Andy Rooney will officially sign off this Sunday, ending a 33-year iconic run on “60 Minutes” that included over 1,000 broadcasts.
So as the world prepares to witness the crankiest man on television’s final segment, CBS released a sneak peek of his discussion with Morley Safer, which comes with a stern warning: Don’t ask Rooney for his autograph if you see the 92-year-old commentator walking down the street.
“What kind of an idiot wants my name on a piece of paper?” he says with a grimace. And if you think his retirement from CBS’ popular news show will change that, then you just don’t know Rooney.
“I have no intention of stopping,” he said, “I just don’t sign autographs.”
CBS announced Rooney’s retirement on Tuesday. Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and the executive producer of “60 Minutes,” said in statement: “There’s nobody like Andy and there never will be. He’ll hate hearing this, but he’s an American original.”
“His contributions to ‘60 Minutes’ are immeasurable; he’s also a great friend,” he continued. “It’s harder for him to do it every week.” CBS noted that Rooney might make sporadic appearances after his retirement.
Rooney’s final essay will be preceded by a segment that will chronicle his career with CBS. His 1,097th original essay will be his last.
America will get one last glimpse of Rooney behind his desk on Sunday, as he lectures viewers on an issue that is eating away at him, like he’s done for decades.
During a segment in 2009, Rooney answered his many critics, and read their letters on air. A Sayville resident simply told Rooney: “Andy…you need to get out more.” Others probably agree with that assessment after listening to Rooney talk about sleeping, gift ideas, music and used cars for years. But others enjoyed Rooney’s amusing rants, and he responded to the letter saying, he was happy being “set in my ways.”
The Albany-native had been a contributor for “60 Minutes” since its inception in 1968. His full-time run started 10 years later with a segment reporting on automobile deaths that aired on Fourth of July weekend in 1978.
He first joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts”—which was the No. 1 show on television in 1952.
Rooney was born Jan. 14, 1919 in Albany, and attended Colgate University. He was drafted into the Army in 1941 and in 1943, Rooney was one of six correspondents who flew with the Eighth Air Force on the first American bombing raid over Germany.