Andy Rooney has been crotchety for the last thirty years. He may have even been crotchety long before that, but it was in 1978 that he joined CBS’s 60 Minutes and ended the show with anecdotes about his experiences. Often meant as the lighter side of the news, Rooney just as easily talked about the current political climate as whatever got his goat or interested him that week. As of Sunday October 2, the 92-year-old will be stepping down. No replacement has been suggested yet.
At Rooney’s age, it’s not surprising he’s leaving – his involvement with the show was reduced when it became harder for him to get to the studio. As is the case with anyone who offers their opinions as Rooney does, he’s been a target of mockery almost as long as he’s been famous, though in his later years his commentaries have often inspired questions about his relevance, as he came across as an old man complaining about a new world.
Perhaps Rooney’s work existed in a bubble – though he came from an era where reporters and TV anchors would often offer their own editorials at the ends of shows, something that has gone away in the post-Fairness doctrine era of broadcasting. But you can’t really point to anyone else like Rooney in television journalism. That’s a legacy.
Did you enjoy Andy Rooney’s work?