In Defense Of: Andy Rooney
In 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.