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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Interview with Nick Cannon; Interview With Terry Fator; Interview With Michael Grimm

Aired May 30, 2011 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, a look at my other show, "America's Got Talent."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK CANNON, AMERICA'S GOT TALENT: I've got more talent in my pinkie than Piers has in all of his bouffant. Turn the cameras, off, I can't do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: The host, Nick Cannon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANNON: (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Sorry, I don't mean to curse. Piers, how do you get your own show, when I don't even have my own damn show?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: On his life, loves, and new his twins with wife Mariah Carey.

Plus, season three winner Terry Fator and his $100 million act in Vegas and his trusted turtle, Winston.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINSTON THE TURTLE: I want to introduce myself --

TERRY FATOR, VENTRILOQUIST: OK, we're talking.

WINSTON: OK. Can I sing later?

FATOR: You can sing later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: And season five winner, Michael Grimm --

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

MORGAN: -- about to unleash his debut album on the world.

This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

(MUSIC)

MORGAN: Nick Cannon is a multi-talented man. You just have to ask him and he'll tell you.

But his latest role is the most difficult of all. He's a father. And he and his wife, Mariah Carey, are the proud parents of twins Monroe and Moroccan. He's also a stand-up comedian with a new CD, "Mr. Showbiz."

Mr. Showbiz?

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: That's more than me, isn't it?

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: His other vital role is, of course, as host and the second best-looking star of "America's Got Talent".

Mr. Cannon?

CANNON: What up, man?

MORGAN: How are you, daddy?

CANNON: I'm good. I'm good.

MORGAN: Congratulations.

CANNON: Thank you very much.

And thank you for having me on my show -- or your show.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Now, you're looking a little bit bleary-eyed, if you don't mind me saying.

CANNON: Yes, man and --

MORGAN: Are you getting much sleep?

CANNON: Well, you know, I never sleep.

MORGAN: I know that.

CANNON: But now it's different. It's like -- it's -- because I'm actually like doing baby stuff and changing. And it takes a -- it's -- you have to emote more, so now, I'm --

MORGAN: Are you a good nappy changer?

CANNON: Yes. Then -- we don't call them nappies, though. MORGAN: Diapers?

CANNON: Yes, there you go.

MORGAN: You're a good diaper changer?

CANNON: I'm good. I'm really good. I was actually raised around a lot children. So, I'm very comfortable around children.

MORGAN: And you're enjoying it? You're liking being a dad?

CANNON: I'm loving it, man. I can't stop smiling. It's -- it's an amazing thing to look down and see miniature yous looking up at you and stuff. I mean, you can -- you can give me some advice on fatherhood, right?

MORGAN: I've got three boys.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: I've actually got you a little present.

CANNON: Really?

MORGAN: Yes, because I -- I was neglectful when I saw you at "America's Got Talent," because you were too busy.

CANNON: Oh.

MORGAN: So I've gone to great -- no one will have gone to greater effort --

CANNON: Really?

MORGAN: -- than me. It might not be the most luxurious, because Sharon will get you something more expensive.

CANNON: Yes, she got me something fancy.

MORGAN: But blue and pink --

CANNON: But you came to the baby shower and didn't bring a gift so --

MORGAN: Correct.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: I was waiting for the right moment. I did send you a gift.

CANNON: You did, but I heard that was your assistant and not you.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Well, this -- this is my idea, my concept. And you won't get this from anybody else.

You're a sports fan, right?

CANNON: Of course. Right.

MORGAN: These are --

CANNON: Oh!

MORGAN: -- this is my team, my soccer team, Arsenal, in England.

CANNON: You know what --

MORGAN: And these have got their names on.

CANNON: You know what's really interesting about this. I mean, I was in a -- a movie, a football/soccer movie for half a second with David Beckham and I played for the Arsenal.

MORGAN: There we are.

CANNON: And I was T.J. McGee.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

CANNON: That was Moroccan gold, too. So this is Moroccan, so --

MORGAN: That's Moroccan.

CANNON: That's -- that's -- that's dope. All right.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE).

CANNON: And you got my daughter a --

MORGAN: Of course.

CANNON: -- soccer jersey --

MORGAN: Why not?

CANNON: See, you know what?

I have to, you know, I got a gift for you, too.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: So this was since you -- since you're a big baller now, I have to give to you a little shirt that just -- that's what you should say. And I feel like that's a statement you would make.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Mitch, I'm famous. CANNON: You are now famous.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: So, we can exchange gifts.

MORGAN: Because your running joke with me, of course, is it was being -- I'm not famous, right?

CANNON: Yes, no one knew who you were in America.

MORGAN: Right. Well, things have changed, my friend.

CANNON: Yes. You're more famous than I am now.

MORGAN: We're now in my studio, in my manner.

CANNON: Ah, man. Just crazy how the world --

MORGAN: Does that sicken you?

CANNON: It does. It actually --

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: Why couldn't I have gotten this job?

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: So tell me about your lovely wife, who is, I have to say, delightful.

CANNON: Thank you.

MORGAN: When I remember your wife, she makes me laugh.

CANNON: I hate when you say that.

MORGAN: She looks sexy.

CANNON: He can be --

MORGAN: Beautiful.

