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Inside Move: Fiction funnier than truth

Drescher spins not so true story

It turns out that Fran Drescher didn’t entirely make up her Nov. 4 anecdote on “The Tonight Show” after all. She merely claimed a friend’s story as her own.

Or so said Drescher’s publicist, Cari Ross, on Monday in response to a Daily Variety story detailing how Drescher had fabricated a long-winded tale about cutting her finger on Halloween night and calling paramedics to cart her to the hospital.

The story was true, said Ross. It simply didn’t happen to Drescher but to “a friend” of Drescher’s — and not on Halloween, either.

Why did Drescher claim it as her own?

“She thought it was a good story,” Ross said. “And you know, ‘The Tonight Show’ welcomes anything that’s funny. It doesn’t always have to be true. Fran isn’t the first to do this.”

“Tonight” more or less confirmed Ross’ observation Monday. Dick Guttman, PR rep for the show, said in a statement, ” ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ is a comedy program. Fran Drescher is a frequent guest on the show because of her ability to amuse. Comedians embellish a story to heighten comedic effect.”

In other words, concocting tall tales on “Tonight” isn’t necessarily encouraged, but it’s not quite frowned upon, either.

“Yeah, I’ve never seen an instance where a talkshow feels the need to check out an anecdote,” said one publicist on Monday. “Nobody really cares if it really happened to the star or not. It’s just not that big a deal, frankly.”