Goodbye, Andy Rooney

“I don’t know why this is, and I don’t understand it.” – The beginning of Andy Rooney’s Sept. 4 rant.

You ever wonder why CBS lets an old curmudgeon rant on one of their most highly rated shows? I do. It seems these days that everyone and their uncle can flip on a TV, set it to CBS–if they can figure out how. Used to be you could turn on a TV and CBS was the only channel. Nowadays, there’s a channel for everything: Music Television for music, The Learning Channel for Learning, Lifetime for Women. I don’t know how anyone figures it out. But on CBS, you can still see some old grump by the name of Andy Rooney grumbling about car gadgets or what a Lady Gaga is, or how fun it is to be the Pope. I wonder how he does it.

I didn’t realize that TV Guide ranked 60 Minutes as its 6th greatest show. My mother didn’t subscribe to TV Guide when I was a kid.

Andy Rooney started out at CBS writing for Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts in 1949. It was a variety program. Seems like a funny transition, to go from serving in World War II to writing on a variety show, but who am I to judge? I didn’t serve in World War II, so I guess I don’t know what that would be like–to come back from that. World War II, I mean.

Have you ever eaten a date? I haven’t, but I don’t think I would care for them.

Lots of people make fun of Andy Rooney. And with good reason–he has really bushy eyebrows, complains about all kinds of inconsequential things, is 92 years old and isn’t dead yet. They play the Andy Rooney Game. They mock him on their Ali G Shows.

Those people–the ones who make fun of Andy Rooney, I mean–can go suck on a lemon as far as I’m concerned.

Andy Rooney may not understand how GPS systems work, have anything relevant to say, and create an abrupt tonal shift on 60 Minutes. But I like Andy Rooney. He means well, at least I think he does.

In Andy’s most recent rant–this time, against car gadgets, he says that “Too often, the best time I have is when I am lost.” I like to feel like listening to Andy Rooney’s rants is like being lost in a car. You have no idea where you’re going, it takes forever, and sometimes you get a little queasy. But if you don’t have anywhere to go, there are worse ways to spend your time.

Sunday will be Andy Rooney’s final telecast on 60 Minutes.

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