You're one of just a few people with a #1 album and an Oscar, another being Frank Sinatra. Is this tour partly to show you're a serious singer?
Definitely. I did so many comedic things that people saw me as a comedic actor. Until you get a chance to define another side of your career, people will always say, "You're doing it as a hobby."
Did the Miley Cyrus flap hit you by surprise?
Yeah, it hit me by surprise. I think people understood that I'm a comedian, but when I make a mistake, I wholeheartedly take responsibility for it. I apologized to her and her father. But I could never lay my comedic license down. I thought it was great that David Letterman apologized to Sarah Palin but then went back on the pathway of jokes.
Your tour features a tribute to Michael Jackson, and your name has been tossed around for his bio-pic. How would you portray him?
I think the Michael Jackson movie should happen 20 to 25 years from now. Whoever would play it, I would want to see more of Jackson's life from his eyes, how he saw it. Like, not being able to have a childhood, being the biggest entertainer in the world as a young child, but still being able to come up with all that wonderful music.
You say that, like acting, each song you perform has a character, and you even switch outfits. For "Blame It," you wear a sparkly suit. What kind of a guy is the "Blame It" character?
The "Blame It" character is Gatsby. He's throwing the party. The song is saying one thing, but for the feel and the atmosphere [of the video] we wanted to portray something different. So we have Ron Howard, Samuel Jackson, Forest Whitaker, and Jake Gyllenhaal, and we just wanted to make it a party.
You've said that Ron Howard's appearance in the video turned it from an urban hit into a pop hit.
It did! Because, when people like Ryan Seacrest saw that video, they were like, "Wait, what's Ron Howard doing in this video?", and they gave it a completely different look.