“I’m lucky so many things annoy me, because if they didn’t I’d hardly have anything at all to talk about Sunday nights.”

So said Andy Rooney, referring to his essays at the end of 60 Minutes where he ranted on such ordinary subjects as paperweights, chocolate chip cookies and even Michael Jackson lyrics.

It was a segment that worked for him for decades, probably because the subject of complaining is relatable–we all get annoyed at something at some point.  I for one totally agree with him on the subject of phone books by the way. Why am I still getting them?  I don’t need them, not even one and certainly not the three different kinds of phone books that continue to be dropped on my porch.

Even so, Andy Rooney’s complaining often got him labeled as a curmudgeon.

“What’s a Lady Gaga?”

But I would rather remember Mr. Rooney as the writer, and it’s not just because he had this to say about women over forty:

“A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom . . . Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”, here’s an update for you. Nowadays 80%of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!” 

Besides, Andy Rooney said some very wise things on the subject of being a writer.

“A writer’s greatest pleasure is revealing to people things they knew but did not know they knew. Or did not realize everyone else knew, too. This produces a warm sense of fellow-feeling and is the best a writer can do . . . A writer’s job is to tell the truth.  I believe that if all the truths were known about everything in the world it would be a better place to live.”

Lastly, I leave you with Andy Rooney on inspiration:

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”  



“If you smile when you are alone you really mean it.” 


Andy Rooney also said that “the best classroom is at the feet of an elderly person.”  What do you think?


19 thoughts on “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney

  1. Emma Burcart

    This was so much fun to read! I laughed and felt inspired. This is just the kind of thing I enjoy and am looking for in the blogs I read: uplifting entertainment! Perfect. I’m going to keep some of his quotes, too.

  2. Susanna Hill

    What a wonderful post, and what true and thought-provoking quotes. I especially like the second one about writers – isn’t that what we all strive for? Thanks for the laugh at the women-over-40 quote 🙂

  3. Kristy K. James

    Too many people think ‘old folks’ don’t know what they’re talking about. Maybe because they just don’t spend enough time listening. Hats off to you, Mr. Rooney, for being such a smart man. And to you, Coleen, for recognizing that he was a man worthy to be quoted. My favorite was the first. 🙂

  4. Tim L O'Brien

    Another great blog! Several weeks ago I sat next to a 90 year old man at a college football game. He told me stories of his first visit to the stadium in 1935. His stories were captivating. I wish I had gotten his name. Andy Rooney got it right.

  5. Karen McFarland

    Awesome post Coleen!

    Thank you so much for writing about Andy Rooney. He was a unique, clever man and he will be missed. I’m afraid no one will be able to step into his shoes and replace him. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

    He had finesse and a way of being straightforward and truthful, yet always seasoned his words with just the right amount of humor.

    Loved it!

  6. Kara

    I love the quotes, especially the first one. I always enjoyed listening to his commentary, even as a kid. What a nice tribute this post was to him:)

  7. Coleen Patrick

    Thanks for your comments! He may have tackled a lot of silly subjects, but I think he was very wise. Again I am reminded of how much I can learn from the most unexpected sources. Thanks again!!

  8. Pat O'Dea Rosen

    Hi, Coleen,
    Love what Andy Rooney said about being a writer and producing a sense of fellow-feeling. His goodbye segment on 60 Minutes was poignant and showed he didn’t view himself as a humorist, TV personality, or curmudgeon, but as a writer.

  9. Elaine Smothers

    What a sensational post! I grew up watching Andy Rooney and will miss his unique & humorous outlook on life. I loved all the quotes, especially his take on inspiration! There will never be another like him!

  10. Julie Hedlund

    I absolutely adored Andy Rooney and will miss him terribly. Thank you for sharing these quotes. I put the “women over 40” one on my Facebook wall. He was a true and honest gent.

  11. Sheila Seabrook

    Wow, I’d forgotten all about Andy Rooney and his wonderful rants. He would’ve loved blogging and would have been hugely popular. Thanks for the great post, Coleen!

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