Nick Cannon keeps TeenNick clicking
NEW YORK - At 29, Nick Cannon has been a standup comedian, movie star, TV show host, comedy show star, producer, and rapper - he may have Diddy beat for the title of mogul with the most hats.
Cannon has been working hard at his latest job, chairman of TeenNick - the younger version of Nickelodeon - which recently became a 24-hour network.
In an interview this week, Cannon talked about what it’s like to be a network chairman, trading ideas with his wife, Mariah Carey, and mapping out his next job.
Q. What pressures do you have to deal with as chairman of TeenNick?
A. I don’t really recognize any of the pressures; to me it’s a fun job. I mean it’s definitely challenging to take a network to the next level and to want to be in the same level as the MTVs and even the older Nickelodeon.
Q. Do you feel that you have to prove yourself?
A. Early on, when I first took the job, I wanted people to understand that this isn’t just some gimmick or this isn’t just some game. I want to really do it, so even in my everyday life, I had to change a bunch of stuff about the way I presented myself - take my artist hat off and put my business hat on. When I have my artist hat, I want to show up an hour late, and be relaxed and kind of do whatever, but when you’re running a company, you have to show up on time, you have to dress the part and be the part, you gotta pay attention to everyone around you and focus on being the leader instead of being the focal point.
Q. You are on Twitter a lot. Do you worry you ever go too far?
A. I always go too far on Twitter. . . . I’m so real and there’s so many different sides of me, that one minute you might get an inspirational Bible quote from me and one minute you might get a quote from the movie “American Pimp.’’
Q. Mariah says you gave her suggestions on her album. Does she ever give you suggestions on your job?
A. Absolutely. I mean, we’re partners in every sense. I could never play a part in her music career, I always say I’m not even worthy to be in the studio with her, so I try to keep my opinions to a minimum. But we’re two creative people all the time, so if she sees me doing something in the studio or working on a script or something like that, she’s always giving quick little thoughts and little ideas and vice versa.
Q. You are on the verge of 30. How are you going to keep in touch with your TeenNick audience?
A. I’m old! I’m gonna be 30! Man! It’s weird. I mean, I feel no different from when I was 19 years old, and I think that’s another area me and Mariah kind of have [in common], that youth thing going on. . . . It’s all about having fun. I don’t do anything unless I’m having fun with it. . . . I have to enjoy it. . . . You’re as young as you feel, and I’ll always be that silly little kid who’s trying to play pranks on people.