Alistair Cooke; Childhood Malapropism

alistair-cooke(Just for fun, here’s my first ever ‘publication’ in the New York Times: a letter I wrote while as a medical student, after the death of a PBS icon of my childhood.)
New York Times

Dec 13, 1992

To the Editor:

Reading John J. O’Connor’s tribute to Alistair Cooke, “An Icon in an Armchair Makes a Gracious Exit” [ Nov. 29 ], brought back a flood of memories of curling up on my parents’ bed with my mother and our dog to watch “Upstairs, Downstairs.”

However, in Mr. O’Connor’s litany of appellations given over the years to the venerable host, he omitted one that I’m sure is familiar to many other children who grew up with “Masterpiece Theater”: Alice the Cook. To me, it was just another one of those adult mysteries in life: Why was a cook the host of a show, and why would anyone ever name a man Alice?

New York

New York Times