Do you feel a comedian with such tremendous success initially in his career, like yourself, becomes better at their craft over time or do you think they lose their touch? Daniel Iampieri in Ellicott City, Maryland
I think the answer is one does not lose touch. One only gets better at their craft through work. It is a tricky question. The answer is also that as one gets older the core audiences are younger and their reference points are different. What they laugh at and find funny, as those opposed to me, who came out of the '60s and '70s, is different. One does have to be aware to some degree of pop culture and what younger people laugh at.
What is your response to people that love your movies but can't stand the way you articulate your political views? Wilford Davies, Buffalo NY
I donít know. I donít know what that means. When you are in my position... my political views are not farther left or that different than many Americans at this time. The answer is: tough. They can like their political views and I have the right to like mine. I feel very strongly about my views and I thought they came in rather handy when Ford was running against Carter. It really had an effect on that election.
What do you think of the state Saturday Night Live is in now in terms of the show being consistently funny and fresh? Amanda Westrich, St. Louis, MO
Well to begin with, it was never consistently funny when I was there. We always felt we got one out of three shows a month that were pretty good and the others were just OK. The fact is I don't watch it much. I can't comment much on this new cast or the cast in the last two years.
Other actors have said that you are not an easy person to work with. Do you agree? Joshua Brown, San Francisco, CA
I have always made it my duty and pleasure to be fun on the set of a movie and anything else that I work in. I really take offense at that kind of remark and I would be happy to take them on one on one.
Which of the characters you have portrayed is closest to your own personality, and why? Pete Allen, Reno NV
Fletch. When it comes to entertaining and being funny and annoying that's why you are there. That's who I am and how I normally behave.
Many people don't know you have always had roots with jazz music, including playing a jam session with the great Miles Davis. How big of an influence is music in your life? Kyle Lauterer, Saint Charles, IL
It had an extraordinary influence. I led disparate lives as a teenager. I would spend weekends down in the [Greenwich] Village or at the Five Spot with Charlie Mingus. I would watch Bill Evans and after college particularly after I became more well known I used to drive him home from his gigs, finding out later that he had a [depression] problem. You can understand how they could have fallen into a state of depression. Too many of them died young and it's a sad state of affairs. I play piano myself and I used to play the drums.
Do you think General Motors will name a car after you? Bobby Ball, Hemlock, MI
Of course not! My grandmother called me that [Chevy] and I never asked her why she named me that. I think I assumed it was a cute sort of nickname and it probably came from the city outside of Washington. And it turned out to be a good stage name.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from working in Hollywood? Anh Graham, Manchester, UK
It is interesting that it is the hub of the media. It has the worst lighting in the world to make movies. It is not really a place where I think you can raise kids if you happen to be in this business. It is difficult for them. I am very glad we got out. For me it's difficult to do it [make movies] when we are 3,000 miles away. It is even more difficult for women. They just chew Ďem up and spit them out after they reach a certain age.
But it is a great experience when you are there. I hosted the Oscars four times. I love that whole feeling of being there at the top and that sense that I play a part in making millions of people laugh you get really drawn into it. It is also important to have perspective, to get away, and live in other parts of the country.