A segment towards the end of each 60 Minutes
broadcast, in the show's early years. It was a proto-Crossfire
, with dueling columnists: James "Jack" Kilpatrick as "The Conservative
", and Nicholas "Nick" von Hoffman as "The Liberal
". (Von Hoffman was later replaced by Shana Alexander of Newsweek
). There weren't guest talking heads
, as Crossfire
would have, since a five-minute segment wouldn't have room for all the hot air. Jack or Nick would serve, and the other would volley, then it was back to Mike Wallace
or Morley Safer, to read excerpts from the letters sent by angry viewers about this or that segment of a previous week's show.
"Point/Counterpoint" was dropped in 1978, and replaced by "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney".
But by then, it had become a cult pop culture success, having spawned a segment (of the same name) on Saturday Night Live, with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin sparring as a faux Jack-and-Shana during "Weekend Update". It gave birth to the catchphrase "Jane, you ignorant slut!", Aykroyd's counterpoint to whatever mock-serious point Ms. Curtin was trying to make.