Q&A: Nick Cannon
Nick Cannon is one busy guy. In addition to hosting "America's Got Talent," writing and directing his upcoming comedy film, "School Dance," recording music and DJing his radio show, "Cannon's Countdown," Cannon rocks the mic as a stand-up comedian. (Not to mention being the father of twins with his wife, Mariah Carey.)
You are very candid on stage. Do you get any heat for that?
Not really. Being a stand-up, you can say whatever you want. A lot of times people don't expect me to have the opinions or the views that I have because they only know me from TV or the movies. But I never hold my tongue. I enjoy surprising people with that.
You approach your comedy with high energy and a positive attitude. Where does that all come from?
That's all me and my perspective on life and I want it to come across in my shows. I deal with things in a matter-of-fact, nonchalant way that lends itself to comedy.
You are both a rapper and a comedian. How would you compare the two?
With rap music, nobody is being themselves. It's more about who they want to be -- a wish-fulfillment type of thing. Rap used to be more of an honest, true art form, but stand-up is always that. With music you might hide and disguise your issues, whereas in stand-up you embrace them.
He's great because Howard is honest and open to talk about anything. It's cool to learn from people like that. He's the best at what he does.
How do you juggle doing comedy, radio, TV, music and film?
I love what I do so much I just consider it all under the same umbrella of entertainment. It doesn't seem like a bunch of jobs to me. It's one career that I'm moving forward. Doing stand-up just sharpens me for any avenue.
How much of your stand-up show is improvised?
I learned this from Dave Chappelle ... you have a basic blueprint of what you are going to talk about, then every time you are on stage, you look to present that in a different way. That's what makes it fun for me.
Last year you had two blood clots, an enlarged heart ventricle and kidney issues. How are you feeling, and did it change your outlook on life?
I'm feeling great now, but it was scary. When you have a life-threatening situation, it gives you a happy-to-be-alive perspective. I don't take stuff too seriously, and it makes you realize what's important.
How do you deal with the paparazzi being in your life?That's part of the game. I don't evade the paparazzi or say, "No comment." I treat it as improv. I want them to ask me the tough questions because I want to see what I can bounce back and give them. I play along with it. There's nothing they could ask me that would throw me off.
Is Mariah cool with you talking about your relationship on stage?
Probably not, but it's one of those things. She understands that I'm a comic. I do go too far sometimes, but that's the beauty of being a comic and having an understanding wife. I think she would rather me not talk about the stuff I talk about, but she gets over it. That's part of being married.
What is the most challenging part of being married to Mariah?
It's smooth sailing other than the fact that she operates on her own time schedule. You have to give her two hours from the time she says she's going to be ready, but that's with every woman.
Will you be releasing another music album?
I'm coming with some music this year. It will be party music, fun stuff with some rapping.
Any chance you and Mariah will ever do a duet?
I'm not worthy enough to be in the studio with her. She makes serious songs. I make silly songs.