This weekend, a man is leaving television. A man who did many things in his life, and yet, will always be remembered for essentially filling time. A man who saw what was a traditionally serious niche and said "No! I'm going to bring humor instead! But not edgy humor that could offend people! Instead I'm going to take the much harder route and keep things PG-13, and keep going even when everyone on the planet makes fun of me and calls me lame! And only when they've given in and I've outlasted like everybody on the staff, only THEN will I walk away! As a champion!"
Andy Rooney. Today we Woot bloggers name you our brother. More inside.
We know, we know, other bloggers are too self-centered to admit you invented the art. But talking to yourself on a regular schedule, ignoring when other people complain, charging ahead, sticking to your guns, telling yourself the right people will one day understand? Dude, that's just a few Pixies lyrics in the profile short of a Metafilter regular, and you started doing this in 1973! You're every blogger's older brother, every commenter's ur-document, and it's time someone told you to your face. So how about after all the attention dies down you stop by the offices and we can have a little party in your honor? You know, a little retirement BBQ?
We're not kidding, Andy, we'll set it up. Give us a call, you can come out to HQ and we can fire up the grill. Toon knows this place where he can buy habanero vodka shots, and wow, man. We can't handle them ourselves, but you probably have a stomach of steel. Everybody forgets you started as a reporter in World War II. One of only eight guys chosen to cover that first bombing raid into Germany, then you kept going, from the concentration camps to occupied Paris just as it was being liberated. Listen, you want to tell us some of those stories while we cook, we're not gonna complain.
And speaking of stories, what about when you got home? You wrote for TV in the 50s, when that was a top-of-the-line job! Two hits, one of them a number one show, then zip, right back to serious news as easy as you please. And we're not talking Nancy Grace news, we're talking the Edward R. Murrow era. Did Damon Lindelof ask to do a Frontline after he finished on Lost? Man, when you walked out of that, you could have done ANYTHING with your career! It was 1973, and people like you were rock stars! But instead, you chose to annoy America every Sunday night. Your opening act? A guy so serious he scared Presidents! Andy, that had to be at least as hard as making fun of coffee machines and Roombas. But you found a way.
No matter how many counter-culture comics took potshots at you for your personal style of wit, you just kept right on going. Now they're all dead from drug overdoses, and you're still center stage! You've even inspired your very own YouTube game! Can chubbo-hipster Seth Rogen say that? Of course he can't, Andy Rooney. Because he's not you.
Maybe people didn't always find you funny, but that's not the end of the world. You're still makin' 'em laugh at least once a week, same as us. Naturally it's a little worse for us because we publish daily, but if our numbers are right, that's a 28% success rate, and that's still statistically significant! It's just not worth listening to the nay-sayers and mathematicians who point out how you divided wrong. It's about being true to you.
Yes, we've also said some dumb things we've had to apologize for later, but that's the cost of exploring, right, man? When you're dealing with comedy at our level, what you say isn't always what you really believe deep down. Or is it? Guess that's something we can debate while the burgers are cooling. Hey, if you want corn, speak up, Matt's making a grocery run.
Andy Rooney, you set the standard for us noisy folks online. Without you, there might be no place for comedy that's just good enough, happening where people don't actually want it to be, overstaying its welcome and never thinking before it hits post. Even if those other websites act like they don't owe you a thing, we'll try to keep following in your footsteps as best we can. But remember, brother, if retirement doesn't work out, you'll always be family to us jerkfaces here at Woot. And we hope you'll stop by for the cookout.