as drawn by Bill Ward
|First appearance||Cracked No. 99|
|Last appearance||Cracked No. 363|
|No. of appearances|
Nanny Dickering is Cracked's principal interviewer and one of the publication's regular cast of characters. She is, perhaps, the character most heavily identified with the magazine after mascot Sylvester P. Smythe and made over a hundred appearances over the years. She has had two special magazines devoted to her; 1986's Cracked Collectors Edition No. 69 and 1990's Cracked Party Pack No. 4.
Although her appearance varied throughout Cracked's history, Nanny is typically portrayed as a tall, leggy blonde with a beehive hairdo. When appearing in color, she is usually shown to be a standard blonde, but has been shown as platinum blonde as well. Her eyes have been depicted as either blue or green. Although she dresses appropriately for her circumstances, her clothes are generally tight fitting, designed to show off her ample figure. She often wears a bow or a headband in her hair and high heels. Despite her obvious sex appeal, she is usually portrayed as being good-natured and relatively innocent.
In the late eighties, Nanny was portrayed in several features by Playboy Playmate Bebe Buell. These included spot illustrations, a "photo comic" and an article on the Cracked 30th Anniversary Party, where Buell and her band the Gargoyles performed as "Nanny Dickering & the Martians". A video featuring Buell as Nanny was also announced (and referred to in at least one magazine article), but never surfaced.
In 2000, a live-action Nanny returned, this time being depicted by Debbie Rochon (who also served as "Miss Cracked" for the magazine at this time). Nanny is seen dressed as a gladiator, highlighting the Gladiator spoof in the then-current issue. Magazines from this time period would often depict Nanny with Rochon's likeness.
Nanny's name comes from real-world reporter Nancy Dickerson. She made her first appearance in Cracked No. 99, drawn by John Severin, who was her earliest regular artist. Initially, Severin drew Nanny with the physical features of Juliet Mills, who starred in the TV sit-com Nanny and the Professor. Other early artists included Sururi Gumen and Bob Taylor and they would draw Nanny in their own style. After her initial appearances, Severin began changing her appearance himself and her looks would vary wildly. In those days, everything from her height, build and hair color was up for grabs.
Nanny's look began to crystalize when her best remembered artist, Bill Ward, first drew her for the July, 1974 issue in the article "Cracked Interviews the Advertising King". Ward drew her in his typical style (reminiscent of his character, Torchy) and his leggy, buxom, big-haired and blonde version of Nanny would become the standard from that point on.
Once her look was finalized, Nanny became more integrated into the magazine and began appearing outside her usual interview setting. She appeared in all the "Cracked Movies", even serving as the "macguffin" in the original feature. As Ward's contributions to the magazine lessened, Severin and other artists would sometimes fill in on the interview segments, both with Nanny and without. Unseen in the regular magazine during Ward's run, the earlier depictions of Nanny were sometimes reprinted after he left the magazine. Most later appearances by the likes of Severin and Rob Orzechowski depicted Ward's version of Nanny, although very late articles (near the end of the magazine's run) once again featured different looks for the character.
As the humor in the magazine began to trend towards older readers in the late eighties and early nineties, Nanny's sexuality became more overt as the new editorial teams played up that angle. She made her final appearance in "CRACKED Interviews the King of Pop Music Management" by Noel Anderson in Cracked No. 363.
She did not resurface in the revived magazine.
In the German magazine Kaputt, which reprinted Cracked material for many years, Nanny was referred to as Margret Düser in most of her appearances. Late in the magazine's run, she was also known as Karin von Fieber. In the follow-up series, Das Neue Kaputt, she was known as Susie Sahnesteif. In another Cracked-related title, Panic, she made at least one appearance as Barbara Schickmann.
In the Brazilian magazine Pancada, she appears in reprint material as Sandra Canarinho (Sandra Canary).
- "Jimmy Carter's Telethon for Energy", Cracked No. 172
- "The Cracked Movie", Cracked No. 178
- "The Cracked Movie II", Cracked No. 183
- "A Press Conference with Ronald Reagan", Cracked No. 186
- "The Cracked Movie III", Cracked No. 189
- "The Cracked Movie IV", Cracked No. 195
- "The Cracked Movie V", Cracked No. 211
- "Super Sylvester: The Cracked Crusader! - On the Scent of the Stinker!", Cracked No. 234
- "The Cracked Movie VIII", Cracked No. 242
- "Nanny Dickering Goes Hollywood!/Nanny in Hollywood", Cracked No. 253
- "Advertisement for the Cracked Phone Number!", Cracked No. 254
- "Warren Beatty Meets the Real Dick Tracy!", Cracked No. 256