by Pam Sissons
The death of Andy Rooney is a big deal for baby boomers. If you’re a 50-something, you probably remember Andy Rooney’s 60 Minutes commentaries…those last few moments of air time when he managed to refocus from whatever was the storyline of the hour and make it “Rooney-time”. Even if you didn’t really care about the 60 Minutes stories, you did your best to make sure you tuned in for Rooney’s piece.
Witty, crusty, ascerbic, irascible, outspoken, endearing, hilarious, and a brilliant writer – these are just some of the terms that have been used to describe Rooney. How many people are able to go through life and earn such universal respect and recognition that doesn’t include doing anything terrible. As he got older, he started reminding me of the old guys in the Muppet Show balcony. He would go on a tirade about something – whether it was a current political or social issue, something as innocuous as decorating a Christmas tree or a tongue-in-cheek piece about women over 50 . We would say whatever the heck he wanted and make you laugh and think at the same time, no hard feelings. That level of thoughtful comedic presentation is incredibly difficult to do well. Especially with those extraordinary eyebrows.
RIP, Mr. Rooney…and thanks for the laughs!