Showtime to Premiere Nick Cannon's First Stand-Up Special (Exclusive)
The musician-actor talks to THR about impending fatherhood to twins with wife Mariah Carey and his roots in comedy.
NEW YORK -- Nick Cannon has worked in radio, TV and film, and he’s preparing for the role of a lifetime with the impending birth of twins -- with wife Mariah Carey. But stand-up comedy has exerted an enduring pull on the musician-actor.
“I see stand-up as a therapeutic outlet to say whatever I want,” Cannon tells The Hollywood Reporter. “When you’re up there on stage, it’s no holds barred. You don’t have to be politically correct. All the pressure is gone. It’s just you and the microphone.”
Showtime will produce Cannon’s first-ever stand-up special. Filmed last month at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nick Cannon: Mr. Showbiz will premiere Saturday, May 14, at 9 p.m. on the premium cable network.
“People forget that I started out doing stand-up,” he says. “I’m actually going back to my roots. I’m a comic at heart.”
Cannon began performing at comedy clubs including The Improv and The Laugh Factory at the tender age of 15, earning a spot on Nickelodeon’s All That in 2002 and becoming a staff writer on the show at 17. His comedic idols include Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin and Bill Cosby.
The special for CBS Corp.-owned Showtime follows Cannon’s recent pact to extend his relationship with CBS Radio via a nationally syndicated weekend show -- Cannon’s Countdown -- beginning April 23. Cannon already hosts a morning show on WXRK (CBS 92.3 NOW) in New York.
In the special, Cannon riffs on his journey to stardom and his current jet-set lifestyle as well as his marriage to Carey and pending fatherhood. The couples' twins -- a boy and a girl -- will be here "any day now," he says.
“I love being married to one of the most famous people in the world,” he says. But the downfall is people feel like they can say whatever they want to say about my wife to my face. So I hear the strangest things. But that lends itself to a lot of great humor.”
Of course, some of those strange things have also come from rival music stars. In his stand-up act Cannon also addresses his well-publicized feud with Eminem, which began way back in 2009 when the rapper pointedly criticized Carey in the "Bagpipes from Baghdad" track on his Relapse album. Cannon fired back with a blog post – calling the rapper Slim Lamey – that escalated into a full-blown Twitter feud.
“I don’t take anything too seriously,” he says. “And that’s one of the aspects of my show. You can’t be too serious because at the end of the day it’s just entertainment.”
The Showtime special will be produced by Cannon’s NCredible Entertainment. Cannon, Michael Goldman, Brian Volk-Weiss and Barry Katz are executive producers. New Wave Dynamics will release the digital Mr. Showbiz album May 14 and the CD on May 31.
Cannon is also returning to host NBC’s America’s Got Talent, which bows May 31. So how will he juggle being a father to twins with his very busy professional career?
“I don’t sleep already. So I’ll probably be on the same schedule,” he says. “But at the times when I was writing or working out, I’ll be changing diapers and fixing bottles.”