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 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 in New York, New York.

"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."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Andy Rooney on Arthur Godfrey's firing of Julius La Rosa on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts
Andy Rooney on his workweek on 60 Minutes, and on working with executive producer Don Hewitt
Andy Rooney on writing for a CBS News documentary about Frank Sinatra
Andy Rooney on how he'd like to be remembered
Andy Rooney on going to work for ABC News in 1972, and eventually returning to CBS
Andy Rooney on writing Harry Reasoner's CBS documentary The Strange Case of the English Language
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on radio he listened to growing up and movies he enjoyed
On his education, and on jobs he took while going to school; on his experience in World War II, and on writing for Stars and Stripes

Chapter 2

On his work at Stars and Stripes during World War II
On the CBS Radio coverage of World War II, and on going to Normandy in the wake of D-Day; on his editors at Stars and Stripes and on encountering Ernest Hemingway; on covering the end of World War II for Stars and Stripes

Chapter 3

On selling his starts and strips book to MGM; on getting into radio at CBS, and on working with Arthur Godfrey; on writing for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, and on CBS' entry into television, and attempts at color television
On seeing television at the 1939 World's Fair; on his experience of working for Arthur Godfrey on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts; on making changes to his writing style when he started working for Arthur Godfrey
On Arthur Godfrey's firing of Julius La Rosa on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts ; on writing for The Garry Moore Show; on writing for Herb Shriner and Sam Levenson

Chapter 4

On writing for The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr.; on some of the mishaps he witnessed on live television, particularly on Calendar; on being in on the ground-floor of television and the wonders of the modern pace of innovation
On his start in documentary writing on The Twentieth Century and The Seven Lively Arts; on his encounter with the Blacklist while he was at CBS

Chapter 5

On working on Calendar with Harry Reasoner; on writing essays for Calendar ; on his Bird's Eye View of America documentaries
On writing Harry Reasoner's CBS documentary The Strange Case of the English Language ; on writing for a CBS News documentary about Frank Sinatra; on writing CBS News documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement of the '60s

Chapter 6

On writing the documentary Harry and Lena featuring Harry Belafonte and Lena Horne; on writing Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed; on writing the CBS News documentary An Essay on War
On writing for and appearing on The Great American Dream Machine ; on dealing with the fame that resulted from his appearing on-camera; on going to work for ABC News in 1972, and eventually returning to CBS
On working for Richard S. Salant at CBS; on his documentary Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington and other documentaries

Chapter 7

On the genesis of his on-camera pieces for 60 Minutes; on his "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" segment on 60 Minutes; on his workweek on 60 Minutes, and on working with executive producer Don Hewitt
On some of the controversies on 60 Minutes; on controversial comments he made about homosexuals and African-Americans

Chapter 8

On his books; on his thoughts about the then-current state of journalism; 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
Andy Rooney on his "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" segment on 60 Minutes
Andy Rooney on his workweek on 60 Minutes, and on working with executive producer Don Hewitt
Andy Rooney on some of the controversies on 60 Minutes
Andy Rooney on controversial comments he made about homosexuals and African-Americans for which he was suspended from 60 Minutes

Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts

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Andy Rooney on writing for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, and on CBS' entry into television, and attempts at color television
Andy Rooney on his experience of working for Arthur Godfrey on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts
Andy Rooney on making changes to his writing style when he started working for Arthur Godfrey
Andy Rooney on Arthur Godfrey's firing of Julius La Rosa on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts

Calendar

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Andy Rooney on some of the mishaps he witnessed on live television, particularly on Calendar
Andy Rooney on working on Calendar with Harry Reasoner
Andy Rooney on writing essays for Calendar

Garry Moore Show, The

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Andy Rooney on writing for The Garry Moore Show

Great American Dream Machine, The

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Andy Rooney on writing for and appearing on The Great American Dream Machine

Morning Show, The

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

Seven Lively Arts, The

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing on The Twentieth Century and The Seven Lively Arts

Twentieth Century, The

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing on The Twentieth Century and The Seven Lively Arts
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

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Andy Rooney on seeing television at the 1939 World's Fair

Bloopers

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

Civil Rights Movement

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Andy Rooney on writing CBS News documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement of the '60s including Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed hosted by Bill Cosby

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

Fame and Celebrity

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Andy Rooney on dealing with the fame that resulted from his appearing on-camera

