Andy Rooney

Writer/Producer/Commentator


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-hour Archive interview, commentator/writer Andy Rooney (1919-2011) speaks about his 50-year career in TV. He talks about his entrance into radio and television as a staff writer for Arthur Godfrey and later on television's The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr. and The Seven Lively Arts. He describes his shift to the non-fiction form working on such CBS series as The Twentieth Century and Calendar. He speaks about the many CBS documentary specials he and Harry Reasoner collaborated on including: An Essay on Doors  (1964), A Bird's Eye View of America  (1964), and The Strange Case of the English Language  (1968). Rooney talks about several other documentaries: Sinatra  (1965, re-shown on CBS in 1998) and Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Straye d  (1968, Emmy winner). He talks about his long association with 60 Minutes, which began in 1968. He talks about his temporary break with CBS when it refused to air an anti-Vietnam War piece An Essay on War, and the subsequent airing of it on PBS's The Great American Dream Machine. Rooney speaks of writing and appearing in "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney" the essays on everyday life that appear on 60 Minutes. Don Carleton conducted the interview June 22, 1999.

"I sit down at my typewriter, or my computer now, and I damn well decide to have an idea. That's how you get an idea.  They do not strike you very often in the middle of the night or when you're doing something else....Ideas are amorphous, but you have to work on having one. They don't come just out of the blue."

Highlights
Andy Rooney on working at 60 Minutes
26:39
Andy Rooney on being in on the ground-floor of television and the wonders of the modern pace of innovation
03:35
Andy Rooney on the genesis of his on-camera pieces for 60 Minutes
01:51
Andy Rooney on the beginnings of television at CBS
05:29
Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing
08:07
Full Interview

Chapter 1

Introduction
On his early years, education, and influences; on his interest in journalism; on serving in World War II; on becoming a reporter for the U.S. military newspaper "Stars and Stripes"

Chapter 2

On his work on Stars and Stripes  during World War II

Chapter 3

On his transition to radio after World War II; on joining CBS as a writer for Arthur Godfrey; on the beginnings of television; on working with Arthur Godfrey; on Godfrey's firing of Julius La Rosa; on on Herb Shriner's tragic death; on writing for Sam Levenson's show

Chapter 4

On writing for The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr. ; on the challenges of doing live television broadcasts; on the power of innovation; on his start in documentary work (including An Essay on Doors; on his encounter with the Blacklist

Chapter 5

On working on Calendar; on working with Harry Reasoner; on his famous documentary essays 

Chapter 6

On his work on Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed (1968, Emmy winner); on his temporary break with CBS when it refused to air an anti-Vietnam War piece An Essay on War, and the subsequent airing of it on PBS's The Great American Dream Machine;  on his work for ABC; on returning to CBS and doing his "Mr Rooney Goes to..." essays

Chapter 7

On working at 60 Minutes  and some of the major stories covered

Chapter 8

On his books; on his thoughts about journalism today (1999); on how he would like to be remembered
Shows

60 Minutes

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Andy Rooney on the genesis of his on-camera pieces for 60 Minutes
01:51
Andy Rooney on working at 60 Minutes
26:39

Arthur Godfrey and His Friends

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Andy Rooney on the beginnings of television at CBS
05:29
Andy Rooney on working on Arthur Godfrey and His Friends; on his relationship with Godfrey; on Godfrey's firing of Julius LaRosa
09:09

Calendar

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Andy Rooney on some of the mishaps he witnessed on live television, particularly on Calendar
02:26

Garry Moore Show, The

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Andy Rooney on writing for The Garry Moore Show
03:01

Herb Shriner Show, The

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Andy Rooney on Herb Shriner's tragic death; on writing for Sam Levenson's show
02:30

Morning Show, The

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Andy Rooney on writing for The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr.
04:47

Sam Levenson Show, The

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Andy Rooney on Herb Shriner's tragic death; on writing for Sam Levenson's show
02:30

Seven Lively Arts, The

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing
08:07

Twentieth Century, The

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing
08:07
Topics

Bloopers

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Andy Rooney on some of the mishaps he witnessed on live television, particularly on Calendar
02:26

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Andy Rooney on being in on the ground-floor of television and the wonders of the modern pace of innovation
03:35

Hollywood Blacklist

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Andy Rooney on his encounter with the Blacklist while he was at CBS
08:41

Technological Innovation

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Andy Rooney on the beginnings of television at CBS
05:29
Genres

News and Documentary

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing
08:07
People

Bud Benjamin

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing
08:07

Arthur Godfrey

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Andy Rooney on becoming a writer for Arthur Godfrey's radio show
05:23
Andy Rooney on working on Arthur Godfrey and His Friends; on his relationship with Godfrey; on Godfrey's firing of Julius La Rosa
09:09

Don Hewitt

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Andy Rooney on working at 60 Minutes
28:57

John Houseman

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing
08:07

Sam Levenson

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Andy Rooney on Herb Shriner's tragic death; on writing for Sam Levenson's show
02:30

Garry Moore

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Andy Rooney on writing for The Garry Moore Show
03:01

Harry Reasoner

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Andy Rooney on working with Harry Reasoner
07:30

Will Rogers, Jr.

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Andy Rooney on writing for The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr.
04:47

Julius La Rosa

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Andy Rooney on working on Arthur Godfrey and His Friends; on his relationship with Godfrey; on Godfrey's firing of Julius La Rosa
09:09

Herb Shriner

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Andy Rooney on Herb Shriner's tragic death; on writing for Sam Levenson's show
02:30

Frank Stanton

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Andy Rooney on his encounter with the Blacklist while he was at CBS
08:41

Barbara Walters

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Andy Rooney on writing for The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr.
04:47

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