in the equation of your own life and you got to be able to ask for help, not just give help.
Joe Katz: Right. You were more of a giver.
Fran Drescher: Yes. I was more comfortable giving than receiving. And that's actually very narcissistic. You deprive people the joy of giving to you. You only want to give to them. And I think I was just never comfortable with it. I think I traced it back to incidences that happened in early childhood, but it was time to let it go. Kids come up with ideas about how they have to be and at some point you got to unravel that and then decide, "Is this the working for me? No. Okay. Well then I got to change my behavior."
Joe Katz: But is it that easy? It's not always that easy, right?
Fran Drescher: Well, it's never easy.
Joe Katz: Yeah, right to just go, "Okay, I wish I could do that. I'm going to change my behavior." Then I fall back into it again sometimes.
Fran Drescher: First of all, becoming aware of it is the first big, giant step. Then behavior modification is the journey and it's always challenging. I mean, growth is painful. That's why they call it growing pains. And I always tell people, I mean, if you slip up and two weeks later you realize, "Oh, I shouldn't have said that, I should have said this," revisit it. I would call my father up and say, "Remember when I said this? That was not in keeping with my therapy. What I really should have said was this." And eventually you fuse together and you're able to say the things that you know you're supposed to say for your own best interest in the moment. You replace a bad habit with a good habit.
Joe Katz: So after that traumatic event happened, then you got The Nanny. Were you in your thirties or late twenties?
Fran Drescher: I was 34 when we shot the pilot.
Joe Katz: Oh, wow. 34. And you just pushed through that whole time from the incident to doing the show those 10 years.
Fran Drescher: Yes. Yes. I mean, honestly I thought that it was behind me, but when the show was a success, there was one of those tabloid shows on TV that did a whole expose on the fact that I was raped at gunpoint and they even tried to visit the assailant in prison. And I was already in therapy because my marriage was falling apart. And then I had post-traumatic stress from revisiting it that way so publicly and I was with a good therapist at that point. So I really had to go over it and unravel it all over. And so I did that, but my body was already working on a cancer inside me. And when I started to get symptoms, it took me two years and eight doctors to get a proper diagnosis of uterine cancer. So I got in the stirrups more times than Django.
Joe Katz: Django. Right. Yeah. That's really good I think for people to hear that when something does happen, you need to deal with it. You need to get it out of your body, right?
Fran Drescher: It's going to become toxic. It doesn't go away. You're better off just feeling it and getting to the other side as quickly as possible. I was just speaking today to the celebrated grief experts, Dr. David Kessler, and he said something that was so fascinating to me. He said, "Most people are trying to run away from their pain and their pain is a mile behind them, and they're always running away from it to avoid feeling it, but buffalo out in the Prairie, when a huge storm is coming, they instinctively run towards the storm because they know that they're going to pass through it that much faster."
Joe Katz: Oh, that's interesting. I didn't even know that as a fact. Wow.
Fran Drescher: Yeah, yeah. And I love that comparison because it's true. When you've got a storm, I mean, let's face it, bad things happen to good people and no one leaves this planet unscathed, but you can't avoid pain. You have to give up to it and feel it. It'll be painful, but that's the only way you can get to the other side.
Joe Katz: Right. And maybe to live a healthier life so that you feel better physically, mentally, everything. Who wants to face it because everybody wants to run from it? Our whole society is based on feeling good. I want to feel good today. And so everything is immediate. And so it's difficult and all of that to go back through it, but I think what you're doing, I mean, I'd love for you to just say about Cancer Schmancer, it's coming up. On the 20th, you're doing a-
Fran Drescher: The FranJam Music Festival, which streams for free and it's on several platforms. Of course, you can go to CancerSchmancer.org, but you can also go to the Fran Drescher Facebook Live or Cancer Schmancer Facebook Live and you can find it there as well. And I think also The Nanny TV YouTube channel.
Joe Katz: Oh good. Okay. And some big names are coming, Cyndi Lauper, David Foster, Katharine McPhee, all of them are going to be there.
Fran Drescher: Yes. Jackson Browne and Cynthia Erivo. We've got fantastic talent and it all streams on those platforms. And it's free, though we really sincerely hope that you will find it in your hearts to make a donation because that's the reason why we put it together. And it's something that's very near and dear to my heart and I really think that what we do is amazing work because we offer the public opportunities to learn about the causation of what is making us sick. As a nation, as a family, as an individual, you owe it to yourself to connect the dots because how you live equals how you feel. And there's a lot that we bring into the home that is carcinogenic and toxic, and it compromises our immune system. And when the immune system weakens, then you become susceptible to other things. So as we come out of this pandemic, the important thing is to live as cleanly and pristinely as you can, and to always be mindful of bolstering your immune system.
Joe Katz: That's great. Yeah. If people aren't there live, is it going to be broadcast rebroadcast or do you have to be live only to see the jam, the FranJam?
Fran Drescher: I think that it's going to play for about a week subsequent to the initial launch.
Joe Katz: Okay and people-
Fran Drescher: Catch up with it.
Joe Katz: Yeah. And then people can go on and you can sign up and actually put your email and get notices on CancerSchmancer.org.
Fran Drescher: Oh, that's so important. Thank you for mentioning that. And that's also free and we don't bug you, but let me tell you something, you're going to want to know what I'm up to and what you can enjoy. We do an annual Master Class Health Summit and I curate the most, literally mind blowing doctors throughout the year that went to medical school, started practicing, then began to think there's got to be a better way, got woke and is now dedicating their lives to being more functional medical doctors where they really look at the whole body, not just individual parts. And they understand that there are key systems within the body that connect different organs to each other. And you got to know all this stuff.
