Except, he left the door open for an occasional cameo.
Rooney noted that he'd been "lucky" to have been a writer for 70 years. He had a 33-year run as the curmudgeonly coda to each episode of 60 Minutes.
His video essays (some 1,097 in all) were both mundane and meaningful. He wandered from cookbooks and stuff sitting on his desk to women on subs and homosexuality. You never quite knew where he might go.
"He could take the long view, but he could also sound like a man out of time or, some would say, out of touch ... I don't know who Lady Gaga is," he said recently, "and kids today probably don't know who Ella Fitzgerald was."
In Sunday night's send off, Rooney was, well, inimitably Rooney:
"A writers' job is to tell the truth. I believe that if all the truth were known about everything in the world it would be a better place to live. I know I've been terribly wrong sometimes, but I think I've been right more than I've been wrong....
I've done a lot of complaining here, but of all the things I've complained about, I can't complain about my life. My wife Margie and I had four good kids...now there are grandchildren. I have two great grand children although they're a little young for me to know how great they are. And 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.
This is a moment I have dreaded. I wish I could do this forever. I can't though. But I'm not retiring. Writers don't retire and I'll always be a writer."
For a full transcript of Rooney's last essay, click here
Or, watch the video below.