Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Happy Birthday Lauren Lane

Fond as I am of Fran Drescher - which is pretty fond - I'd be lying if I said that the star is ever the most interesting character in a sitcom, and as interesting as Fran Drescher is - which is pretty interesting - that's true even of The Nanny; by design it's the secondary characters who get the best lines, provide the most humour, in fact keep the whole enterprise going by giving the star someone to react against. Many otherwise promising star vehicles have failed for precisely this reason...

PhotobucketFor six hilarious seasons, Lauren Lane fulfilled just such a role on The Nanny, which helped keep the show's hilarity ensuing at a consistently antic pace; as C. C. Babcock, Lane was the blonde WASP-y foil to the extremely ethnic brunette Fran Fine - plus Daniel Davis' Niles, Charles Shaughnessy's Maxwell Sheffield and Renee Taylor's Sylvia Fine besides. In fact, in some episodes it seemed like her mellifluous 'Hello, hello' was the only thing capable of cutting through the chainsaw-like drone of that laugh. In the process Lane had ample opportunity to shine in both the high comedy of banter and the low comedy of pratfalls, proving herself as versatile a performer as could be found in that truly talented company.

Even if her entire career hinged on those 146 episodes alone, Lane's would be one of the most esteemed in all of American television, but she's has also appeared on such shows as Hunter and she had an extended guest run on the 1991-2 season of L.A. Law, as well as in movies.

Since The Nanny went off the air, Lane has been teaching in the theatre department at Texas State University in San Marcos, hopefully instilling in a new generation some of the skill and magic for which she herself has been responsible...

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1 comment:

Sally said...

Excellent analysis. I love Lauren Lane and the CC/Niles interactions were some of the funniest parts of the Nanny.