The "Bookmobile Lady" was the better known name of David Letterman
's Emmy award
winning set designer Kathleen Ankers
. Sadly Ms Ankers passed away in 2001.
piece would be introduced with a bit of tinkling youthful music and Letterman would chime in "You know by that familiar theme music it's time for another edition of the NBC Bookmobile's New Books. See for yourself what everyone else is reading these days." Ms. Ankers, as the NBC Bookmobile Lady, would then be ferried into the Late Night
studio on a forklift driven by the Gruff But Lovable Gus
. From behind a desk the NBC Bookmobile Lady would show Letterman bizarre recent additions to the NBC bookmobile. Some books introduced over the years were:
It's rumored that one book featured on the bookmobile segment called Dictionary of Euphemisms for Describing Meryl Streep
actually upset Streep and she cancelled an appearance.
When Letterman moved to CBS
Ms. Ankers, like many of the show's behind-the-scenes workers, followed. In the CBS incarnation of Letterman's talk show, Ms. Ankers played "Helen, the Ill-Tempered Ticket Lady". No longer the sweet, lovable bookish type, she was a foul-mouthed ticket lady who would rattle off a string of paint-peeling curses to anyone who asked her a question. Although the televised version bleeped out the swear words, a studio audience member reported her actual rant was:
"Oh, fuck me
! Eat shit you son of a bitch
shitbag! I feel like a goddamn cocksucking sewer animal
in here! Oh, piss off
! Go fuck you!"