CANNON: I know there's this nasty undertone that you have that just --

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: -- every time you say something about my wife, I can just imagine --

MORGAN: Yes, but the reason you --

CANNON: -- what you're thinking.

MORGAN: -- the reason you don't like it is because you know that she's always quite flirtatious around me. That's what annoys you.

CANNON: No. You're overly flirtatious with her. That is the problem. And I don't know how to stop that. In my neighborhood, we -- we do things to people who, you know --

MORGAN: Are you threatening me? You're threatening me with physical violence, aren't you?

CANNON: Yes. I am. Stop hitting on my wife every time you see her, please.

MORGAN: Do you wake -- I'm going to ask you this -- do you wake up some mornings and just think, "Good God, I am lying next to Mariah Carey"?

CANNON: Every --

MORGAN: Because I would.

CANNON: Every single day. Every time -- I -- and especially now, because it's on a whole different level because it was like, oh, I have my dream girl and this is amazing. But now like to actually have a family and to look down and see children that look like both of us, it's -- it's surreal, man.

MORGAN: But people have been cynical about your relationship --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- to put it mildly.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: But I've seen you with Mariah a lot. And I -- and I just see a completely happy, loving couple.

Are you pleased that you've now got the babies to arrive, to kind of say to people, you know what, whatever you thought about us --

CANNON: Yes...

MORGAN: -- this is permanent, this is real?

CANNON: Absolutely. I mean, but we don't really sit around and think about, you know, what the public says. It's -- I think the -- the elation and the joy comes from more of just being able to beat the odds, whatever those odds were, but to do it together and understand the power of our union.

But then, of course, you know, we -- we kind of set ourselves up, when you think about the way that we got married. It was out of the blue. It was less than a month. It -- so everybody was saying like this has to be some type of publicity stunt.

So, we kind of understand that aspect of it.

MORGAN: Why were you so sure?

CANNON: I was so sure because that was Mariah Carey.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: I mean, I've always loved her. I've always been a huge fan. I would say I've spoken into existence because that was like my celebrity crush. And when I met her for the first time, it -- I thought, oh, I'm going to have to meet this diva and I'm going to have to do this. I mean, and she was so down to earth and so normal and so regular. And -- and a lot like I was.

And I was like -- whoa, this might be what I've been searching for all my life and --

MORGAN: Did she know that she was your dream girl?

CANNON: I don't think she did. I mean, after the first 20 minutes, she did.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: After me salivating over her.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: But once we started to have a real conversation, a spiritual conversation, it was one of those things where it's love at first sight, where you just can't -- it's that giddiness. And, you know, usually giddiness only lasts for like the first couple of days. But then with ours, it's been a week and then two. Wait, this isn't going away, like we --

MORGAN: And you are like lovesick puppies.

CANNON: Yes, like when you see us together, it's just like we can't stop touching each other and talking about each other. So it's real, man. It's -- it's definitely a fairy tale relationship. I mean I know it doesn't happen often, so people tend to be very skeptical of it. But it's a blessing, man. I'm happy.

MORGAN: What's it been like for you come into Mariah's fabulous wealth and everything?

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: It's been crazy.

MORGAN: -- the world she exists in. You -- you talk quite movingly about your upbringing. And, obviously, this is a completely different world --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- for you. CANNON: Yes. I -- we -- I talk about that a lot in my stand-up act. Our -- interestingly enough, there is a perception of, you know, my wife, the billionaire, you know?

Like us -- we don't operate like that. We are normal people. She comes from very humble beginnings. I come from very humble beginnings. So, it's not like, you know, everybody's thinking that we're bathing in champagne and there's gold toilets, you know?

It's not really that. It's -- you know, we don't really think about that.

But my life changed in such a way to where it was more out in public. And I had to adjust to that, especially me being such an open person and a silly guy and always saying things. I had to understand that -- all right, there's some things that you keep for home and you don't talk about.

So, that -- that was probably the only thing that changed.

MORGAN: But who's the boss at home?

CANNON: Me, dammit.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: I mean -- no, man. It's --

(CROSSTALK)

CANNON: Right now, the kids are the boss.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: But I've learned, even as a husband, the duties that you have to play within the union. It's like I'm definitely the man in my house, but I definitely have to -- you know, lean on my wife's understanding when she has a lot more knowledge and wisdom in certain areas. So, it's a -- it's a give and take. It's a 50-50 relationship.

MORGAN: What -- what do you think Mariah saw in you?

CANNON: What did she see in me?

She saw one -- and I always say this -- what we saw in each other was sense of humor and the festiveness. We both have a great time and we don't take anything seriously. And we just enjoy life for what it is. We wake up every morning happy about waking up. And everything else is icing on top of that.

MORGAN: But I remember her coming on "America's Got Talent."

CANNON: Yes, and taking 70 hours to get to the stage.

MORGAN: Well, she did. (LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: She did. But it was a fascinating thing to watch, because after I'd heard all the stories about her --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- I didn't see a diva, I saw a perfectionist.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: I saw somebody who was prepared to put herself through 10 hours, never mind everybody else --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: She was not going to get on that stage until she was 100 percent right about what everything -- the lighting, the sound, the way she did that. I found it impressive.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: I mean, that's how you get to the top, isn't it?