Historic Events and Social Change

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Andy Rooney on his experience in World War II, and on writing for Stars and Stripes
Andy Rooney on his work at Stars and Stripes during World War II
Andy Rooney on the CBS Radio coverage of World War II, and on going to Normandy in the wake of D-Day
Andy Rooney on his editors at Stars and Stripes and on encountering Ernest Hemingway
Andy Rooney on covering the end of World War II for Stars and Stripes
Andy Rooney on seeing television at the 1939 World's Fair
Andy Rooney on writing CBS News documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement of the '60s including Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed hosted by Bill Cosby

Hollywood Blacklist

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

Industry Crossroads

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Andy Rooney on his encounter with the Blacklist while he was at CBS, and on Frank Stanton's involvement

Pivotal Career Moments

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

Pop Culture

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Andy Rooney on dealing with the fame that resulted from his appearing on-camera

Technological Innovation

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Andy Rooney on writing for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, and on CBS' entry into television, and attempts at color television

Television Industry

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Andy Rooney on his encounter with the Blacklist while he was at CBS
Andy Rooney on the then-current state of television

War

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Andy Rooney on his experience in World War II, and on writing for Stars and Stripes
Andy Rooney on his work at Stars and Stripes during World War II
Andy Rooney on the CBS Radio coverage of World War II, and on going to Normandy in the wake of D-Day
Andy Rooney on his editors at Stars and Stripes and on encountering Ernest Hemingway
Andy Rooney on covering the end of World War II for Stars and Stripes

World War II

View Topic
Andy Rooney on his experience in World War II, and on writing for Stars and Stripes
Andy Rooney on his work at Stars and Stripes during World War II
Andy Rooney on the CBS Radio coverage of World War II, and on going to Normandy in the wake of D-Day
Andy Rooney on his editors at Stars and Stripes and on encountering Ernest Hemingway
Andy Rooney on covering the end of World War II for Stars and Stripes
Professions

Writers

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Andy Rooney on making changes to his writing style when he started working for Arthur Godfrey
Genres

News and Documentary

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing on The Twentieth Century and The Seven Lively Arts
Andy Rooney on writing for The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr.
Andy Rooney on some of the mishaps he witnessed on live television, particularly on Calendar
Andy Rooney on working on Calendar with Harry Reasoner
Andy Rooney on working on Bird's Eye View of America, The Strange Case of the English Language , a CBS News documentary about Frank Sinatra, and CBS News documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement of the '60s
Andy Rooney on writing the documentary Harry and Lena featuring Harry Belafonte and Lena Horne
Andy Rooney on writing the documentaries Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed and An Essay on War
Andy Rooney on writing for and appearing on The Great American Dream Machine
Andy Rooney on his documentary Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington and other documentaries
Andy Rooney on working on 60 Minutes
People

Bud Benjamin

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing on The Twentieth Century and The Seven Lively Arts and on working with Bud Benjamin and John Houseman

Arthur Godfrey

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Andy Rooney on writing for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, and on CBS' entry into television, and attempts at color television
Andy Rooney on his experience of working for Arthur Godfrey on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts
Andy Rooney on Arthur Godfrey's firing of Julius La Rosa on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts

Ernest Hemingway

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Andy Rooney on his editors at Stars and Stripes and on encountering Ernest Hemingway

Don Hewitt

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Andy Rooney on his workweek on 60 Minutes, and on working with executive producer Don Hewitt

John Houseman

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Andy Rooney on his start in documentary writing on The Twentieth Century and The Seven Lively Arts and on working with Bud Benjamin and John Houseman

Sam Levenson

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Andy Rooney on writing for Herb Shriner and Sam Levenson

Garry Moore

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Andy Rooney on writing for The Garry Moore Show

Harry Reasoner

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Andy Rooney on working on Calendar with Harry Reasoner

Will Rogers, Jr.

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

Julius La Rosa

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Andy Rooney on Arthur Godfrey's firing of Julius La Rosa on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts

Richard S. Salant

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Andy Rooney on working with Richard S. Salant at CBS

Herb Shriner

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Andy Rooney on writing for Herb Shriner and Sam Levenson

Frank Sinatra

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Andy Rooney on writing for a CBS News documentary about Frank Sinatra

Frank Stanton

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Andy Rooney on his encounter with the Blacklist while he was at CBS, and on Frank Stanton's involvement

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