All across the TV dial, hosts work to entertain their audiences — but how hard are they really trying? They tell some jokes, banter with guests, but it’s all so safe. Where is the danger? With the rare exception of Jimmy Fallon injuring himself in a martini race with Chelsea Handler, the most harm these hosts ever face is cutting themselves during a cooking demonstration or getting crapped on by an exotic zoo animal. But not so for Nick Cannon, intrepid host of America’s Got Talent! Week after week, he risks his life in the quest for America-based talent: His recruitment as an assistant for stunt competitors always begins the same way, with him nervously displaying “Uh-oh, what are you getting me into?” reticence — but whereas a Joy Behar or Craig Ferguson might take the opportunity to flee, Nick Cannon does not. Nick Cannon recognizes that without his participation, America will never know if it has talent.
Last night, a man came out to demonstrate how he could slice a stalk of celery by throwing deadly playing cards. It’s hard to build up much drama with vegetables, but what if a human holds the vegetable? Now the stakes are high! Enter Nick, wearily sighing, “Why do they like me risking my life on this show?” And yet on go the safety goggles, and into the line of playing-card fire he goes.
From an earlier episode: Technically, a guy who can stick a string in his mouth and pull it out of a tiny hole in his stomach, covered in puss and blood, doesn’t need any help. And yet Nick lends a helping hand anyway!
Does Regis lie on the ground while a kid jumps a bicycle dangerously close to his face? Unlikely!
Johnny Carson famously stayed far away when someone threw sharp objects on his show. Not so Nick Cannon, who allows himself to be strapped right onto the board, as knives come perilously close to his crotch. Braver than the King of late night? That’s saying something.