Nick Cannon learned stand-up by practicing “Richard Pryor’s material in church”.
The 33-year-old entertainer has a successful career in comedy, having first appeared on Nickelodeon network skit show All That in 1998.
Nick reveals legendary comic Richard was one of his main sources of inspiration growing up.
“I started in stand-up doing Richard Pryor’s material in church,” he recalled to MTV News. “That was one of my first impressions that I ever knew how to do, is Richard Pryor, at like 11, 12.”
Nick is attached to star in an upcoming biopic about Richard, who died at the age of 65 in 2005.
Although the deal is still unconfirmed, he has been preparing for the potential role by studying everything about the late funnyman.
“Now that I am doing a lot of the research, and actually digging really deep and trying to find every piece of work that he ever laid his hands on, it’s like, ‘Oh, this is stuff that’s kind of already in me,’ ” Nick explained. “Just as an actor, man, it’s things that you do to actually embody something, and figuring out people’s mannerisms…I’ve read every piece of material, every book. And you understand that he’s definitely a complex individual.”
The America’s Got Talent host is currently promoting his new movie, School Dance, which was released in theaters this week.
And should he land the Richard role, he hopes to represent the comedy legend with honor.
“To leave such a legacy, and such an enormous body of work, is to be commended, and his story needs to be told the right way,” Nick said. “However it comes out, I know they’ll do it the right way.”
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