CANNON: Yes, that's a --

MORGAN: It might be annoying to everyone.

CANNON: Yes, it is --

(CROSSTALK)

CANNON: -- it happened by mistake. I mean, she'll go -- she'll work harder than anybody. And, you know, when she was on "America's Got Talent," she was in the director's booth looking at the shots --

MORGAN: Yes.

CANNON: -- making sure how her entire show is going to be choreographed from the time she's writing a song, all the way to the time she's performing it. She's a perfectionist. So --

MORGAN: Because you have that work ethic.

CANNON: I do.

MORGAN: I mean, talk me through your ridiculous --

CANNON: Oh, man.

MORGAN: -- working day, the normal day.

CANNON: Yes, well, it depends on what coast I'm on, but it usually starts very early in the morning. If I'm on the West Coast, my day starts around 1:30 a.m. to broadcast my radio show in New York. If I'm in -- MORGAN: You're doing it for four hours, right?

CANNON: Yes, four hours. If I'm on the East Coast, I get to stay in bed a little longer. I don't have to be up until 3:30, 4:00.

MORGAN: The West Coast is where you are a lot of the time.

CANNON: Right. Right.

MORGAN: You get up at 1:00 -- you're on air at 1:30?

CANNON: One-thirty -- and I'm probably in the studio until about 7:30. Then I have a few hours to go to the gym or kind of, you know, visit with the kids. And then I'm off to my office to handle, you know, my Team Nick and television production duties.

And then, by that time, by 1:00, "America's Got Talent," you know, live television. We take care of that. And then when "America's Got Talent" is over, I'm off to the music studio, depending on what's going on. Sometimes, it's interviews and --

MORGAN: When do you sleep?

CANNON: I don't sleep, man. I don't sleep at all.

MORGAN: Do you sleep much at all?

CANNON: No, maybe two hours a night. Maybe two hours a night. And then like in the breaks, in between the live shows and rehearsals at "America's Got Talent," I get an hour nap. So, I try to get about four hours throughout the day. It's never really more than two hours consistently.

MORGAN: I mean, that's extraordinary.

CANNON: I'm -- I've kind of been trained that way. I mean, I'm being a person who's been on the road since I was like 16 years old, doing stand-up and music and all that, it's -- you don't -- you don't sleep a lot.

I think that's what comes in this business. And a lot of people get exhausted and you see throughout their career, they have, you know, problems with insomnia and stuff, as entertainers and people who work a lot.

So, I've been blessed enough, I haven't had that issue yet. But I just -- I never sleep. I just don't.

MORGAN: Well, the good news is with the babies, of course --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- you're on --

CANNON: I'm on their schedule.

MORGAN: The two hours you would have had, you're now not going to have either.

CANNON: At all.

MORGAN: You're down to zero sleep.

CANNON: Man. But I'm still running on adrenaline. I'm still --

MORGAN: Well, look, have a two minute sleep while we have a little break.

CANNON: Well, thank you. I'm going to catch a nap.

MORGAN: And then, when we come back know, we're going to talk "America's Got Talent."

CANNON: We have to.

MORGAN: And how bad you feel that I'm the real star of the show.

CANNON: Yes, OK.

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "AMERICA'S GOT TALENT," COURTESY NBC)

(SINGING)

MORGAN: Anyone can sing pop songs. When you hit those high notes, I knew -- I knew that in 40 years time -- if I'm still alive -- I will be now known as the guy who helped discover Jackie Evancho. And that's --

(APPLAUSE)

MORGAN: -- something I'm very proud of.

(APPLAUSE)

MORGAN: And that makes me feel very happy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop it.

CANNON: This is not your moment, kid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: And that was, of course, "America's Got Talent." And, of course, it was my moment. I was -- and I was taking it.

CANNON: Man, you just -- I -- see, they think that our banter is like made-up. We really get frustrated with Piers on the show. So, every minute he can take, it's all about him.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: This is your ultimate nightmare.

CANNON: The lion's den. I'm here.

MORGAN: Tell me about "America's Got Talent".

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: Because you came in -- obviously, I -- I've been on since the start. You came in a couple of seasons ago. As you -- as you've immersed yourself in the show --

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: -- what have you found that you love about it? Because it becomes very contagious, doesn't it?

CANNON: Yes, yes. It's the greatest summer job ever. I mean, I go to work every day happy. And just to see -- I mean, at the end of the day, these are people that are striving for their dreams, ordinary people with extraordinary talent. And it is cliche and as catchy as it sounds. It's like, no, this is -- you get to see these people turn into stars overnight.

And I have a ball doing it. I get to have fun. I mean, I'm in such a stand-up comic's dream, where it's just the craziness that we get to see and --

MORGAN: You were put through more stupid things this season --

CANNON: Oh, man.

MORGAN: -- than I've ever seen in my life.

And the new season starts tomorrow --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- on NBC. But you were put through hell. I mean, they dragged you out every 10 minutes, the producers.

CANNON: Yes. They used to make me wait.

MORGAN: And each time, it was more humiliating.

