April showers bring Andy Rooney's frustration

Spring has sprung, and that means rain. In this vintage 60 Minutes clip, commentator Andy Rooney explains why he thinks umbrellas are useless

CBS All Access
This video is available on CBS All Access

Before May flowers come April showers, but this 1984 piece is a reminder that a few minutes with Andy Rooney help chase the clouds away.    

Andy Rooney:  It’s my opinion that umbrellas are a failure. I like the idea of an umbrella, but the fact of the matter is umbrellas don’t work. They give you a nice feeling when you’re under one of them, but when you get where you’re going, you’re usually just as wet as if you’d never carried an umbrella at all.

I never have an umbrella where I want it. I always end up with three in the office when I leave home on a rainy morning, or three at home if it’s raining when I leave the office at night.

You can tell no one’s satisfied with the design of umbrellas, because they keep coming up with new ideas for them. Look at this! This is a two-man umbrella. It’s for a man and a woman, I guess. Actually, it’s just about right for one person. You probably could keep dry under an umbrella like this.


They keep trying to make women’s umbrellas look fashionable. You know, they fold them in these cute little packages and design them with colors and everything. No one wants to look fashionable when it’s raining. They want to keep dry, and these things are too small, even when they’re unfolded. This is a woman’s umbrella designed so she can walk under it and watch where she’s going at the same time.

When the price of anything ranges from very little to too much, from one model to another, you know there’s something wrong. Here are two umbrellas. They look about the same, don’t they? This model cost $5.95. It’s got one of those sleeves on it that you can never get the umbrella back into. This one looks just like it. This one cost me $95.73. It was made in England. It’s the Rolls-Royce of umbrellas. It’s called a Brigg. Wait till CBS sees my expense account for this thing! 


An umbrella should have a- a hooked handle, like this. No one wants an umbrella without a hook on it so you can’t hang it up somewhere and leave it by mistake, like this one.

I’ve just about given up on umbrellas. I got something here in the office that’s been more use to me than any umbrella I ever had. It’s my sou’wester. I wear it backwards, to keep the rain out of my face.