Explaining Wild 'N Out's genesis, Cannon (Drumline, Love Don't Cost a Thing) tells TVGuide.com, "I was doing stand-up about a year ago, just hanging out with friends, playing different improv games and cracking on each other as we got ready to go on stage, when it hit me: 'Man, somebody should do a show about this.' So I put my money where my mouth is, rented out a club, got some cameras together, shot it and sold it to MTV. They then put some real money behind it and made it spectacular."
The Wild 'N Out showstopper is its Wild Style Battle, "which is like freestyle rapping mixed with a celebrity roast," Cannon explains. "We go back and forth, hitting each other with jokes over a beat. That part of the show is no holds barred — you don't know what people are going to say or how they are going to attack you. You just gotta sit tight and hope that the person doesn't go too far."
Thus far, Cannon has lined up no less than Orlando Jones (Office Space) and rappers Kanye West and Method Man to take their turns as guest captains, but of course he has his dream team of comics he'd love to see pay a visit. "I would kill to get Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker... I'd even like to see Justin Timberlake in there." But until any of those heavy hitters stops by, "I'll just have to make fun of them!" Cannon quips.
At the time we spoke, Cannon was busy putting the final touches on the Wild 'N Out premiere — not that it's the only iron he has in the fire. Far from it. Look to see this rising star on the big screen a lot in the coming months. In August's The Underclassman (which he also wrote and produced), he plays a bicycle cop/detective wannabe who is sent undercover at a high school. ("It's like 21 Jump Street meets Beverly Hills Cop.") September's Roll Bounce transports the actor to the '70s, "back when going to the roller-skating rink on the weekend was the highlight of a person's life." Recently, he wrapped Even Money, "a raw, independent film" starring Danny DeVito, Kim Basinger, Kelsey Grammer and Forest Whitaker (as Cannon's brother). "I was at school every day on that set," he raves, "just learning from these great thespians."