CANNON: More -- yes, like last year it was about doing death- defying things. This year, I think they just wanted to embarrass me. And they did it. And we had a good time.

MORGAN: Although, seriously, you're obviously involved in finding talent away from "America's Got Talent".

CANNON: Yes. Yes. MORGAN: Do you have any credibility issues with the way that stars are found on these talent shows?

CANNON: It's all how it's handle, in my opinion. When something feels forced, that's when I have an issue with it, when I feel like this is fabricated. But when it naturally happens, a la Susan Boyle or Jackie Evancho, that was things that -- it -- that's -- this was just a platform that their star chose to shine.

MORGAN: But it's the same kind of thing, I think --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- when -- when Usher discovered Justin Bieber --

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: -- for example.

CANNON: Absolutely.

MORGAN: I mean, obviously, you know both of them. When that happens, that, in itself, is just as fortuitous --

CANNON: Absolutely.

MORGAN: -- as if he'd entered "America's Got Talent".

CANNON: Absolutely. And I think the audience picks up on that, as well. When they feel like, whoa, I was a part of an authentic moment, then they'll go with it. If they feel like, no, this was pushed down my throat. I don't really want to be a part of it.

MORGAN: And we do see competitors coming on and trying it on, don't we?

CANNON: Oh, yes.

MORGAN: And they come on and they say, by the way, I just -- I don't want to influence things, but I broke my leg two years ago.

CANNON: Oh, yes.

MORGAN: And I'm still having pain from it.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: And I'm going to sing "Raise Me Up," but it's mainly for my leg.

CANNON: Yes, right.

MORGAN: Oh, do me a favor.

CANNON: Yes. They're -- they're singing this for their auntie who lost their house and you're like, come on, what does that have to do with your talent?

You're the best at that. You call it how it is. And, I mean, you use --

MORGAN: Well, I hate that. I hate any sense of manipulation --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- by the contestants or, indeed, by the show inadvertently. Sometimes you feel like something I trying to be forced.

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: I like it as -- like you do, when it's organic. When somebody walks on and you just have like a Terry Fator moment.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: I mean, we were in Vegas last week doing the boot camp and up the road, there's Terry Fator, who was a $500 a week guy doing his ventriloquist act and now he's a $100 million act today.

CANNON: This is like his second hundred million dollar deal, right?

MORGAN: Amazing.

CANNON: I need to start --

(CROSSTALK)

CANNON: Yes. I -- I cannot be down.

MORGAN: Now, tell me this, we had a great -- we had a great dinner once, I think it was in Chicago --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- when we talked about privacy and fame and all that kind of thing.

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: When you see people becoming instantly very famous on this show, how do you feel, as somebody who's in that bubble of fame?

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: Do you worry about that?

CANNON: I do -- I just hope they know what they're in store for, because I would say if you weigh it out, the things -- the good things about fame are probably smaller than the bad things about fame, especially if you don't know how to handle it, because it's a magnifying glass. It's a magnifying glass on your own personality. It's a magnifying glass on your life and your lifestyle.

So, if you have any idiosyncrasies, if you have any things that you're insecure about, any of that stuff, it's going to get magnified in the public eye.

And if you're a great person, people are going to see that you're a great person. If you're a bad person, people are going to see that and they're going to see it quickly. And then they're going to -- any negativity they can latch onto is --

MORGAN: Where do you draw the line, the parity, because you're both very famous?

CANNON: Oh, man!

MORGAN: Where do you draw the line, when you -- obviously you -- you've done magazine covers --

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: You know, very -- you did naked pictures with (INAUDIBLE) horror in your case.

MORGAN: But you know what I mean. When you -- when you put all that stuff out there -- and you're very active on Twitter and you talk about your life and your stand-up.

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: You can talk very personally about stuff.

Is there a line that can still be drawn if you do that, do you think, in terms of personal privacy?

CANNON: There is, but if you give them enough, if you -- if you feed the sharks, they won't attack you. That's how I feel. But I think I might be a little too open. I'm -- I've been -- because my wife actually has been phenomenal at treating her private life private and being precious about information.

And me, personally, I don't care. I kind of -- I mean that's the beauty of what I do. I love getting up in the morning and talking about, you know, how crappy I felt coming into work and, you know, being -- being a stand-up, I look for the things that I may be insecure about and pulling those things out.

So even just being a husband, you have to be able to balance, like there's certain things -- like I want to go on the air and talk about, you know, our disagreement, my wife and I -- and she's like, why in the hell would you tell somebody that?

And even in my stand-up act, like, I might say, you know, my wife has all these freaking products in the bathroom -- she's like, why are you telling people what I have in my bathroom?

I'm like -- so I have to balance it out. But I have no issue. I'm an open book.

MORGAN: When you see other celebrities moaning about being famous, what do you feel about it?

CANNON: I hate it, man. Like they know what they signed up for. This is what you wanted. I mean, we all wanted to be famous. We wanted to be stars. We -- you know, we're in our rooms imagining we're famous like. Well, this is what it's like.

So, you can't sit around and complain in your house in Malibu as you're making millions of dollars and -- and -- but -- that there's photographers outside. Like come on. We can be, you know, working in -- as a coal miner.

