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The Staggering Number Of 60 Minutes Episodes Andrew Rooney Actually Filmed

There's arguably no single news program in the history of television more singularly identified with hard-nosed investigative journalism than "60 Minutes." Created by legendary television news producer Don Hewitt, the hour-long program first hit the airwaves in 1968. More than five decades later, "60 Minutes" is not just one of the longest-running news programs in small screen history (via History), but remains one of the most trusted news sources on television.

For more than 30 years of its ongoing primetime run, commentator Andrew Rooney was a central figure in the success of "60 Minutes." According to IMDb, the stodgy, fiercely-opinionated, and occasionally controversial (per The New York Times) journalist penned his first segment for the show during its inaugural season, later making his first on-camera appearance in 1969. Still, it wasn't until the late-70s that Andrew Rooney (better known to the news-loving masses as Andy) became a regular presence in the "60 Minutes" landscape. Once he officially joined the fray, Rooney promptly became one of the show's most identifiable talking heads.

He remained as much until his 2011 retirement. Throughout his decades-long career, Rooney logged a legitimately staggering number of "60 Minutes" appearances.    

Rooney shot more than 1,000 episodes of the long-running news series

According to his IMDb page, Andy Rooney made a total of 1,025 appearances on "60 Minutes" between 1969 and 2011. He accomplished that feat, of course, via an essay-styled commentary segment that would come to be known as "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney," during which he eloquently espoused opinions on everything from global politics and U.S. news to pop culture and personal life philosophies. Rooney's segment quickly became a "60 Minutes" staple, closing almost every episode for the better part of 30 seasons. In turn, the newsman's closing commentary became as integral to the show as its iconic ticking-clock intro.

Rooney's mind-boggling episode count puts him at the top of the list in terms of "60 Minutes" appearances, with even long-tenured hosts like Mike Wallace, Steve Kroft, and Morley Safer falling well short. Rooney has held that record since his 2011 passing (per The New York Times), and there was reason enough to presume anybody would ever surpass it. There is, however, one current "60 Minutes" correspondent who might have a chance at unseating Rooney. 

That correspondent is the inimitable Lesley Stahl, who, along with recent appearances in animated hits like "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," and "Marcel The Shell With Shoes On" has already logged 930 episodes of "60 Minutes" in her own decades-long run. As the show regularly airs north of 50 episodes in a season, Stahl may well surpass the famed curmudgeon in the next two years. And that would be just the sort of era-ending event Andy Rooney would have likely had some very specific opinions about.