The joke was told during a Showtime stand up special that Cannon aired with the network on Friday. The special, entitled, Stand Up, Don't Shoot, featured the clean cut comedian, host, and businessman telling profanity laced jokes. One joke in particular seemed to cross the line for many viewers including executives at NBC, where Cannon hosts the summertime hit,America's Got Talent.
"I honestly believe, once I started doingAmerica's Got Talent, they took my real n----r card. They did! Because then like these type of people started showing up to my shows," joked Cannon.
Cannon was pointing out three older white members in his audience as he spoke.
"I can't do the real n----r stuff no more, because then they'll put me on TMZ," continued Cannon. "That's what NBC isgonna stand for tonight: 'N----rs better come on, cuz n----rs be cussin', so n----rs be careful," said Cannon. "Cuz y'all see me on the show. I mean sometimes I wish I could say the stuff that I want to say. But I can't say that. I can't talk like that cuz that would mess up the white money. It will."
Cannon would end up leavingAmerica's Got Talent over the joke.
In an interview with Howard Stern the day of the airing, however, Cannon joked about the content of the show.
"If they fire me fromAGTfor the things I've said, I can sue them and create a whole new controversy -- 'NBC hates black people!'" exclaimed a laughing Cannon.