Andy Rooney's Headshot

Andy Rooney

- Panelist Blurb

Andrew Aitken "Andy" Rooney (born January 14, 1919) is an American radio and television writer. He is most notable for his weekly broadcast "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney", a part of the CBS News program 60 Minutes since 1978.

According to CBS News's biography of him, "Rooney wrote his first television essay, a longer-length precursor of the type he does on 60 Minutes, in 1964, 'An Essay on Doors.' From 1962 to 1968, he collaborated with another close friend, the late CBS News correspondent Harry Reasoner — Rooney writing and producing, Reasoner narrating — on such notable CBS News specials as 'An Essay on Bridges' (1965), 'An Essay on Hotels' (1966), 'An Essay on Women' (1967), and 'The Strange Case of the English Language' (1968). 'An Essay on War' (1971) won Rooney his third Writers Guild Award. In 1968, he wrote two CBS News specials in the series 'Of Black America', and his script for 'Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed' won him his first Emmy." Rooney also wrote the script for the 1975 documentary FDR: The Man Who Changed America.

In the 1970s, Rooney wrote and appeared in several prime-time specials for CBS, including In Praise of New York City (1974), the Peabody Award-winning Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington (1975), Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner (1976), and Mr. Rooney Goes to Work (1977). Transcripts of these specials, as well as of some of the earlier collaborations with Reasoner, are contained in the book A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney. Another special, Andy Rooney Takes Off, followed in 1984.

Rooney's "end-of-show" segment on 60 Minutes, "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" (originally "Three Minutes or So With Andy Rooney"), began in 1978 as a summer replacement for the debate segment "Point/Counterpoint" featuring Shana Alexander and James Kilpatrick. The segment proved popular enough with viewers that beginning in the fall of 1978, it was seen in alternate weeks with the debate segment. At the end of the 1978-79 season, "Point/Counterpoint" was dropped altogether.

In the segment, Rooney typically offers satire on a trivial everyday issue, such as the cost of groceries, annoying relatives, or faulty Christmas presents. Rooney's appearances on "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" often include whimsical lists (e.g., types of milk, bottled water brands, car brands, sports mascots, etc.). In recent years, his segments have become more political as well. Despite being best known for his television presence on 60 Minutes, Rooney has always considered himself a writer who incidentally appears on television behind his famous walnut table, which he made himself.

Rooney's shorter television essays have been archived in numerous books, such as Common Nonsense, which came out in 2002, and Years of Minutes, released in 2003. He pens a regular syndicated column for Tribune Media Services that runs in many newspapers in the United States, and which has been collected in book form. He has won three Emmy Awards for his essays, which now number close to 1,000. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2003. Rooney's renown has made him a frequent target of parodies and impersonations by a diverse group of comedic figures, including Frank Caliendo, Rich Little and Beavis.

NOTE: Bio updated on June 14, 2011