So here is my brush with fame story about Andy Rooney.
I was doing the morning show on Froggy 101, a country station. In a misguided attempt to raise the level of discourse on the show I did a lot of interviews. Bill Cosby (VERY disjointed-tough to keep on any subject but funny as hell) James Earl Jones (Erudite. But I got him to say Froggy 101. Tricked him, really-CNN paid him big bucks but I got him for free!) and many, many others.
The interview with Rooney came about quite by accident. Andy Rooney in a 60 minutes segment mentioned the Electric City in a disparaging way commenting on housing prices here (he thought they were too low) and the fact that garbage collection was suspended on Columbus Day.
I called CBS in New York and asked to speak with him. I expected to get the run around, but you could have knocked me over with a feather when the curmudgeon himself picked up the phone. I stammered out who I was and that I would like to talk with him for the morning show and he said, “OK -talk.”
I asked him for five minutes while I got to a studio and he said “Make it fast.”
I raced for the studio praying that I wouldn’t have to negotiate with someone already in there. Home free and minutes later I was on the phone with Rooney.
It didn’t go well. All smarty pants I asked him why he was down on the Electric City. He asked me why it was called the Electric City. I had no clue. It went downhill from there.
Taught me a lot, that interview. Never go in unprepared. Never ask a question you don’t know the answer to. And always know something about what you are taking about. Seems easy now.