We could be doing jobs that everyday people have to do that have real issues besides, you know, a couple of people who want to take pictures of you. That's --

MORGAN: And if I had landed Mariah Carey, I would want to be photographed --

CANNON: Exactly.

MORGAN: -- all day long.

CANNON: Call me --

MORGAN: Nuzzling my neck.

CANNON: -- and do whatever you want to do to me, I have the life. I love my life.

I was talking to one of my stand-up comedian friends about that, right. Yo, if it -- if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, I'd be like, oh, well.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: I had a great life.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: So, I'm -- man, I'm so grateful. I feel like I've been blessed. So, whatever comes with this life, I'll take it.

MORGAN: We're going to take another short break.

When we come back, I want to talk to you about what I think is your real love, and that is stand-up comedy.

CANNON: Absolutely.

MORGAN: Even though you're not funny.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANNON: Everybody congratulate this man. God knows the one that just -- just caught me all the way off guard. I had no idea. Denzel Washington came and hollered at me. And he came up to me smooth like, you know, straight out of the movies just like --

(GESTURES)

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: Nickelodeon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: That was from Nick Cannon's Showtime special, "Mr. Showbiz," which is now about to come out on CD.

CANNON: Yes, man.

MORGAN: I'm your -- your real love, whenever we get these ridiculous late night flights together from "AGT" audition to "AGT" audition, we get talking. And I -- I can tell that of all the things that you do, the thing that you get the real buzz from is the stand-up comedy.

CANNON: Oh, man, I love it. I've been doing it since I was 11 years old. And even though, at the beginning of the special, it shows footage of me on stage like at 11 and at 15 in the comedy store.

And then, boy, I'm you actually have a special which I've been waiting all my life to do, for it to be so successful and the people to embrace it and love it like they have, I'm -- it's a dream come true.

MORGAN: What is the art of stand-up comedy? If you could simplify it for somebody, what's the secret of being a good stand-up?

CANNON: There really is none, but if I had to, I would say honesty plus confidence. If you can do that, if you can be 100 percent honest with yourself or with every topic you're speaking of and convey it in a way that I know this is real, I know this is funny, people will laugh.

MORGAN: How much of your act is topical?

CANNON: It's -- everything is topical to me, because a lot of it is about my life. But I deal with everything. I deal with serious issues like homophobia all the way to the "N" word and, you know? So, it's definitely what's going on in the world. But it comes from the perspective of a 30-year-old black man. So --

MORGAN: Yes, I mean what -- as the 30-year-old black man, when Barack Obama was elected president --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- you got a great honor, didn't you?

CANNON: Yes, I got to DJ his inauguration party.

MORGAN: How did that feel?

CANNON: Now, it was amazing. It was funny because I had been following and supporting the president before he was the president. And I got a chance to be a surrogate for the campaign very early on.

And so, I remember being in my hotel -- almost, really, a motel, with the first lady and President Obama like in South Carolina, like we were just campaigning. And I remember we were having a conversation one day and he was just saying how grateful he was for me to be a part of his campaign.

And I said, hey, you don't owe me nothing, just let me DJ the inauguration party. And like joking, you know?

And he did. And he made sure that I was the DJ and I mean he's a great man.

MORGAN: And then even worse, he e-mailed you personally --

CANNON: Oh, yes.

MORGAN: -- to thank you.

CANNON: That was a great moment. I mean --

MORGAN: Because we had name-dropping competition one day. You just pulled out your iPhone or whatever it was and just showed me this -- this e-mail.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: Signed Barack.

CANNON: Hey, I know big people.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: That's all I'm saying.

MORGAN: How do you think he's doing?

CANNON: I think he's doing phenomenal. Of course -- and, again, like I'm going to be a little biased, because I've been supporting him from day one. And I -- for -- at this point, it's a -- it's -- it's a good place right now. I'm everything is looking up. I mean, I think they said it's a -- above 60 percent with their approval rating.

So, I'm feeling good. And as he should, too, I think he's doing a great job.

MORGAN: Now, the one thing I really want to do with you before we finish -- CANNON: Uh-oh.

MORGAN: -- is --

CANNON: Uh-oh.

MORGAN: -- start a Twitter war with you.

CANNON: We have to. I need to be beefing with somebody else.

MORGAN: Because you've had a great feud with Eminem.

CANNON: Yes, that was awesome.

MORGAN: Then a brilliant one with Chelsea Handler --

CANNON: That was good, too. I got me some more followers.

MORGAN: -- which got some real trash talking.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: You've worked out like I have, that if you have a good bit of Twitter beef with someone --

(CROSSTALK)

CANNON: Your followers go up.

MORGAN: Your followers go up.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: So you and I need to get very nasty with each other.

CANNON: But then they wouldn't really believe it, like I tried to get in a beef with Russell Brand and they thought we were just joking around.

(LAUGHTER)

CANNON: So like they know we work together. So, we'd have to like get into a physical altercation and then I'd have to like whup your ass and then we were getting (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: If you and Eminem came face-to-face in a --

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: -- in a street --

CANNON: Right.

MORGAN: -- on a dark night --

CANNON: Right. MORGAN: -- would you -- would you take him out?

