Recording information: The Pearl Concert Theater, The Palms Casino Resort.
Photographer: Ellsworth J. Ramclam.
Nick Cannon may well be one of the most famous people on the planet, because like Elvis and James Franco, he's everywhere. To some, he's that television personality who hosted Wild 'N Out and America's Got Talent, while to others, he's that rapper who released that "Gigolo" track with R. Kelly. Then there's his acting in movies like Drumline and Roll Bounce, but to many -- maybe most -- he's Mariah Carey's husband and father to their children. Mr. Showbiz adds standup comedy to Cannon's long list of vocations, or at least, it re-introduces him to the masses as a comedian, since standing in front of brick walls and telling jokes was his springboard to stardom. The album perfectly displays why this first step led to other avenues since, he's more a natural performer than a natural standup artist. His set isn't honed but casual and free to wander, and yet, this audience is at his command, partly because they get a peek into the bedroom life of Nick and Mariah, and partly because Cannon's an approachable bundle of charisma, swagger, and spirit with enough street smarts to come off as hip. That said, this amusing set of stories told in a standup setting should be avoided by those who are not already charmed by the man, especially Eminem, Nick's nemesis in a celebrity feud which Cannon covers here. Even with the lesser bits about "Drunk White Dudes" and "The N Word," fans will find the personal tidbits, boasts, and inside jokes irresistible, making Mr. Showbiz a better deal than your average celebrity curio. ~ David Jeffries