Andy Rooney, the avuncular but irascible commentator whose essays on American life have concluded "60 Minutes" broadcasts for more than 30 years, is leaving the news program this week, according to CBS.
Rooney, 92, will announce his departure on Sunday, his final regular appearance on the pioneering TV show where he has been full time since 1978, and as an occasional contributor since the program's inception 10 years earlier, the network said.
"There's nobody like Andy and there never will be. He'll hate hearing this, but he's an American original," CBS News chairman and "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager said in a statement.
Sunday's broadcast will feature Rooney's 1,097th original essay for the program.
He has written on important and weighty topics such as war, automobile safety, race in America, human relationships and politics, winning four Emmy awards in the process.
But he is perhaps best known for his pithy and often critical comments on American culture, its excesses, and the fast pace of change over the years.
While he couches his essays in the first-person -- "What I just don't understand is," he often says -- they are aimed at the American everyman.
"The things I write and read on television are for regular, normal, average, everyday Americans," he once said.
Rooney wrote his first TV essay in 1964, called "An Essay on Doors." He followed that up with essays on bridges, hotels, women, chairs, and in 1968, "The Strange Case of the English Language."
They resonated with millions of viewers, and Rooney became a familiar face on the small screen. Fager described Rooney's two-minute contributions to the show as "immeasurable."
While his grumpy verbal attacks have taken humorous tones, they often skewered American bureaucracy, regulations or incompetence.
"I was frisked by a guy who wouldn't have known a bomb from a Band-aid," he said last year in a rant about airport security.
In recent years Rooney spent week after week grumbling about the complexities and excesses of 21st century life, complaining about so-called advances in technology, or ruing about how modern society and expressing glee that it seemed to be leaving him behind.
"I'm not interested in having my books on an electronic device. I want them in books," he said earlier this year.