CANNON: I don't -- he'd -- he'd have too many bodyguards around him.

MORGAN: If it was just the two of you?

CANNON: The two of us? I'd -- I don't know. I don't...

MORGAN: Could you physically beat him?

CANNON: I mean do you see this? I've been working out, though --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: You know what, for a little guy, you're quite --

(CROSSTALK)

CANNON: For a little guy. You see, I'm boxed (ph). Honestly --

MORGAN: Because you've wanted to, haven't you?

CANNON: I think there was a time where --

MORGAN: Because he's insulting your wife --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- you wanted to take him out.

CANNON: Well, anyone who insults my wife or my family, I have an issue with. I do. I understand that -- I would have to see where that man actually was coming from. If he was saying, man, this is entertainment, this is something. But if you literally have a problem with me, then we can solve that problem.

You -- you've crossed the line a little bit on a -- on a --

MORGAN: A (INAUDIBLE) line.

CANNON: -- "America's Got Talent" where you say some things that are, Piers, you could get your ass whupped for that.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Well, I look forward to you whupping my ass --

CANNON: I can't wait. Stay --

MORGAN: -- on "America's Got Talent." It starts tomorrow --

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: -- with a two hour extravaganza. CANNON: Oh, yes.

MORGAN: It is, I hope we both agree, it's the best talent we've ever had.

CANNON: See, that -- and I've said, we always say that every season. We mean it this time.

MORGAN: Yes.

CANNON: Young people really came out.

MORGAN: But last year was the best we've had.

CANNON: Yes.

MORGAN: And this year is better.

CANNON: And it's so -- like I said, it -- it's like this young energy that the show has now. And it's so -- and I have to commend you guys on this, too, because all of these competition shows are really trying to conjure up some way to do it new and differently. You guys do it so well. The chemistry between the judges, where it's -- we have the best judge like setup on television.

We have someone who has credibility in the world of journalism, we have an actual manager, we have an actual entertainer, who are sitting there giving real criticism. And we have talents that are really doing more than just singing and just dancing, like it's -- it's a show like no other.

So, I'm excited.

MORGAN: And, finally -- finally, what is your talent?

CANNON: What is my talent?

MORGAN: If you were entering the show --

CANNON: If I had to come on the show with something, it would definitely be a stand-up comedy act.

MORGAN: Yes, but if you tried that, I'd X you straight off. I'm it's a very --

CANNON: It's the toughest platform --

MORGAN: -- it's a very nichey --

CANNON: -- for a stand-up comic. So I would just --

MORGAN: What else would you do? You can't just --

CANNON: I would come out and attack you personally.

MORGAN: I've heard you sing. I mean, I'm no offense, but it's not great.

CANNON: Well, this is different. What are you saying singing?

MORGAN: Your wife is great.

CANNON: I'm a musician. I play instruments. I dabble in the hip-hop field. That doesn't take vocal ability necessarily.

MORGAN: What would you actually do -- other than stand-up comedy, what would you do if you walked on stage on "AGT"?

CANNON: Oh, man, I could --

MORGAN: I heard you rap.

CANNON: I could probably do a little bit of that.

MORGAN: Go ahead.

CANNON: I could...

MORGAN: Let's just have a little bit.

CANNON: You want a freestyle?

MORGAN: Yes.

CANNON: How are you going to make me freestyle on the spot? Are you going to join in with me?

MORGAN: How good are you?

CANNON: Well, before I got on this show, it was very boring. I had to be here with my man, Piers Morgan. He thinks he's a snazzy dresser, but you never know, because a cat like me stay at Savile Row.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: That was terrible.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Nick Cannon, thank you very much.

And we'll be right back with two former winners of "America's Got Talent."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: I predicted my next guest would win the second season of "America's Got Talent." Not only did he do that, he's now a headline act in Vegas, worth $100 million. He's a ventriloquist, singer, and a comedian, Terry Fator.

And, Terry, first of all, congratulations. What a story.

FATOR: Thank you.

MORGAN: I mean, you are -- you're indisputably the greatest breakout star from any show. The figures are mindboggling. You're one of the highest paid stars in Vegas history.

When I first met you, you were earning, I don't know, 500 bucks a week, going up and down America in your little van.

FATOR: That's right.

MORGAN: Can you quite believe what's happened to you?

FATOR: No, it's absolutely phenomenal. It's the true story of the American Dream, of what we all hope and aspire for. And I love that it's an overnight sensation, but it took me 32 years to get there, you know?

MORGAN: That is amazing. And what was extraordinary, and tell me the story properly, because it is an amazing one. Your act didn't used to be you doing singing impressions through the puppets. What was the act?

FATOR: Well, I was always a singer, and I had a band for about 15 years, and I was the lead singer of the band, and I would do impressions of singers. I didn't know I was an impressionist. I thought I was just a singer.

I didn't realize until I was probably close to 30 years old that nobody else could sing like everybody that they wanted to. And then I would pull out a puppet, occasionally, and I would do a little ventriloquist act. And I would have the puppet sing like Garth Brooks or have them sing like Roy Rogers or something like that, and it was just kind of a novelty.

