On this day in comedy on October 8, 1980 Comedian, Actor, Rapper, Host, Producer, Nicholas Scott “Nick” Cannon was born in San Diego, California.
Cannon got his start in comedy on his father’s cable access channel in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was 11 years old and itching for more. All during high school his mother would take young Nick to various night clubs in San Diego (where she lived and Nick divided his time between his divorced parents) and he’d manage to get stage time. Even though he was underage he’d run in when his name was announced, do his set and run out the exit door, getting nowhere near the bar. This worked out fine until he graduated high school and then it was off to Hollywood.
Nick Cannon’s first break came doing warm-up and making guest appearances for the show, All That on Nickelodeon. The teenager was the perfect fit for the youth targeted network. He soon moved from in front of the camera to behind it as well. He hosted The Nick Cannon Show and in 2005 produced and hosted Wild ‘N Out, the MTV improv comedy show that made household names out of Kevin Hart, Katt Williams, Affion Crockett and Corey Holcomb. He then kept it going by jockeying to NBC to host their hit, America’s Got Talent and created his own sketch comedy series, Incredible Crew featuring teenagers.
Cannon proved his was multi-faceted. He entered the world of music with his rap group, “Da G4 Dope Bomb Squad” and along with friend, Steve Groves, went on the road as an opening act. In 2001 he signed with Jive records and released an album and worked on the Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius film soundtrack. He established himself with the hit single, “Gigolo” with R. Kelly before forming his own label, “Can-I-Ball” Records in 2005. In 2009 he cancelled that label and replaced it with “N’Credible Entertainment”; where he collaborated with other rap artists and released a series of song parodies and a mixtape. He also did radio with a syndicated countdown show for CBS Radio.
Besides all his other endeavors and touring as a stand-up comedian, acting was also part of Cannon’s empire building. Cannon has starred in a number of films including, Drumline, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, Roll Bounce and Goal II: Living the Dream. He has managed Soulja Boy and Amber Rose, just to name a few and has been a multiple award nominee, winning the Nickelodeon’s Kid Choice Award in 2001 for Favorite Television Actor (The Nick Cannon Show), The Hollywood Film Festival Award in 2006 for Ensemble of the Year (Bobby) and the 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor (Up All Night).
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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