I’m a huge fan of the Discovery Channels Cash Cab with host Ben Bailey, I think the concept is great and Bailey pulls off the show well. Cash Cab is a mobile game show that takes place in a NYC Taxi with comedian Ben Bailey whom supposedly picks up “unsuspecting passengers” and then awards them cash prizes for answering general knowledge questions. The questions get progressively harder as the cab ride brings contestants / passengers to their final destination. Some rides are short, some long, and the majority of contestants are for the most part entertaining. As passengers enter the Cash Cab they are met with disco lights from the cabs ceiling that resemble the dance floor from Saturday Night Fever. Contestants are also met with a loud music note which is supposed to shock and surprise them as they are informed that they are now on a tv game show. However, most really do not look surprised and don’t really say much to Bailey other than answering his pre-drafted questions.
If contestants fail to answer three questions they are booted from the cab and during the game are offered aid in answering some of the questions via a mobile shout-out to a friend on a cellphone or they can stop someone on the street and ask for help. Very much like Who Want’s to Be a Millionaire. I’ve often wondered how the show was set up and if it was legit or strategically staged so I did some research into the Cash Cab and found out to my disappointment that the show is somewhat casted. That is a bigger BUZZ KILL than Buzz Killington……
Bailey is an actual licensed NYC Cab Driver and the taxi used on the show is a real taxi with Bailey given permission to use the cab for the show. However, many of the contestants are pre-screened and cast based upon their appearance and character during casting auditions. I’m sure some are even actors but not many. Apparently once contestants are informed they will be on a game show they are told to meet producers at a location to discuss the show further and are sent a cab to pick them up which is the Cash Cab. Host Bailey then peppers them with questions while an unseen co-rider or producer for the show handles the camera and other issues as Bailey drives to the destination. The show is so popular they even have spin-off shows such as Cash Cab After Dark with host Ben Bailey and Cash Cab Chicago with host Beth Melewski. Cash Cab and Bailey have won Emmy Awards and there was even a celebrity Cash Cab that was filmed in Las Vegas.
But I had some questions of my own about the show, such as how come there is never any traffic in NYC when the show is filmed? That is either serious luck or some serious editing!
What about road rage? NYC is notorious for psychotic and pissed off drivers yet you never see anyone go ape-shit outside the cab. Chances are good editing again…..maybe they will release that extra footage when the show goes to DVD.
Is the CASH real? If you look at the cash at the end of each game it does not look real, my guess is it is Monopoly like money that is given out and the contestants get a check once the show is aired.
How come you never see Ben Bailey get pulled over by the cops for a traffic violation? Either he is a good driver of once the cops see the camera crew they just leave and don’t want to deal with the bullshit!
Wouldn’t it be cool to see someone get in the cab and say take me to Boston or Buffalo? How many questions could Bailey bang out before the ride ends? I’m sure many but there is no way Bailey is driving hundreds of miles, although that would be great tv.
What about carjackers? What if a carjacker jumped into the Cash Cab and said DRIVE? Would he be surprised by the music and lights or just start answering questions until the cab is surrounded by police cars? Now that would be an Emmy winning episode.
Either way, staged or not Cash Cab is a great and entertaining show. Where do I sign to get on the Cash Cab?
UPDATE: Well I seem to have lost the flare for Cash Cab…..I’m now addicted to BoohBah…..who knew?
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