Morley Safer profiles his colleague Andy Rooney, America's favorite curmudgeon, and chats with the iconic commentator about his remarkable career. The interview precedes Rooney's final regular appearance on "60 Minutes," where he has had the last word since 1978.
The following script is from "Andy Rooney" which aired on October 2, 2011.
As we begin our 44th season of "60 Minutes" we want to take more than a few minutes to bid the fondest of farewells to one of our most familiar - dare we say most beloved faces - Andy Rooney. This will be Andy's last regular appearance on this broadcast.
There have been many curmudgeons on television over its long history, but none has been so long-serving in that role as Mr. Rooney - the grandpa Moses of broadcasting. At age 92, perhaps Grandpa Methuselah would be more fitting.
We sat down with Andy recently to chat about...well, Andy.
Andy Rooney: "My Lucky Life"
Watch Rooney's last regularly scheduled appearance on "60 Minutes"
Morley Safer: When you first started the Rooney piece on "60 Minutes," what was the immediate response?
Andy Rooney: Well, how you gonna hate Andy Rooney on television? I mean, I don't recall having much negative comment from anybody.
Safer: Did you have any idea, though, that you would become iconic on this broadcast?
Rooney: Well, I hope you're right. I don't know the-- whether you're right or not. But I like hearing you say it.
[Rooney on "60 Minutes": I don't know anything offhand that mystifies Americans more than the cotton they put in pill bottles. Why do they do it?]
There is no better way to celebrate Andy Rooney's work than to let Andy do the talking
For over 30 years, Andy Rooney has held court, dispensing his wit and wisdom from his desk turned pulpit, soapbox or whatever you want to call it.
[Rooney: I make my living having opinions.]
[Rooney: All I'm saying is....]
As America's favorite grouch in chief, he was the voice...
[Rooney: Will you please tell me why...]
...the loud whiny voice, speaking on behalf of citizens fed up with nearly everything.
[Rooney: That's what's wrong with what's going on in Washington.]
And a watchdog...
[Rooney: Look at these boxes of stuff.]
...our junkyard poodle protecting consumers.
[Rooney: Check the size of those things. They not only puffed the wheat, they puffed the blueberries!]
Rooney: I think of it as work. I love to come in and sit down at my typewriter.
Safer: You-- you think of it as work. People watching this say, "And you call that work?"
Rooney: I know. I know. That is true. But I do think of it-- it is work.
As for topics...well, he had an axe to grind about nearly everything - the more insignificant, the better.
Produced by Warren Lustig.