PERFORMER Caroll Spinney
DEBUT 1970
PATTERN Large Lavender Live Hand

Granny Fanny Nesselrode is an old lady character who appeared on Sesame Street in the 1970s. She first appeared in Season 1, then made other appearances in Season 2 and Season 3.

In her first appearance in Episode 0112, she was made from the same puppet originally used as the Southern Colonel. For this debut appearance, she was performed by Jim Henson.

The often confused Granny was mostly known for her "Answer Lady" skits, in which she solved viewers' problems (or at least attempted to). The program was broadcast from her cozy, sun-filled kitchen in Goat Corners, New Hampshire. As late as the 1975 book See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil, she was referred to as "the Answer Person" and consulted for advice in ridding the Sesame Street Clubhouse of all odors. In most book appearances, however, she functioned as an all-purpose feisty old lady.

She was also featured in a 1972 edition of "Here is Your Life" (performed here also by Henson), celebrating the life of Oak Tree. In that sketch, Granny Fanny visits from the farmhouse down the road to pay her respects to the tree, which she had planted in the ground when he was just an acorn. She even brings a picture of the acorn. Guy Smiley endearingly calls her "Farmer Fanny" (a reference to Fanny Farmer, author of the famous cookbook of the same name).

Although Granny has been depicted on many pieces of merchandise through the years, she never really became a main character. She appears in the Sesame Street Skills for Growing filmstrip "Ernie Learns to Skate", where she was performed by Jerry Nelson.

Answer Lady sketches

Picture Segment / First Appearance Description
Episode 0112
Granny demonstrates safety with a pencil by breaking its point off, soon realizing that the point is needed to write with the pencil. She then gives nonsensical advice regarding dirty dishes, reaching the sink for short individuals, and how two kids can share one balloon.
Household Hints
Episode 0122
Granny dispenses homespun, yet harebrained household hints regarding mail, dust, and peanut butter.
Classifying Kittens
Episode 0171
Granny reads a letter from a viewer asking how to tell the difference between two kittens. Granny herself can't tell the difference, despite the fact that the two cats are different colors.
Ketchup Problem
Episode 0199
Granny tries to solve the problem of why ketchup won't come out of a bottle. Her announcer points out that she should remove the bottle cap first. Having solved the problem, Granny ends up pouring ketchup all over the place.
Episode 0250
A viewer wants to know if there's a way to memorize the letters in the alphabet. Granny Fanny Nesselrode thinks it's impossible, while the announcer is able to recite it with ease. Instead, Granny Fanny shows off her "alphabet box," containing an item beginning with every letter of the alphabet.
Episode 0382
Granny shows how to make a telephone call, but can't figure out how to use the phone.

Book appearances

Other illustrated appearances
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