Joe Katz: Right. We don't really know. It's so interesting because funny enough, on a personal note, my cholesterol went up and I didn't think about anything. And then I went to the doctor and I went to a dietician and it's all this stuff that I learned. I'm like, "I didn't know about preservatives and all this stuff." I just thought, "It's fine if it's got nitrates a little bit, it's no big deal."
Fran Drescher: Well that's why you probably should sign on too, because-
Joe Katz: Oh I am, yeah.
Fran Drescher: The thing is, people are scratching their heads, wondering why there's so much autoimmune stuff, why there's so much inflammation. Well it's because our food is imbed with the chemical industry. Once industrial farming and ranching became the norm, the quality of food went down exponentially. And all of those chemicals from GMOs and herbicides and pesticides, they rip tiny holes in our gut, the gut leaks into the body, and you end up with inflammation or autoimmune problems. And it's just so important to eat cleanly, to buy products that have an ingredient that may have grown in your grandma's garden. And just everything old is new again. We got to keep it very simple.
Joe Katz: Right, right. And your edu-series I watched online on cancerschmancer.com I think is great. So people just log onto that, be able to sign up online and Fran will send you an email and keep you posted on what's going on. Sign up for the FranJam, which you're going to be entertained.
Fran Drescher: That's on Father's Day.
Joe Katz: Oh, on Father's Day? That's perfect.
Fran Drescher: 20th. And it's on at 9:00 PM Eastern, 6:00 PM Pacific.
Joe Katz: Perfect. That's awesome. You've been so gracious with your time, Fran. I'm going to ask you one last question, then I'm going to let you go. And I always ask everybody this, what is one thing that you haven't told anybody that you think would help somebody else?
Fran Drescher: Well, when you say I haven't told anybody because I tend to say a lot and I'd say a lot of things, particularly towards helping people help themselves. But I guess sometimes I recognize in myself that maybe I'm a little too much of a home body. Maybe I have a little touch of agoraphobia or something. I shouldn't really label myself because I've never been diagnosed with that and my parents like to stay home a lot. So maybe I'm just like them. I don't push myself to leave the house. I like people to come over. I like to entertain. I like to take walks, but I never get cabin fever. I could stay days and weeks on end home.
Joe Katz: In your house, wow. Yeah.
Fran Drescher: I mean, it is a very airy house with a beautiful outdoor environment and a very big view. So it's not like I get claustrophobic anyway, but I do think that... I do have an awareness of it and I do try and push myself, to pick myself up and go out. Even if it's just to go to the mail or to run an errand or something like that. I think it's important. And I think another thing is sometimes I might scare myself, think, "Oh my God, is something bad going to happen?"
Fran Drescher: And then I actually learn that that could be a self-punishing trigger because maybe I did something that I thought in the back of my head I'm feeling guilty about. So then I'll go for my jugular and scare myself with something that scares me. And now I know that. So then I'll start to think, "Well, wait a minute. Why am I scaring myself? What happened today that I didn't really cognize but maybe in my subconscious, I think, "Was that a cool thing that I did or said?" And then I'll revisit it and I'll master the real problem rather than letting me go off on a tangent that isn't really relevant, logical or helpful in any way.
Joe Katz: Yeah. I think people can relate to that and people... I mean, I can relate to that. So I know it's knowing that somebody else goes through it helps everybody [crosstalk 00:51:22]-
Fran Drescher: Yeah, for sure. A lot of people look at me and think... I mean, I guess it's natural to look at a celebrity and think their life is better than mine. And that's why I like to really be honest about things so that I can help exemplify that we all go through stuff, but then we have to choose to get through it and live our life fully and play the hand that's been dealt as graciously and elegantly as we possibly can. So it's important that people look at me and understand that I'm no different. The only thing that I'm sharing is that I've pushed myself to get to the other side of it. And that's I think the meaning of life is to take what's being presented to you and ask why and how can I grow through this painful experience? And I do that all the time and I practice Buddhism and I try to make kindness and compassion my compass.
Joe Katz: That's awesome. Wow. That's fabulous.
Fran Drescher: Not always successful. I try to be aware and do better each time I falter.
Joe Katz: Because you're human [crosstalk 00:52:52].
Fran Drescher: Error is human. To error is human.
Joe Katz: Right, right. You're human. So you're going to error. Everybody is going to error. Well, you have been so gracious, Fran. Everybody needs to go to CancerSchmancer.org. Join up for the FranJam. It's going to be fun. You're going to be entertained. It's Father's Day. Thank you so much, Fran, for joining and I'm so happy that you came on the show.
Fran Drescher: I appreciate it. Well, if everybody signs up right away, they'll start to get the notices and then they won't have to worry about forgetting when it's Sunday, June 20th.
Joe Katz: That's right. That's right.
Fran Drescher: Now you take care and be well and thank you.
Joe Katz: Thank you, Fran.
Fran Drescher: Thank you.
Joe Katz: All right. See you.
Fran Drescher: Bye bye.
Joe Katz: Thanks for listening to The Katz Walk. Make sure to subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app. This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to executive producer Gerardo Orlando, producer Leah Longbrake, and audio engineer Dave Douglas.