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July 26, 2014

In Defense Of: Andy Rooney

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 9th 2006 12:01PM

Andy RooneyIn a scene from one of my favorite shows, Newsradio, Dave (Dave Foley) makes a comment to Bill (Phil Hartman), saying something about "you're like Andy Rooney, only without a sense of humor." And Phil retorts, "Andy Rooney is Andy Rooney without a sense of humor."

It's a lame, inaccurate joke, the only one I can think of from this great show.

Andy Rooney has been dumped on for way too long. It must have started when Joe Piscopo would do an impression of Rooney on Saturday Night Live in the 80s, that whole "you ever wonder?" routine. But this joke is as ridiculous as dumping on the post office (who actually do a great job, if you think about it ) or doing a routine about airline peanuts (they can be kinda tasty). The truth is, Andy Rooney is a funny guy. His end-of-the-show bits on 60 Minutes are clever, if quick, little rants on thinks that irk him. But have you ever read his books? The guy is a damn fine writer. People often forget that he was a reporter during World War II and went on to write several news and political shows for CBS in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

I thought of this because he has a new book out this week titled Out of My Mind. It's a collection of his essays from the past few years. It's well worth getting. And worth remembering that the guy isn't a punch line to some old joke, but a great writer.

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kristian

why doesn`t somebody flush that boring old geezer, rooney, down the toilet immediately. at least - take him off the screen. even here in norway that grumpy old witch shows up every week creating a fucked up, bad atmosphere.

November 07 2006 at 8:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John A. Barber

I listened to Andy tonight -And he spoke about my favorite President- King George II and his thoughts on why are we still in Iraq. Mr. Rooney should be given a Pulitzer Prize or something for that. He is my favorite curmurgeon, outside of myself. The Peace Of The Lord Be With Him- John

October 22 2006 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Heather

Am I the only one that read "If you don't believe me, do yourself a favor and track down the Ali G interview with him." and thought "What the...?" I am not an Ali G fan, simply because it's just a guy playing a really annoying character and I think it's kind of a cop out to do an interview while in character. But I guess that also shows that like Akber said "You either get him and think he is funny and witty... or you think he isnt." Apparently mike doesn't get it. As a fan of Mr. Rooney, I find that quite sad.

October 16 2006 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RAB

I've always thought Andy Rooney was brilliant. If he's an "acquired" taste then I must have acquired it it instantly, before I was aware of it. Not like black olives, for example, which were something I started out disliking but gradually came to love.

One thing usually left off Rooney's credits are his collaborations with the humorist/performer Marshall Effron doing segments for a PBS show called The Great American Dream Machine back in the early Seventies -- Rooney and Effron skewered modern advertising and consumer culture in a bunch of satirical sketches well before Saturday Night Live came along. Since it's unlikely this show or these sketches will ever resurface, you'll just have to take my word that these were hilarious bits. So in addition to his journalistic resume, Rooney has genuine comedy writing experience under his belt.

Imagine calling a commentator who discusses in plain language the sort of everyday things that ordinary people think about as "elitist" when it seems the polar opposite of elitism. People who use the word "elitist" as an all-purpose put-down only reveal themselves as desperately afraid that someone, somewhere might actually be smarter than they are. How dare intelligent people talk intelligently! How dare anyone think his taste is better than mine! That's so elitist!

October 09 2006 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carissa

Wow - an Ali G interview with Andy Rooney. I'm sure that will set it all straight! I've been reading him for years; he is very sarcastically funny. Realize it's not exactly jackass material, but what can you do.

October 09 2006 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Andy is an aquired taste. You either get him and think he is funny and witty (and I agree his actual writing is leaps and bounds above his 60 minute cranky old man spots) or you think he isnt.

October 09 2006 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
const

There is no defense possible for Andy Rooney.

He's an out of touch, elitist crumudgeon. Why is he still on 60 minutes?

If you don't believe me, do yourself a favor and track down the Ali G interview with him.

October 09 2006 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doug Stewart

And where is Joe Piscopo now?

October 09 2006 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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