There’s no question Nick Cannon is one of the hardest working people in Hollywood. In addition to starring in movies and producing and hosting a handful of TV and radio shows, he’s also raising three children, pursuing several degrees at Howard University, and even spending some time every week mentoring juveniles in prison.
On Wednesday’s Stern Show, the multi-hyphenate entertainer revealed his mentoring has also extended to comedian Pete Davidson, whom he counseled after his recent high-profile breakup with superstar Ariana Grande. Nick, whose ex-wife Mariah Carey is 11 years his senior, offered the young “Saturday Night Live” star one crucial bit of advice: date older women. Sure enough, Pete soon found himself in a relationship with veteran actress Kate Beckinsale.
“He likes to follow in my footsteps. He got him a pop star, next he’s going to get him a Miss Universe contestant,” Nick told Howard with a laugh.
Nick has given Pete more than just relationship advice over the years, he also gave him his first big break in show business. Nick told Howard they became acquainted about a decade ago after Pete—just 15 at the time—would repeatedly call into Nick’s radio show. Nick was so impressed by Pete’s comedy skills he eventually brought him on his long-running MTV series “Wild 'n Out” and even invited him out on tour with Nick to serve as his opening act.
“He came to the show and rocked it,” Nick said, adding, “I made him finish high school before he went on the road.”
“SNL” discovered Pete soon after and the rest was history, though Nick shied away from taking too much credit. “I gave him a platform,” he told Howard. “I hate saying I discovered people, especially with someone like Pete.”
Pete’s not the only one whose career is firing on all cylinders right now. On Wednesday, Nick was excited to announce plans for a new daytime TV show. “I’m going to be a daily talk show host,” he told Howard. “Every day, starting in 2020, I’m going to have my own show.”
Nick decided to develop his own TV series shortly after leaving “America’s Got Talent” in 2017. He flirted with the idea of a late-night series at first, but after filling in for Wendy Williams on her syndicated series he realized “there was some magic going on” in the world of daytime TV. So, he thought, “Let’s put the late-night on pause for a second and let’s develop a daily talk show.”
Howard was impressed by Nick’s ability to multitask but also concerned for his friend’s health after hearing he sometimes only sleeps three to four hours a night. Nick has told Howard during previous Stern Show visits all about his ongoing battle with lupus, an autoimmune disease which can be worsened by stress and exhaustion, and Howard wondered if all this hard work could catch up to him.
But Nick assured Howard he’s feeling great. Thanks in part to a regimen that includes an alkaline diet and daily exercise, he said he even seems to have his lupus under control. “I used to have to take 30 pills a day, I’m down to like two,” he said.
Even still, Howard was blown away by his schedule. “Do you think you just have a problem saying no to things?” he wondered.
“I actually understand the power of no … but it’s that mentality of where I feel like no one’s ever handed me anything. I’ve always had to work extremely hard, so I’m like, I gotta keep cooking while the pot is hot,” Nick responded. “They’re gonna take this shit away from the black man. I better keep on going while I can keep it going.”
So, how does Nick pull it all off? He told Howard his day typically starts with some raw vegetables and a smoothie before his morning radio show, which runs from 5 to 10 a.m. He hopes his morning show will serve as a rehearsal of sorts for his daytime talk show, which will begin taping immediately after. From there, Nick heads to the gym.
“We still haven’t seen the kids!” co-host Robin Quivers joked after hearing the first part of his daily schedule.
“They’re at school, Robin,” Nick laughed, explaining their schedules are jam-packed, too, with everything from extracurricular activities like piano or Mandarin lessons to at least an hour of quality time with their dad each day.
“They actually meet me at the gym or the office,” Nick said. “Sometimes we do martial arts or yoga together.”
Nick manages to juggle quite a bit these days, but he admitted his busy schedule doesn’t always afford him time for romance. While he’s enjoyed the company of numerous women since he and Mariah Carey split in 2016, he doesn’t feel the need to make any of those relationships public.
“I’m done with that,” Nick said. I will never be on the red carpet with another woman.”
“You think you’d ever get married again?” Howard asked.
“Hell fucking no. Absolutely not,” Nick responded. “That construct is not designed for me. That’s a European construct that came from the division of property—I’m a tribalist.”
Robin wondered if he might go the George Clooney route and marry once he’s much older, but Nick doubted that’s what the future held in store. “I’ll have some amazing friends. We’ll go to senior citizen breakfasts and shit together,” Nick laughed.
Nick told Robin and Howard there’s only one woman he’s chasing these days: Oprah Winfrey. He said she and Howard are two of his business idols, and he aspires to build empires as impressive as theirs.
“I got a picture of you on my wall and a picture of Oprah on my wall,” Nick told Howard.
As much as Nick loves Oprah, though, he said their relationship got off to an ugly start. During one of their first meetings he tried paying homage to her Oscar-nominated turn in “The Color Purple” by reciting one of her character’s most infamous lines, but she evidently didn’t appreciate his interpretation.
“This was my opportunity to show Oprah how much I love ‘The Color Purple,’ so the first thing that comes out of my mouth was like, ‘You told Harpo to beat me,’” Nick recalled. “And we ain’t been on the same page since.”
“That was the most awkward moment I’ve had,” he continued.
One relationship which has remained rock solid is Nick and Howard’s. The two worked together for years on “America’s Got Talent” and on Wednesday Nick revealed he sought advice from Howard when deciding whether to leave the show after a fallout with the network over a joke he did in a stand-up special.
“They heard about it last time I was here. Every time I come here I either get divorced or fired,” Nick laughed.
Nick said he was surprised when Howard advised him to remain on the show for the sake of job security. “I went to you in confidence and really as someone that I always look up to,” he recalled. “I thought … you’d be with me and you were like, ‘No, stay.’”
Of course, Nick ultimately chose a different path and because of it his career has never been better. He’s now hosting and producing Fox’s “The Masked Singer,” a smash-hit reality series which kicks off its second season on Wednesday night and has already been renewed for a third.
Howard was relieved it all worked out .“I was worried,” he joked with Nick. “I was like, 'This guy is going to be fucking homeless and I’m going to have to take him in.' I got cats, man. I can’t fit you in.”