Pattaya Daily News

03 October 2011 :: 09:10:56 am 58769

Beloved curmudgeon Rooney bids TV farewell

Andy Rooney, the most beloved curmudgeon in US broadcasting, had the last word for the last time on "60 Minutes", foregoing his signature crankiness for a spot of sentimentality.
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“I’ve done a lot of complaining here, but of all the things I’ve complained about, I can’t complain about my life,” the 92-year-old Rooney said in his 1,097th and final closing essay for the CBS television news magazine program.

“All this time I’ve been paid to say what is on my mind on television. You don’t get any luckier in life than that,” he added, speaking as always from behind the walnut desk he built for himself in his New York office.

“This is a moment I have dreaded,” the veteran broadcaster concluded. “I wish I could do this forever. I can’t though. But I’m not retiring. Writers don’t retire and I’ll always be a writer.”

A fixture of US television since the 1950s, four-time Emmy winner Rooney has delighted and annoyed in equal measure, using the final minutes of each “60 Minutes” program to rant on everything from politics to pennies.

Couching his typically 300-word musings in the first-person — “What I just don’t understand is,” he would often say — Rooney aimed his opinions at the American everyman.

“I consider myself to be an absolute dead-center average American,” he said in one recent essay in which he acknowledged his ignorance about the pop singer Lady Gaga, who is 67 years his junior.

His very first essay on “60 Minutes” challenged a national media obsession with July 4 highway fatalities, arguing that statistically, the Independence Day holiday was a relatively safe one.

Later essays tackled such unlikely subjects as cereal boxes, coffee cans, mixed nuts and one-cent coins: “The US Mint ought to stop making pennies… You can’t buy anything with a penny, and they’re a pain in the pocket.”

In a characteristic skewering of excessive bureaucracy, regulations and incompetence, Rooney said last year: “I was frisked by a guy who wouldn’t have known a bomb from a Band-Aid.”

Reporter : AFP   Photo : AFP   Category : Entertainment News

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