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Muppet Wiki
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.

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. She was aided by her announcer (performed by Frank Oz in the first season, and Jerry Nelson in the subsequent sketches), who typically corrected her on her various errors.

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.

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).

While never a major character on the show itself, Granny Fanny has been prominently depicted on merchandise over the years, most often in illustrated books. She featured in the Sesame Street Skills for Growing filmstrips "Ernie Learns to Skate" (voiced by Jerry Nelson) and "Sesame Street 4th of July" (voiced by Richard Hunt).

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 Fanny (performed once more by Jim Henson) receives a query from a viewer as to why she never answers their telephone calls. She proves to be very inept at such a simple task.

Book appearances[]

Other illustrated appearances