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American journalist & commentator (1919-2011)

Andy Rooney quote

The third rule of life is this: Everything you buy today is smaller, more expensive, and not as good as it was yesterday.

ANDY ROONEY, 60 Minutes, Oct. 23, 1988

Ive had quite a few complaints lately from people who like it when I complain about things. They say I havent complained about anything lately. So tonight, for you complaint fans, I have a complaint.

ANDY ROONEY, "Labels," Years of Minutes

I don't wear an American flag in my button hole. And I challenge anybody who does to prove that he's a better or more loving American than I am. And I just think that patriotism has so many of the same characteristics as religion has that we've got to be very careful about using it to the extent we do. It's -- I mean, we got a great country here. I mean, how could you not love being an American? But I didn't have much to do with making it as good as it is. I enjoy being here. I was lucky. I was lucky to be born in this country. It wasn't anything that I did. And I just -- it is as if these people who have flags all over are taking credit for how great this country is. I object.

ANDY ROONEY, Larry King Live, Jun. 5, 2002

Republicans ... are conservatives who think it would be best if we faced the fact that people are no damned good. They think that if we admit that we have selfish, acquisitive natures and then set out to get all we can for ourselves by working hard for it, that things will be better for everyone. They are not insensitive to the poor, but tend to think the poor are impoverished because they won’t work. They think there would be fewer of them to feel sorry for if the government did not encourage the proliferation of the least fit among us with welfare programs.

ANDY ROONEY, And More by Andy Rooney

Conservatives are more religious than liberals--although there is no evidence that they're nicer people because of it.

ANDY ROONEY, Common Nonsense

I understand shipping -- you have to expect to pay for the stamps or for the freight company -- but what's this handling they always have? How much does handling cost, anyway? I don't want a lot of people handling something I'm going to buy before I get it. How much would it cost if you didn't handle it before you sent it to me?

ANDY ROONEY, 60 Minutes, Mar. 12, 1989

The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

ANDY ROONEY, "A Few Words from Andy Rooney: A Face of America Commentary"

Nothing in fine print is ever good news.

ANDY ROONEY, Years of Minutes

All this time I've been paid to say what is on my mind on television. You don't get any luckier in life than that.

ANDY ROONEY, 60 Minutes, Oct. 2, 2011

I never understood retirement. What is the attraction of retirement? I go down there to Florida and look around and I said, my God, who wants this? Not me.

ANDY ROONEY, Larry King Live, Jun. 5, 2002

One question in my mind, which I hardly dare mention in public, is whether patriotism has, overall, been a force for good or evil in the world. Patriotism is rampant in war and there are some good things about it. Just as self-respect and pride bring out the best in an individual, pride in family, pride in teammates, pride in hometown bring out the best in groups of people. War brings out the kind of pride in country that encourages its citizens in the direction of excellence and it encourages them to be ready to die for it. At no time do people work so well together to achieve the same goal as they do in wartime. Maybe that's enough to make patriotism eligible to be considered a virtue. If only I could get out of my mind the most patriotic people who ever lived, the Nazi Germans.


Almost all of us have an elevator or two in our lives somewhere. We wait for them, we ride on them. We're annoyed by the wait but pleased with the lift.

ANDY ROONEY, "Where's the Elevator?", Years of Minutes

I try to look nice. I comb my hair, I tie my tie, I put on a jacket, but I draw the line when it comes to trimming my eyebrows. You work with what you got.

ANDY ROONEY, 60 Minutes, Nov. 24, 1996

A group of experts that has been studying the Defense Department announced recently that our whole military system is a wasteful mess and should be reorganized. President Reagan's trying to solve other budget problems by turning them over to the individual states and to private enterprise. He wants the states to handle their own welfare, for example. So, why doesn't he do the same with our armed services? Let Alabama, California, Illinois, Wyoming, all the states, pay for their own army, buy their own battleships, their own MX missiles, their own nuclear warheads. If Texas wants to get into Star Wars, let it. If Russians wanted to declare war on us, they'd have to decide which states to declare it on. They probably don't even know the names of all of our states.

ANDY ROONEY, "Army Inc.," Years of Minutes: The Best of Rooney from 60 Minutes

Christians talk as though goodness was their idea but good behavior doesn't have any religious origin. Our prisons are filled with the devout.

ANDY ROONEY, Sincerely, Andy Rooney

Tomorrow Im going to make some tough decisions and go right to work . . . just as soon as I have coffee . . . read the paper . . . and make a few phone calls.

ANDY ROONEY, Years of Minutes

There are only a few safe targets left, just a few groups of people you can say anything negative about without getting in trouble for it. I've made a list of safe targets and I probably ought to stick to those. Politicians, for instance. You can say anything you want about them, and it doesn't matter how unfair you are. People seem to like it.

ANDY ROONEY, Years of Minutes: The Best of Rooney from 60 Minutes

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.

ANDY ROONEY, "A Few Words from Andy Rooney: A Face of America Commentary"

If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.

ANDY ROONEY, "A Few Words from Andy Rooney: A Face of America Commentary"

The one affectation I have forced on the publisher ... are my apostrophe-free ellisions. 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. Punctuation marks are devices we use to make the meaning of sentences clear. There is nothing confusing about a word like 'dont' printed without an apostrophe to indicate an omitted letter.

ANDY ROONEY, foreward, Years of Minutes

I like Valentine's Day. The trouble is the florists and the candy-makers and the card people are all advertising so much, you don't dare let the day go by without making an offering, whether you mean it or not. Money exceeds affection.

ANDY ROONEY, "Valentine's Day," Years of Minutes: The Best of Rooney from 60 Minutes

People waiting for an elevator don't know what to do, standing with strangers. There is nothing to do. Its an uneasy time. Some press the button repeatedly as though it would help.

ANDY ROONEY, "Where's the Elevator?", Years of Minutes

I mean, the notion that we must love everything in this country or get out and go someplace else is ridiculous. I mean, if you -- the best thing a patriotic American can do is to look and be critical and find out what's wrong and try to make it better. That's what a patriotic American does.

ANDY ROONEY, Larry King Live, Jun. 5, 2002

I just sat there looking at television, sort of dumb and thought how horrible it was. I had -- the grand aspects of it did not occur to me -- I had no notion of this terrorist network that existed. I knew the were a lot of people in the world who didn't like us, but I had no idea that it was as well organized as it apparently is. That's one of the amazing facets of this terrible event: how well they did it. Incredible. The competence of these evil people.

ANDY ROONEY, Larry King Live, Jun. 5, 2002


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