Nick Cannon Discusses Bringing Back ‘Wild ‘N Out’

How have you always been able to get such big names on the show? You’ve had Kanye, Method Man, Big Boi, Snoop… Did you get all those guys on through personal relationships?
Yeah! You know, back then, whether it was Kanye or Wayne or Tyra Banks, these were just people I knew. I kinda booked it myself. And it’s kinda the same way this time, just with a new day and age. So, you know, A$AP Rocky, that’s my dude. That’s my young’n right there. Then guys like Mac Miller and Macklemore…it’s just one of those things where I always feel like it has to be true to the art form.

Have you had rappers come on the show who would just…
Bomb?

Yeah.
That’s the thing. What we try to do is cater the games to whoever the person is, then we let them know, “Yo, we’re gonna lob you one that’s gonna work.” As long as they’re fearless, they’ll be alright. But if they’re timid…There’s been a couple rappers that came on and halfway through they got nervous and we can’t find them. It’s like, “Oh man! You’re supposed to be this tough rapper! What happened?” People don’t know what to do because everybody likes to be comfortable, and when you take somebody out of their comfort zone and it’s raw, it’s like…

And then there are egos. If people are making fun of them they get offended.
Yeah, some people don’t know how to handle that. They’re used to having their circle of yes men, and then you hear somebody go at you and it’s on television…you know. But that’s the beauty of people who come on the show and are like, “Say whatever you wanna say about me. I don’t take myself seriously.” You actually gain more fans that way, because people are like, “Oh, he’s a real dude.”

What was your approach with casting the comics who were going to be on the show?
It was different. With Tim [DeLaGhetto], I asked people who the funniest person on the Internet was and his name kept coming up. With Conceited, I was just of fan of his just from watching all the URL joints. Watching those battles got me even more excited about Wild ‘N Out. I was like, “Yo, we gotta do it like that!” And then with Jacob, that was a kid who opened up for my comedy special like two years ago, then I kinda followed his stand-up career. He’s a quirky dude.

There was a handful of stars that came out of the first version of Wild ‘N Out. Do you think the same thing is going to happen this time around?
Absolutely. I mean, when you talk about the first few seasons, a lot of people were introduced to Katt Williams, Kevin Hart, Affion Crockett, Taran Killam, DeRay Davis, Corey Holcomb. All of those people have amazing careers at this point, and I believe we have that level of talent and beyond this time around.