On this day in 1919 writer and commentator Andy Rooney was born in Albany, New York. Rooney worked for decades as a journalist and writer-producer for television, but he is best known for his weekly commentaries on the television show “60 Minutes.” Between 1978 and 2011, Rooney presented over 1,000 mini-essays sharing his unique and slightly cranky insights on everyday topics, such as almanacs, eyebrows, jaywalking, paint, and the English language. For 33 years “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney” was must-see television.
The appeal of Rooney’s three-minute monologues was his homespun insights on the mundane. But another part of his appeal was his consistent curmudgeonly tone, like that of a cantankerous uncle who is bothered by just about everything.
Because I write my scripts to read myself, I dont spell “don’t” with an apostrophe. I spell it “dont.” We all know the word and it seems foolish to put in an extraneous apostrophe.
Age is a defect which we never get over. The only thing worse than having another birthday is not having another one.
I keep buying things that seem like the answer to all my problems, but Im never any better off . . . . And this is universal. Edison invented the lightbulb, but people dont read anymore than our grandparents did by candlelight.
On The Moon
Remember when the astronauts brought those rocks back? They said it might be weeks before the scientists could analyze them and give us their results. Do you ever remember hearing that rock report? I think the scientists are embarrassed to tell us those rocks are just like the ones we have on Earth.
The argument in the dictionary business is whether to explain the proper use of English or whether to tell you how it’s being used by the most people — often inaccurately. For instance, I never say “If I were smart.” I always say “If I was smart.” I dont like the subjunctive no matter what the dictionary likes. (1)
Today’s Challenge: Mini-Monologue on a Mundane Matter
What are some pet peeves you have about everyday objects, events, or ideas? What and why do these things frustrate you? Write a Rooney-esque monologue that expresses the reasoning behind one specific pet peeve or frustration. Go beyond the obvious, by providing your unique insights on what makes this thing so bad and how either it should be changed or what it tells us about society. (Common Core Writing 2 – Expository)
Quotation of the Day: I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I’d buy a painting. –Andy Rooney
1-Rooney, Andy. Years of Minutes: The Best of Rooney from 60 Minutes. New York: Public Affairs, 2003.