Q: A lot of your appeal with the younger audiences is certainly because you push the envelope. You did even with Sue Ann Nivens, given the time. Is that the real you?

A: I've always had a bawdy sense of humor. My father was a traveling salesman, and he would bring jokes home and he'd tell [them], and they'd never explain them to me. If I got them, that was fine. If I didn't, that was fine. But he'd say, "Honey, you can take that one to school, but I wouldn't take that one to school." But it was always both my mom and dad who had a wonderful sense of humor. We would get through some of the grim times by at least keeping a little sense of humor. It sure beats the alternative.

Q: And you've been at this for a while now.

A: Sixty-two years.

Q: Has comedy changed at all? Has it evolved or gotten better or worse over the years? Will you go into Saturday Night Live doing anything than you would have 50 years ago?

A: No, I don't think so. I think what's changed the most is the audience, not the comedy. The problem is the audience has heard every joke. They know every storyline. They know where something's going before we even take off. That's hard to write for, and that's hard to perform for because it's a tough audience to surprise. So you just have to take your best shot. And I find I do better if I just sort of shoot from the hip and hope for the best.


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