And then I went to Las Vegas one day and saw Danny Gans, who unfortunately passed away a couple of years ago, but I was sitting around watching everybody react to his impressions -- and I thought, well, I can do all of those voices, but do all of them without moving my lips.

So, I went back home and I rewrote my show, took me about six months. I totally rewrote the show and made every single puppet I have do impressions of singers. And, then, all of a sudden, people really started taking notice.

MORGAN: And that was the magical tipping point, wasn't it?

FATOR: It was.

MORGAN: Because when you came to "America's Got Talent," we saw hundreds of ventriloquists -- most of them horrific, because the first thing they do is move their lips. It's like, well, I can do that.

And then, you came on, and I remember, you weren't the favorite for a long time, but there was something very special about that, because people of all ages were really enjoying it. We could see in the audience, everyone was loving what you were doing. And you got more confident, and right at the end -- bang, you won the show.

FATOR: Yes. And what was funny was I went into the show pretty much with a plan.

WINSTON: Oh, by the way, I'm Winston.

FATOR: Yeah, you know Winston.

MORGAN: We're old friends, Winston and I.

WINSTON: Yes, I know. I just wanted to introduce myself.

FATOR: Well, we're talking.

WINSTON: OK. Can I sing later?

FATOR: You can sing later.

So, but I didn't have the song that I did at the finale planned, and when I got to that final show, because I didn't think I was going to make it all the way through. I just had like three or four supposed planned. So, I went to the producers of the show and I said, I think I want to do Roy Orbison. And their reaction, they said, you can sing like Roy Orbison? And I was like, yes. And they said, well, yes, you should do Roy Orbison.

MORGAN: There you were, Mr. Anonymous, touring up and down America, doing your show, you know, enjoying your life, but dreaming the big dream as all the contestants do on "America's Got Talent." Now that you're living the talent, to all those who are entering this year, the new season starts up tomorrow on NBC, what would you say? Is it all that's cracked up to be? Do you ever regret losing the anonymity?

FATOR: No, no, never. No, I don't. I -- but it's really not, for me, it was never so much about the fame, and all of the other things. Those are all just icing on the cake. For me, the on thing I wanted, and the only thing I've always wanted since I was 10 years old was to have people enjoy what I do. And that was the low point in my career, to have one person in the audience, because I just wanted people to come and see the show and leave and say, wow, that was a really great show.

MORGAN: Tell me I'm wrong, Winston was always about the money, right?

WINSTON: Of course, I'm the guy who spends all his money.

(LAUGHTER)

FATOR: So -- I mean, all of that is wonderful, and it is great. But for me, it really was about the show. It was about people knowing what I do and appreciating it.

MORGAN: I remember after you went to Vegas, going up there and seeing you in the theater. And there it was, the Terry Fator Theater, I couldn't believe it.

FATOR: I know.

MORGAN: It was an amazing moment, to see this guy who -- you know, whose journey I'd been on, with him, really, ending up in the greatest entertainment place on Earth.

FATOR: I know.

MORGAN: In one of the great theaters, named after you. You had your own store, I went and bought some Terry Fator puppets, and I was really proud of you. I thought it was an amazing thing.

FATOR: Thank you very much.

Well, it's nice to have people like you and people like, well, Simon Cowell named me as one of the top two entertainers on the planet. And I had a father who just never, ever -- and to this day, he has not told me that I'm a good entertainer, but to have people like you and Simon Cowell say you're proud of me, it's OK. I'm all right. I don't ever have to hear it from my dad.

MORGAN: I think you can safely assume you're now a good entertainer. But, Terry, look, It wouldn't be right without letting you bow out with a re-performance for me of you and Winston do a song that won you "America's Got Talent."

WINSTON: No, not him and Winston, Winston.

FATOR: That's right. I wouldn't do anything.

WINSTON: He just stands there and keeps his mouth shut.

FATOR: So, do you want to perform?

WINSTON: Yes. Can I do the Roy Orbison?

FATOR: That's what he wants to hear.

WINSTON: OK. Here's Roy Orbison, the song that won "America's Got Talent."

(SINGING)

MORGAN: Fantastic!

FATOR: Thank you.

MORGAN: That brings back so many memories!

And just before we go, you're on Tuesday to Saturday at the Mirage in Vegas. Tickets are going like hot cakes, but you can presumably still buy them.

Good luck, Terry. It's great to see you. It really is.

FATOR: I look forward to seeing you in Vegas. Thank you so much.

MORGAN: Great to see you.

WINSTON: Thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: Bye, Winston. As always, you're the more intelligent member.

WINSTON: Well, of course.

MORGAN: Thank you.

FATOR: Thank you.

MORGAN: Coming up, the man who beat out Jackie Evancho, Prince Poppycock in season five of "America's Got Talent."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're keeping them honest tonight on "360." It's a story so outrageous that we have selected only a few images to show you. A 13-year-old boy at an anti- government rally disappears. The next time his parents see him, he's dead, allegedly tortured to death at the hands of the government. We'll tell you where this happened and what's being done about it.

Also, it's day two of Sarah Palin's bus tour of Northeast historic sites. Palin says it's not a campaign bus, despite also she's saying she's also, quote, "kind of contemplating" a run for the presidency. Ahead, the tipping point for Palin -- what could push her into or out of the race. We got the raw politics.

