Nick Cannon is bringing back his sketch comedy Wild ‘n Out and the comedian says he’s excited to give new talent an opportunity to shine again.
Cannon sat down with ESSENCE.com to share what fans can expect from the show after its five year absence. He also gave us the inside scoop on what it’s like seeing his friend Kevin Hart grow into a comedic superstar.
Check out the premiere of Wild N’ Out on MTV2, January 9 at 11 p.m.
ESSENCE: Can you tell us a bit about bringing back Wild ‘n Out?
NICK CANNON: When I first created Wild ‘n Out I didn’t think of it as a show we were going to do for a bunch of seasons and I never felt like when it went away that I was totally done with it. I created it from the angle of a celebrity roast. It was just me and my friends having fun. It was one of those things where when it ran reruns people would be like this show needs to come back. I’d be walking in the streets and people would ask when I’m doing more episodes. People did Facebook campaigns and it was trending on Twitter so I figured people really wanted the show back. I just want people to know that I still don’t take myself seriously. It doesn’t matter where I am in my career, I still want to have a good time. Also, there’s a whole new crop of talent that I wanted to give an opportunity to and MTV needs it. When you think about it, it’s the only place on MTV or MTV2 where hip-hop acts can perform.
ESSENCE: You talked about introducing some new talent. Who are some entertainment newbies you’re really feeling right now?
NICK CANNON: I’m a fan of Conceited. I watched him online and saw all his battles before I even met him. I thought he really had charisma and he checks all the boxes of someone who could be a superstar and not just a battle rapper. I feel like this platform is built for someone like him and I’m really intrigued. Wild ‘n Out helped build a bunch of comedic superstars but to have someone who can actually sustain a real music career from Wild ‘n Out is what I want to see happen. I feel like people like Conceited and Emmanual Hudson actually have real musical capability. They can still do everything that the funny people on the show can do, but actually have their own niche with making music. I think that I could be something hot.
ESSENCE: Your boy Kevin Hart appeared on Wild ‘n Out before he made it big. What’s it like watching him grow into a superstar?
NICK CANNON: It’s amazing! We joke around all the time and that’s one of my best friends in all of life. To see somebody you started in the game with trying to achieve success and you guys can share success together and do each other favors–I do Real Husbands for him, he does Wild ‘n Out for me– it’s really special. I’m proud of him and you’ll see him on this season of the show.
ESSENCE: You’re also bringing back Soul Train. Will it be the same Soul Train we knew and loved or are you adding a twist on the show?
NICK CANNON: It’ll be everything that you loved about Soul Train but I’m elevating the show. It used to be a syndicated show, but now we’re bringing it to a network so that alone is reintroducing it to a new generation. All the dancing, style and performances will be there, but we’re going to add a little something else to make the show even more special and it’ll capture the culture of what’s going on today.
ESSENCE: You and Mariah looked fabulous at the BET Awards. Tell me what it’s like getting ready for an event alongside Mariah.
NICK CANNON: I get dressed pretty quickly but Mariah takes a while. She’ll know what she’s wearing days in advance and then Christian Louboutin will call and she’ll change her outfit completely. It’s not too bad but she does take some time to get ready.