And good riddance to a bitter, doddering old has-been.
I used to like Andy Rooney a lot. My dad never made much effort to watch TV systematically—he was pretty much a “whatever’s on” guy—but he did watch 60 Minutes regularly, and everybody had to be absolutely silent for “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney.” Loved it. When I was in middle school and high school, I read every book he’d written. I still chuckle thinking about some of what he wrote about buying a car.
But he slowly wilted. For one thing, he got obnoxiously political. (Really, everything does not have to have such an angle, and in fact you do alienate a large chunk of your audience when you work too hard to find it.) For another, there’s a fine line between finding a witty way to complain about something and just being a tedious jackass, and he lost all sight of said line at least a decade ago. He was once almost avuncular in his segments. He’d gripe, and then almost as an aside he’d soften it just enough to let you know he was an okay guy.
But at the end, he was indistinguishable from Joe Piscopo’s harshest caricatures.
Godspeed, Mr. Rooney. Thanks for the good times, however long ago they might have been.