Notorious fist-shaker Andy Rooney told kids to get off his lawn one final time in early October, signing off from CBS after 33 years of delightfully cranky observations and 1,097 commentaries on the absurd.
Rooney passed away on Friday night, according to CBS, at the age of 92. He died as a result of complications that developed following a recent undisclosed minor surgery.
The famously unsentimental Rooney saved his best for last: “A lot of you have sent me wonderful letters and said good things to me when you meet me in the street,” he told Morley Safer in a 60 Minutes exit interview. “I wasn’t always gracious about it; it’s hard to accept being liked. I don’t say this often, but thank you. Although, if you do see me in a restaurant, please, just let me eat my dinner.”
Rooney’s first “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” segment, which always punctuated the end of the 60 Minutes sentence, came on July 2, 1978. Straight out of the gate, Rooney made his presence felt right away with a commentary on how ridiculous it was that news reports bring us statistics on how many people die in car accidents on holiday weekends. It’s so incredibly Rooney.
Rooney’s mouth often landed him in trouble. Perhaps most famously over the last 20 years of his CBS life, Rooney dissed Kurt Cobain following his suicide in 1994. Rooney was quite unhappy that the deatj of former President Richard Nixon was overshadowed by someone he’d never heard of. “A lot of people would like to have the years left that he threw away,” Rooney said on air. “What’s all this nonsense about how terrible life is?” In true Rooney fashion, he not only apologized for his insensitivity on air the following Sunday, but he read critical letters addressed to him without injecting any commentary.
For more on Rooney’s death, here are some go-to obits: