I don’t care how cool, or how “I’m late for a very important meeting ’cause I’ma business person” you are: if you’re a New Yorker and you get in a cab and those LED lights go off on the ceiling, you’re going to fan out ’cause you know you’re in the Cash Cab.
Cash Cab hit the scene in 2005 and became an instant cult classic. The premise was easy: you get money for answering trivia questions while your host, comedian Ben Bailey, drives you to your destination. You get three chances to get the questions right. If you strike out, you lose the money and get the boot before your destination. Cold blooded, right? Damn Ben, you gon’ kick me out half way to my destination ’cause I didn’t know to what country wolverines were indigenous? Hell yeah. That’s New York. The show ran for seven years before driving off into the sunset in 2012. Until now…
The Cash Cab Rides Again
Six years later and the wait is up. Ben Bailey steps back into the driver seat, adjusts the rearview mirror, and get his
Max Max Mario Kart Ryan Gosling in Drive on for another season. Bailey is the type of host that makes you take heed to the “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” You see him back in action and that “I’ve missed this” smile creeps up on you.
Bailey doesn’t miss a step returning as host. His jokes are perfectly placed jabs to get folks comfortable and keep the good-time vibe between questions upbeat. Once that clock starts ticking and he switches tone because needs an answer? You can feel that pressure come on full force for the contestants trying to answer his questions. And fam, not all those questions are easy. I saw folks striking out on the first round of 50-dollar questions (second round is 100-dollar questions, third is 200 dollars). If I fail out in some first round questions, I’m not signing that disclosure. I’m taking that L to the grave.
Hey there, hitchhiker. Where ya headed?
It’s one thing to get in the Cash Cab, right? I mean what are the odds? It’s whole ‘nother thing when all of a sudden, the door swings open and you see Scott Bakula the Quantum Leap gawd asking, “Y’all mind if I… *takes off shades* leap in? (He didn’t say that but I’m writing this, and in my head he did). Who’s going to say no to that? Yeap, we got celebs joining the fun, too.
I’m not even going to front. When I saw Matthew Perry on episode two step in (like a new challenger approaching in Super Smash Bros) I fanned out. That’s my guy. Everyone was excited ’cause “Hey, he was Chandler on Friends.” Man, fuck that. Matthew Perry’s show Go On on NBC with John Cho? Best comedy dealing with losing a loved one to ever do it. I put that on my momma, literally. Perry had folks laughing and shedding tears. Don’t you dare pigeonhole that man, give ’em the whole nine yards of respect and nothing less when you see ’em in these streets.
When Matthew starts up with his dry humor and goin’ in on how much multitasking Ben does as he is driving while hosting this show? I was dyin’. Then they both start doing a riff on Alex Trebek just standing there when hosting Jeopardy, which then took a whole left turn (with no blinker) in another direction. Yes. All of the yes. I respect the show’s editors and Discovery Channel programming for knowing gold when they see it. “That’s too funny, fuck it. Leave it in.” That’s what you do when you have a comedian as good as Ben Bailey adapting to his passengers and celebrity guests. He sticks with the convo no matter the direction it’s goin’ in. That may seem like a minor detail but it’s so important in keeping things entertaining. Nothing feels forced or assembly line when you’re watching this show.
Considering the climate of 2017, this is the kind of fun we need back on television.
I’m more of a subway guy myself: one, because of how much I pay for a Metro Card, I’m taking the train every-damn-where for that monthly fee; two, I had a bad experience with this one cab driver that didn’t like my laugh ’cause it reminded him of this guy he hates… and that ride got real awkward real quick. But now, I’m willing to roll with the chances on a yellow cab just to see if I can pull the Cash Cab. The show returns December 4th on Discovery Channel.