With the next season of America's Got Talent premiering tomorrow (June 4), Hollywood’s perpetual class clown chats with VIBE about emojis, kid stars and his biggest beef with wifey
VIBE: You’re a guy with a ton of jobs—America’s Got Talent, Wild ’N Out, Real House Husbands of Hollywood. What’s the most shameful gig on your résumé?
Nick Cannon: Weiner Schnitzel! [Laughs] It’s a hot dog fast food chain. They don't have those on the east coast, huh? We had to wear these hats with wieners on them. I was like 16. By 17, I was on All That.
What’s your favorite emoticon?
What is that? A what? Oh, a smiley face? I didn’t know that’s what those things were called! I like the ones with the tongue sticking out.
Your kids are almost 2 years old. Do you get any points on the back end if you get them on America’s Got Talent?
My son drums, which is crazy, and my daughter, she’s singing already. She ain’t even talking all the way. They could be like the new White Stripes.
How would you feel about Sharon Osborne judging your kids, though?
Real talk, I wouldn’t want them to be on a show where they would have to be judged. I see how tough it is on all of those kids, and I don’t want mine to go through that.
You’ve always toed this line between hip-hop and comedy. What rapper is the funniest to work with?
Probably French Montana, especially when he’s turnt up. He’s hilarious. He’s got an episode coming up for this new season of Wild ’N Out. French came on, super turnt up, cracking jokes from the jump. I didn’t expect it, because he’s serious most of the time, but he was in the audience cracking on people. He’s got this drawl. Nobody gave him no jokes or nothing; it was all him. He used to be a battle rapper, so I had to throw some bars at him. I got at him real quick. He didn’t want it. [Laughs]
Do you and Mariah ever argue about the lighting in your house?
Absolutely! How did you know that? I want shit to be super-bright, like a grocery store, all the time. My wife is a perfectionist when it comes to lighting. She likes to set the mood, candles, all of the shadows right. No overhead lighting, nothing. We always go back and forth about turning the lights off and on.
You told Howard Stern that you and Mariah make love to her music. Under what circumstances do your songs come on?
Uh, never! [Laughs]—only when I’m deejaying for myself in the house.
But Barack Obama had you on his second Inauguration playlist, so there’s that.
Yeah, that was a good look. That was cool because I was a surrogate for Obama early on, and he would always say that, if he won, he would let me DJ the inauguration party. He kept his word, which I always thought was cool. That’s a solid cat, even before he was the President.
I noticed Mariah wasn’t on there...
Take that, two hundred million albums sold! Next time we have an argument about the lighting, I’m bringing that up.
Catch the actor, TV host and sometime-rapper cracking funny bones on America's Got Talent and MTV’s spring re-up of Wild ’N Out.