He's tickled the ivories to fame and acclaim; now the jazz crooner, 46, will tickle your funny bone as he plays along with Stupid Questions — and helps find the next singing champ as a new judge on Fox's ''American Idol''

By Dan Snierson
January 17, 2014 at 05:00 AM EST

Sing me a song about how Idol will have a big comeback year. And make it something that really swings.
I think I could do more of a hip-hop thing: I don’t drink/But if I had a beer/I’d tell you what/Idol’s great this year/I’d drink some whiskey/I’d drink some wine/But by this time/I’d done run out of time.

That’s off the top of your head?
Well, the middle of my head, where my mouth is. But I am doing a movie with a dolphin who has a hole on the top of her head.

We’ll get to Dolphin Tale 2 in a sec. The Idol judges seem to be getting along so far. What will you do to fix this problem?
It’s all fake. Being up there with Jennifer Lawrence and Keith Sweat isn’t exactly my idea of a panel, so I got stuck and I gotta deal with it.

What is something surprising about Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban that may or may not be true?
The whole [in Australian accent] “I love it, mate. Yeeh, it’s griite” — Keith is actually from Brooklyn. His name is, like, Frank Clemente. And Jennifer has a third arm. She’s a beautiful woman, but it’s a little off-putting. It comes straight out of the middle of her back like a fin. It’s a functioning third arm. It’s got a hand, and it can sign contracts. If you’ve ever wondered why she’s able to wear those sexy dresses and not have a wardrobe malfunction, it’s because that third arm is holding it in place.

You married a Victoria’s Secret model. How does it work? When she invites her friends over, do you pull out a collapsible runway from the closet?
I never pull that out because that’s the runway I use. The guest runway is always on display. My personal runway is only two feet long, so there’s a lot of turning. I can only do four or five laps before I fall from dizziness. I mean, you can’t even get a full stride on it. It’s a closet model.

You’re filming Dolphin Tale 2. Is this the dark and brooding Empire Strikes Back of what I assume will be a trilogy?
Yes, she has a laser beam that comes out of her blowhole and starts firing at the volunteers in the aquarium. I’m serious, bro — it’s really, really deep. Super dark. She talks now. They CGI’d her mouth. They went all out for this. And it’s a musical. They have James Earl Jones’ voice come out of Kris Kristofferson’s head, singing and shooting lasers. They did the 3-D thing, but now they got scratch-and-sniff, so you get the smell of dolphins and sea turtles and river otters. It’s the next frontier.

When would you like to quit or be fired from Idol?
Today is the first day of Hollywood Week, and I’m out. I’m going to head on over to The Sing-Off.

Is it better over there?
I don’t know. But I know that they have Jewel. I like to call her JewelLo. I’ll be over there, checking out her third arm.