Nick Cannon is a busy man.
When he’s not taking care of his kids, hosting award shows, working on his music or honing his stand-up skills, the 37-year-old star is on the road with his Wild ‘N Out crew. The hit improv and sketch comedy series has grown quite a bit since it first aired on MTV in 2005, adding live tours and even a sports bar and restaurant into the mix.
Ahead of his show in Boston this weekend with special guests Fabolous and BlocBoy JB, Cannon tells Metro that the key to Wild ‘N Out’s continued success has been its ability to stay “fresh” and “young.”
“I always dreamed big for the brand,” says Cannon. “But hitting the places that we’re hitting now is just really a dream come true.”
The Wild ‘N Out live tour has proven to be a huge asset for the brand, offering fans a chance to get in on the action and see a “raw” and “uncut” side of the series that isn’t hindered by commercials or television censors. “We take it to the next level,” says Cannon, noting that the live shows include stand-up comedy and a full hip-hop concert, in addition to appearances by fan-favorite games and cast members.
Nick Cannon on what’s next for Wild ‘N Out
While there’s already a lot going on in the world of Wild ‘N Out, Nick Cannon isn’t resting on his laurels. In fact, he hopes to one day open a Wild ‘N Out improv school in the vein of the famed Second City comedy troupe.
“One thing I’ve always wanted to do is a school,” says Cannon. “Like a Wild ‘N Out school in the sense of how Second City or even the Groundlings [do] improv training.”
He adds, “I feel like there’s no better improv training than what we do on Wild ‘N Out.”
Aside from educating others in the ways of comedy, Cannon is going back to school himself as well, having enrolled at Howard University in 2016. The actor and comedian is an outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform and wanted to further his education on the topic so he wouldn’t be seen as just another celebrity who likes to voice their opinion.
“I didn’t want to be just another public figure or celebrity voicing my opinion with no substance behind it,” Cannon says. “I’ve done work in the prison system for quite some time now, but to be able to do it firsthand with academia and education behind me and an institution like Howard University has been super helpful. It’s allowed me to do more than just speak out. It’s actually going in on the frontline and really attempting to implement change from the inside.”
Cannon hopes to use his platform as a way to speak out about criminal justice issues, particularly when it comes to empowering communities and educating youth.
“It starts with education,” says Cannon. “The school-to-prison pipeline is real.”
Whether its with his work in show business or helping out his community, Cannon just wants to be a positive influence on the world and those around him.
“I’m inspired by my community and the strength of the culture,” Cannon says. “Now with so many things going on socially and politically, now more than ever, it’s utilizing my voice for uplifting [others] and enlightenment.”
If you go:
Aug. 24, 8 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, $35+, tdgarden.com