"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."
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 Strayed (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.