“You know what really bothers me?”

November 5, 2011 • 4:49 am

“Being dead.”

Andy Rooney died yesterday.  He was 92.

I had a bad feeling when he didn’t show up on the television show 60 Minutes for several weeks in a row, and then went on to announce that he was retiring—after 60 years at CBS.

He was America’s Curmudgeon, and, after the three segments of 60 Minutes, I always left it on to see what Andy would say.  A lot of the time I wasn’t interested in his rants, but he was often on the mark.  I’ll miss him.

Some of his best pieces have been collected here. I love “Mixed nuts” from 1997. Haven’t you ever wondered whether you were being cheated by the presence of so many peanuts? (I’m one of those cheaters who always picks out the cashews.) Andy got paid to answer questions like that (he did more serious pieces, too, of course), and that’s a job I’d love!

22 thoughts on ““You know what really bothers me?”

  1. His segments were always entertaining. But he did say he doesnt like chocolate chip cookies. How can someone not like chocolate chip cookies???

    1. They played that clip a couple of weeks ago when he retired. He was great at grabbing your attention with something simple like that, “I don’t like chocolate chip cookies.” You can’t help but listen after an intro like that.

  2. Indeed, RIP Andy. 60Min won’t be the same. He gave the suggestion in his retirement piece that he’d be back occasionally, and I was looking forward to those special occasions.

    1. Andy had always been cranky and had a very low tolerance for nonsense. It was always great fun to see someone offering him nonsense and seeing him get stuck into them.

  3. Sundays I have dinner with Mom and Dad, and 60 Minutes is on about the same time the kitchen is cleaned up. Andy has been a regular part of that ritual, and we’ve missed him already.


  4. In 2001 he won the Emperor Has No Clothes Award ~ which celebrates “plain speaking” on the shortcomings of religion by public figures [inaugurated by the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 1999]

    “I don’t differentiate much, except in degree, between people who believe in religion from those who believe in astrology, magic or the supernatural”

    “We all ought to understand we’re on our own. Believing in Santa Claus doesn’t do kids any harm for a few years but it isn’t smart for them to continue waiting all their lives for him to come down the chimney with something wonderful. Santa Claus and God are cousins”

    “I just wish this social institution [religion] wasn’t based on what appears to me to be a monumental hoax built on an accumulation of customs and myths directed toward proving something that isn’t true”

    “Christians talk as though goodness was their idea but good behavior doesn’t have any religious origin. Our prisons are filled with the devout”

    “I’d be more willing to accept religion, even if I didn’t believe it, if I thought it made people nicer to each other but I don’t think it does”

  5. The Portable Atheist has been sitting prominently on Rooney’s bookshelf for the past few years. Anyone else notice that?

  6. RIP Andy. Gone but not forgotten.

    Sadly, the curmudgeon role seems now to have fallen to (ick) Ben Stein.

    BTW: You can have my cashews. I’m allergic to them and pistachios (not anaphylaxis — just an irritating dermatitis). It’s the whole deadly nightshade family.

    Funny, it used to be that you’d have a hard time finding them in any nut mix…now that I can’t eat them, they’re everywhere.

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