The other headline I was going to go with for this thing was “Cash Cab Gab Cache / Lash Dab” (because I’ll be talking about it a lot, then crying over Cash Cab’s cancellation, see) but I think this one’s a little more to the point. But since the show’s now off the air, let’s all pour one out for our fallen show–well, after we get out of the Cash Cab, what with open container laws being what they are.
For the uninitiated, Cash Cab is a game show where Ben Bailey–described on Wikipedia as both an American comedian and a licensed taxi cab driver–picks up patrons, then asks them trivia questions. Three misses and you get out of the cab with no money, and at the end there’s an optional question to try to double your winnings.
This show is awesome for a lot of reasons. First of all, every time someone gets in, Ben Bailey goes “ayyyyyyyy, you’re in the Cash Cab.” I realize that doesn’t sound very exciting. But it is. It’s very exciting (that’s called using rhetoric to prove a point!). Then Bailey starts driving while quizzing the contestant. If someone conducting a game show while driving a car seems dangerous, well, yes. However, Cash Cab’s vehicular manslaughter incident was not Ben Bailey’s fault at all.
Should they run into trouble, contestants are granted two “shout outs.” One of which they can use to call a friend, which can be helpful (unless it’s Tiki Barber). For the street shout out they have to pull over and ask some random person on the street. The street person is always confused and defensive about these strangers asking him questions for some show he’s never heard of and has literally never provided a correct answer. I cannot overstate the worthlessness of the street shout out. Here’s proof it’s equally unhelpful in Asia. Oh, also, Cash Cab has been produced in a staggering 36 (!) countries.
So, say you run the gauntlet and actually win Cash Cab, what do you get? Several hundred dollars, usually. The biggest haul ever, so far as I can tell is $6,200, which he got by playing in a double round (something Cash Cab purists deride for its inflation of scores) and then by nailing the double-or-nothing video question.
RIP Cash Cab. At least we’ll always have you, Baggage.
More things about Cash Cab worth knowing:
- Cash Cab’s run will be 7-years.
- They made a show called Cash Cab After Dark, which is exactly the same as regular Cash Cab except at night.
- Host Ben Bailey once narrated a show called Smash Lab, in addition to his work on Cash Cab.
- Ben Bailey is 6’6″.
- Between seasons two and three, Cash Cab changed its tagline from “There are 13,000 cabs in New York City, but there’s only one that pays you!” to “There are 13,000 cabs in the streets of the Big Apple, but there’s only one that pays you!”
- As a cross-promotional effort, they did a special episode where they only asked questions related to the 2008 film Frost/Nixon. Really.
- Its Wikipedia contains this somewhat stalker-ish sentence: “Some contestants are randomly picked as they walk along the sidewalk, while others are selected in advance. Even so, those picked in advance are never actually told that the cab that is supposed to take them to the show turns out to be the show itself.”