“Nick Cannon Presents Wild ‘N Out” — Season One

Jae-Ha Kim

If you didn’t know better, you’d think that the masterminds behind Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Chicago’s Second City improv troupe plotted to create Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out Season One, one of MTV’s highest-rated shows. On each episode of Wild ‘N Out, two comedic teams are pitted against each other. The Red Squad is led by the charismatic Cannon, who’s also a film and recording star. The Black Squad is fronted by celebrity guests predominantly of the hip-hop and rap kind (Kanye West, Method Man, Rev Run of Run-DMC). Each participant has to outdo his opposing team members. Sometimes they’re given props to work with. Most of the time, they rely only on their imaginations.

The highlight of each episode is the WildStyle segment in which opposing team members freestyle against each other. Some of their rhymes fall into the “your mama” category. But others are better crafted and no one–not even Cannon–is immune to being taken down a few pegs. The impish Mikey Day is particularly fond of needling his employer: “You’re our boss, you’re a talented kid / I saw Love Don’t Cost A Thing, too bad nobody else did.

Castmate Rasika Mathur often is the target of rhymes slamming her Indian heritage, but she has the fortitude and skill to verbally annihilate her offenders. One of the best extras in this set is an extended WildStyle, including hilarious and often biting exchanges that were cut from the original airing.

The musical performances aren’t included on this boxed set, but–occasional awkward editing aside–that’s not a negative. The frustrating aspect, though, is that while the DVD is touted as an uncensored release, there’s so much bleeping during some segments that viewers can only guess at what the players are saying.


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