With her 91st birthday right around the corner, TV icon Betty White is as busy as ever, currently starring in her fourth season of Hot in Cleveland and about to debut a second season of her senior-citizen version of Punk’d, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers. During a recent conversation with journalists, White spoke about Off Their Rockers, her enduring popularity, how she’ll be celebrating her 91st birthday and why she’s reluctantly become a cougar.

Why she’ll never retire: “My problem is I love what I’m doing and I love this business and I enjoy the work and I love the people that I work with. Everybody says, ‘Well, when are you going to retire? Why don’t you quit?’ How can you quit something that you enjoy so much? I’m blessed with good health and blessed with good energy, so as long as they ask me, I’m thrilled to say yes…why quit something you’re enjoying so much? I know I do, and it’s such fun, and who would ever expect at 91 to still get invited to do shows? I mean, that’s unheard of, so if they don’t want me to do it, don’t ask me — because if they ask me, I’ll take it.”

Her spicy sense of humour: “My dad was a salesman, and he would bring jokes home, and he’d say, ‘Now, sweetheart, you can take that one to school, but I wouldn’t take that one to school.’ I always see more than one meaning to a word, so the double entendre kind of came naturally. But a double entendre is one thing, and then dirty humour is something else. I don’t like dirty jokes, but I do enjoy a double entendre.”

Her comic timing: “Humour is like music. It’s a rhythm, and you just kind of get the rhythm of it, and you have to know not to let the beat go too long, but to leave a beat in there for it to gel, you know. It’s hard to explain.”

The appeal of ‘Off Their Rockers’: “Well, it’s silly and nonsensical, but good-spirited. We’re never mean-spirited, and that’s the iron rule. They know they’re being kidded and all that, and when we reveal that they’re not any the worse for it. I think some of the other ones that try to get a little sensational get a little cruel sometimes.”

How she’s planning to celebrate her 91st birthday: “I think NBC is taking care of that. Last year they did a Betty White’s 90th birthday party on television. We got nominated for an Emmy for it, and this year they’re doing Betty White’s second annual 90th birthday, which should be fun.”

Learning the ‘Gangham Style’ dance from Psy: “He was very, very nice, and so funny. I don’t think he wanted to teach us the dance, but I tried to copy him anyway.”

Justin Lubin/NBC

Fellow ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ vet Ed Asner’s guest appearance on ‘Off Their Rockers’: “Oh, it was such fun, and Ed and I stay very close. We’ve always adored each other. I don’t think we’ve ever said a nice word to each other, but we adore each other — you know, that kind of a friendship. He always yells at me and I yell at him, lovingly. He did [Off Their Rockers] and when you work that closely together, somehow you fall into a pattern, and it’s as though you saw each other yesterday, even if a little time has gone by.”

How television has changed during her 65-year career: “I don’t think television has changed nearly as much as the audience has changed. When I started out, television was just starting out, and everything was that miracle on the box in the corner of the room where people were actually moving around, and over the years, as television got to be such a major part of our lives, the audience has heard every joke. They know every storyline. They know where you’re going almost before the first line is out. That’s a hard audience to surprise and a hard audience to entertain, and it gets more difficult all the time. That’s why the real movers and shakers in the television business are the writers. They have a bigger challenge every day…I think every once in a while, just a good old-fashioned straightforward television show, or a situation comedy suddenly hits the spot. It’s almost like something [viewers] haven’t seen for a while… what you do is keep reworking the same old material and try to put a little new slant on it, and then with fresh people in the role, it’s amazing how long you can milk stuff.”

Her enduring popularity: “I just can’t tell you how lucky I am to get to this age. Who would ever dream that you’d get to be 91 years old and you’re still working as much as I am? But I think it’s because I thoroughly enjoy what I do. I love this business, and I’ll quit when they ask me to, but as long as they keep asking me to work, I’ll keep saying yes, and it is such a privilege…it’s a very lovely position to be in to be taken seriously as well as laughed at.”

Becoming a reluctant cougar: “I never was interested in younger men. He always had to be a little older than I, and my problem now at 90 is I can’t find anybody older than I am.”

Season two of BETTY WHITE’S OFF THEIR ROCKERS premieres Tuesday, January 8 on CTV and NBC