Outtakes with Caroline Clarke: Behind-the-scenes with Nick Cannon

What you didn't know the comedian-turned-Chairman

Ok, I’ll be honest. I didn’t expect much when I went to interview Nick Cannon as a Powerplayer. Sure, I knew he was talented and highly likeable. I knew he’d made an impact in front of the camera (star of Drumline, host of America’s Got Talent, etc.) as well as behind the camera (creator of Wild n’ Out and School Gyrlz). And I knew there was little he hadn’t attempted (Comedy? Check. Drama? Check. Writing? Check. Producing? Check. Rapping? Check. Marrying Mariah Carey? Check!) But handling the boardroom? Seriously? I had my doubts.

You have to admit, it seemed a little bit suspect (and cutesy) when Cannon was named chairman of Teen Nick. Even my own children (who have, literally, grown up watching him as a young TV star) thought it was a gimmick. It also seemed brilliant from a marketing perspective, especially given that he began his high-octane career on Nickelodeon at the tender age of 16. But surely someone else at Viacom must be actually running the brand. Right?

Wrong. And having met Cannon, I get it. Despite his full-of-fun persona, this young man (he turned 30 a few days before we sat down together) is not playing! He graduated early from high school and, with college acceptances in-hand, opted to start getting paid for doing what he loved instead. Having been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) as a child, Cannon has channeled his excess of energy and innovative ideas into growing his own production company (NCredible Entertainment) and, now, Viacom’s ambitious teen brand.

We all know he and Mariah will soon be parents, but here are a few things you probably don’t know about this daddy-to-be:

He has DJ tables in his office (as well as a full length mirror, Nickolodeon-orange desk chair, small fridge full of Gatorade and Muscle Milk, Nerf basketball hoop, and a black granite globe. Why the globe? “I told ‘em I wanted a black globe, ‘cause it’s a black world!”

He’s humble: What’s not in his office? Trophies of any kind.

He boxes–daily! The super-lean chairman was a black belt in Tae Kwon Do as a kid. In addition to business, boxing, he says, is another great extra-energy channeler.

He’s an early riser and a cat-napper (he leaves the house at 4:30 a.m. and an “early” day ends at 10 p.m. That’s not bedtime, that’s go-home-time).

His favorite job ever: Stand-up comedy because it’s “freeing to be able to just speak your mind,” it’s “therapeutic,” and “you get instant gratification.”

For Cannon’s 29th birthday, Nickelodeon gifted him with 29 pounds of candy from Dylan’s Candy Bar. For his 30th this year, he received a boxing bag by Everlast, bearing the motivational words: “Greatness Is Within.” Looks like he’s all grown up.

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  • Veronica Nicole Graves

    Dear Ms. Clarke,
    It sounds like you were blown away by Mr. Cannon. He truly does sound like a hard worker and an educated and intelligent young man. Thank you for this article. I’ll be sure to keep watching the show. Keep up the good work.

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  • Varsha

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  • VINCENT JACKSON

    I HAVE NICK CANNON IS ONE OF THE GREAT ONES AND I AM PROUD THE HE IS BRINGING UP THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS OF BLACK YOUTHS . PEOPLE BUSINESS IS A SERIOUS BUSINESS AND CAN NOT BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED . I AM IN THE BUSINESS
    OF SAVING LIVES AND DEALING WITH EX-OFFENDERS NOT BY CHOICE BUT BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE GOING THROUGH AND WERE THEY ARE TRYING TO GET TO BUT SOCIETY WONT ALLOW US TO AND YES WE HAVE THATS JUST ONE BLACK PERSON NOT THE MAJORITY OF US . THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE FOUNDATION PLUS IS IN THE BEGINING OF STARTING THE BLACK WATCH MOVEMENT NETWORK WERE WE WATCH AND FILM WHAT WHITE AMERICA IS DOING TO US WITH THERE CAMERAS AND WE ARE TRYING SOMETHING NEW OK . SINCE I HAVE LEGAL PROBLEMS I AM GOING TO PASS THIS OVER TO THE MOVEMENT WITH KNOW TIES TO ME , I READ SOMETHING NEW ABOUT US IN AMERICA MEANING PEOPLE OF COLOR ITS CALLED THE TURNING POINT FOR ALL NATIONS http://www.onecountry.org/oc72/turning . AND THIS IS THE BLUE PRINT OF ALL THE COUNTRIES THE WORLD AND WHAT THEY HAVE PLANNED FOR OUR FUTURE EVERY AMERICAN AND EVERY PERSON AROUND THE WORLD SHOULD READ THIS BECAUSE THIS WAS PUT INTO PLAY IN OCTOBER OF 1995 , UNTIL THE PRESENT OK . THEY ARE PUSHING A NEW WORLD ORDER ONE CURRENCY THE RICH AND THE POOR AND WE ARE AS THE MAJORITY ARE THE POOR OK . READING IS BLIST AND UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOU READ IS VERY IMPORTANT IF NOT MORE THAN ANYTHING OK .DO THE RESEARCH I GAVE THE WEB SITE GOD BLESS YOU OK .