When we gave PEOPLE.com readers the chance to ask America’s top-grossing funnyman anything, many of you wanted to know about one thing: his rich, curly head of hair. While he doesn’t perm (five of you asked), Ferrell, 39, has been known to do most anything else for laughs. In Stranger Than Fiction, he plays it relatively straight as a man who suddenly discovers he is the main character in a novel. He sat down with PEOPLE’s Oliver Jones to answer your questions.
How do you keep those gorgeous curls so curly, after having to do Ron Burgundy hair, Zoolander hair and so on? It’s not damaged at all! – Melanie Bailey, Buffalo, N.Y.
I wear wigs. Except for Zoolander. Zoolander was my real hair. That is where I learned you don’t actually have to bleach your hair till you go bald. The hair person was like, “I’m surprised it hasn’t all fallen out by now.”
You played music a lot on SNL. Do you secretly wish you were a rock star? – Charlotte French, Portland Ore.
I don’t have that thing where rock stars want to be comedians and comedians want to be rock stars. If anything, I would love to be a really lame pop star in a foreign country. What David Hasselhoff is to Germany, I would love to be to, like, Poland. I would love to flood Eastern Europe with insipid pop songs.
How did you propose to your wife (actress Vivica Paulin, 37)? Was it in a funny way or was it all serious? – Iliana Quintana, Payson, Utah
It started serious but ended up comedic. I took her to this beach where we had had one of our first dates. She wanted none of it. She was like, “The beach is creepy at night.” I was like, “Shut up, this is supposed to be really romantic.” I was trying to think of what I was going to say and it just turned into, “So I, uh, really like you and, uh, anyway. …” Then I went down to a knee – at least I think I did – and proposed.
Does your wife think you’re funny, or does she get annoyed? – Aubrey Robbins, Waterford, Wis.
I am not on at home, but she has said that she would want to kill me if I was one of those people always trying out my new material on her.
What kind of things make you laugh? – Nicole Sipe, Elkton, Va.
Inappropriate behavior makes me laugh. Yelling at people for no reason in a public place. Yet I don’t think that I am such a fan of the Jackass-brand of inappropriate behavior. I prefer clever inappropriate behavior, where you don’t necessarily wound yourself.
You picked a unique name for your son, Magnus (age 2). How did you choose it? – Mallory Pope, Huntsville, Ala.
Magnus is (also) my brother-in-law’s name. My wife was born in Sweden, and we loved the idea of a Scandinavian name. I’ve gotten a lot of flack: “What kind of ego do you have to have to name your child the great one’?” That is not it at all. I’m a pretty shy person until you get to know me, and I wish I was more outgoing like you. Do you have any advice for people on how to let go of their inhibitions? – Jenna Krimbill, Tulsa, Okla.
Wow, I can really relate. I always just forced myself to do crazy things in public. In college I would push an overhead projector across campus with my pants just low enough to show my butt. Then my friend would incite the crowd to be like, “Look at that idiot!” That’s how I got over being shy.
What is the last album you purchased? – Sara Jane McKinney, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Dixie Chicks (Taking the Long Way). I got it more out of interest in the fact that this was their first album since they got all that criticism, (but) then I started listening to the record and learned that the Dixie Chicks are actually really good. They are great musicians and singers. I was impressed. That, and Kylie Minogue.
Do you have any regrets leaving Saturday Night Live? – Tiffany Stuart, Safety Harbor, Fla.
I was there for seven years and it was just the right amount of time to feel like I had experienced almost everything I could have experienced. You really have to be there, if you are lucky enough, a good five seasons or so before people even know who you are. But once I left I felt satiated.
Of all of the roles that you have done, which are your favorites? – Sarah Patterson, Okemos, Mich.
I would have to make two choices. The first would be Ron Burgundy, only because it was such a battle to get Anchorman made. It is really satisfying to take it from getting 10 rejections in one day to now being a thing for people to quote. I remember watching Katie Couric’s first night on the CBS Evening News and she played a clip of Anchorman.
And then I would have to say Harold Crick in Stranger Than Fiction. It is a big deal for me to be in the caliber of film that this one is. Also I normally have to deal with a crazy wig or something outlandish, so it was nice to play just a normal guy.
Why do you like to run around in your underwear in your movies? – Emily Bultman, Milwaukee, Wis.
I am not an exhibitionist by any means, but it really seems to bug people. So for that reason alone I am going to keep doing it.
Is it hard being so sexy? – Morgan Casarez, San Francisco, Calif.
It is just what it is, you know, like the air we breathe. Why does the sun rise every morning? It is just a truth.
Do you have $20 I could borrow? – James B., Porterville, Calif.
Yes, I do. Oh, but now all these people are going to be like, “It’s me. I’m James B. from Porterville.” So I will be checking IDs.
PEOPLE’s next chance to Go Ahead and Ask: Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee. Submit your questions here!