And could using your cell phone be a cancer risk? A team of researchers from the World Health Organization is expected to release its findings tomorrow. Dr. Sanjay Gupta answers your questions tonight.

It's all at the top of the hour. More PIERS MORGAN in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Michael Grimm won season five of "America's Got Talent" in what may have been the season's biggest upset in the show's history. He gave the performance of his life and he reminds me of a young Van Morrison. Michael Grimm joins me now.

That's what I always thought when I saw you performing.

MICHAEL GRIMM, SEASON 5 WINNER, "AMERICA'S GOT TALENT": I appreciate that. Thank you.

MORGAN: Yes. It just had that feel, the way you perform, the manner in which you performed. But it was a shock. I mean, I remember just everybody assuming little Jackie, the little angel, was going to walk this.

GRIMM: I thought she was, too, Piers.

MORGAN: What did you think when your name was announced?

GRIMM: I thought they announced the loser at first because I knew she was going to win, and honestly when they said my name, I had to think did they really just say my name? You know, but yes. Next to her, she's a powerhouse, and what a great girl. What a great little personality.

MORGAN: She is. And she's selling millions of records, too. Now, your new album is about to hit the world. Are you pleased with it?

GRIMM: I'm very happy.

MORGAN: Is it the culmination of the dream for you?

GRIMM: This is something I've worked my whole life to get to. And thanks to "America's Got Talent" and America and you guys, I finally get to do the album I've always waited for.

MORGAN: What I love about your story is that like so many contestants, you had a pretty tough life. You know, your parents, your dad was discharged from the military, didn't have much money. Your mom cleaned churches to try and pay the bills. You lived at one point in a tiny camper with holes in the floor and stuff.

And then things got so tough you went to live with your grandparents with your sister, I think.

GRIMM: That's right.

MORGAN: And --

GRIMM: And welfare -- welfare was about to take us. And yes, my grandmother said no, I ain't going to let that happen.

MORGAN: So, you were literally going to go into welfare. Your grandmother took you in.

GRIMM: Yes, sir.

MORGAN: And in many ways, saved the kind of life you may have had, right?

GRIMM: Absolutely. She is my savior, yes. My sister and I both. We owe our life to her.

MORGAN: When you won "America's Got Talent" and your life obviously changed forever, was your grandmother still alive? Was she around to see that?

GRIMM: Oh, yes, she's still around and she --

MORGAN: What does she make of it? GRIMM: She's having probably the best of time, more than anyone. You know, she's loving all the attention, and she's quite famous down there in her area. And I'm worried about her. I'm starting to worry if this is too much for her. And she's assuring me that it is not.

She's loving every minute. So, you know, it's good for her. I'm glad.

MORGAN: I mean, one of the more moving aspects, I think, of your journey on the show was in Hurricane Katrina, your grandparents lost their home.

GRIMM: Yes, sir. Yes. We had a house, I was raised in there in Hancock County, she raised my sister and I in. And they lost that in Katrina, and she moved out in the woods, in a little trailer. And I've always told her since I was 5, you know, that I'm going to grow up and become a star and get her out of that situation she was in.

And I'm just -- I'm really glad and blessed --

MORGAN: Did you do that? Have you --

GRIMM: Yes. It's been built. The frame's up now. I'm sure by next month, she'll be sitting in there, her and my grandfather.

MORGAN: So, you've managed to repay that --

GRIMM: Yes, sir.

MORGAN: -- that debt that really she incurred.

GRIMM: She deserves it. Her and my grandfather both, yes, sir. Yes.

MORGAN: Amazing thing to be able to do that, isn't it?

GRIMM: Well, you know, if someone can do it in the family, I'm sure they would. You know, I was just the one that had the opportunity to do so. Yes.

MORGAN: When that house is done and you give your grandmother the keys to the house, it's going to be quite a moment for you.

GRIMM: It is. It's going to be emotional, I'm sure. I can't wait.

MORGAN: You've got this album coming out. It's called "Michael Grimm," right?

GRIMM: Yes, sir.

MORGAN: I mean, this, again, this is probably going to sell millions of copies.

GRIMM: I hope so. MORGAN: This will propel you into a whole new world. I mean, Jackie's has already sold a few million. Are you ready for that kind of success? Obviously, winning a talent show is one thing, but being a multimillion-selling artist is a big deal.

GRIMM: And I really don't know, Piers. You know, I'm not sure until I get there, you know? But I know that I've prepared my whole life for this, 20 years of paying dues, you know? So, if there's any moment I'm ready, it's certainly now.

MORGAN: I'm hearing great things about it from the people at Sony, Simon Cowell and others. I know they're thrilled with what you've done with the album. I wish you all the success with it.

GRIMM: I appreciate it, Piers

MORGAN: And you're now going to play us out with a little number.

GRIMM: Yes.

MORGAN: What are you going to sing?

GRIMM: I'm going to sing a song off the album. It's my version of Alicia Keys' "Falling." I'm a big fan of hers. And I hope you'll enjoy it. I hope Alicia likes it.

(SINGING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: That's it for tonight. And here is "A.C. 360."