My first assignment on my first day as TV critic at The Baltimore Sun in 1989 was to go over to WBAL radio and appear as a guest on the noontime show of Allan Prell, who died Saturday at age 79.
Before leaving the office, I asked my pod partner Alice Steinbach, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning feature writer, what Prell was like since I was told she often appeared on his show.
Alice rolled her eyes and said in a theatrical voice, “That, you will have to experience for yourself, David. Good luck.”
She said it with affection for Prell, but the message was clear: Be prepared, this guy is a trip.
That wasn’t the half of it I decided after a few minutes of chatting pre-air with...