As the longtime host of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” Nick Cannon takes his job of having fun very seriously.
Cannon, who also hosts MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out,” serves as the top cheerleader for contestants on the variety competition show as well as a shoulder to cry on when things go downhill.
Now in his seventh season with “America’s Got Talent,” Cannon is a contender for an Emmy as Best Reality Host. He talked to TheWrap about the most awkward scene to shoot (when he had almost 500 pounds of judges on top of him), the most fun moments (anytime he gets to dance on stage) and why daring stunts are underrated at the Emmys.
What was the toughest thing you had to do this season?
There’s so many of those things! Obviously, the cuddling was weird and awkward, especially when I had every judge laying on top of me. I literally had almost 500 pounds laying on top of me. That was strange.
I had to light someone on fire. All of those things, to be honest, are kind of over the top and fun.
The real difficult stuff is when you have to see a crying 5-year-old come off stage after just being judged. That’s always a difficult moment where I have to take off the television host hat and put on the hat of a concerned loved one and really be there and let them know, “This isn’t the end of the world. This is a television show. What those people said out there has nothing to do with your self worth,” and really convey that to a child. Sometimes, that can be really difficult. I feel like that’s what I’m there to do. I take that very seriously, to make sure that these kids’ spirits aren’t broken when they leave the “America’s Got Talent” stage.
What was the most fun thing you got to do this season?
Probably all the times when I got to dance on “America’s Got Talent.” Anytime I can go out on stage and have fun with all those people, it always works out really well.
Let’s assume someone who’s been living under a rock has never heard of “AGT.” What would you say to convince that person to watch it?
It’s the best show on television. It’s the true art form of what television and entertainment has been built on. The foundation of our business is the world of variety and all the way back to the days of vaudeville. We’re the only show on television where you can sit down and the entire family can enjoy it. From 8 to 80, children to senior citizens love this show. You can take your mind off of everything else that’s going on in the world and just watch the show and watch America represented in its best form.
You’ve done a lot as the show’s host. What’s one thing that you refuse to do — where do you draw the line?
I get easily grossed out by the stuff where people are stabbing themselves or swallowing things… Those are the ones where I usually say, “You’re going a little too far.” If I have to hurt someone or there’s blood involved, I’m usually like, “Nah, I’m cool.”
Are you a binge-watcher or are you a once-a-weeker? What was the last thing you binge-watched?
I definitely am a binge-watcher. I think my impatience makes me a binge-watcher. Probably “Mad Men.”
If you could add a new category to the Emmys, either serious or silly, what would it be?
“Most Daring Act on Television.” When you think about it, there’s a lot of things that have happened on television recently, like the guy who walked across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope… All the way back to the Evil Knievel days. Even things that I do on “America’s Got Talent” all the time and things that other contestants do. Even when I had to dance for 24 hours for Red Nose Day. Those types of things should be represented at the Emmys.
“America’s Got Talent” airs every Tuesday on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.