I don’t know about you, but every time I’m in New York City and hail a cab, I’m always half hoping that I end up climbing inside the Cash Cab. How cool would that be?
The popular game show debuted in 2005 on the Discovery Channel. And ran for seven years before wrapping up in 2012. Five years later, it revived. And in 2019, it made the jump over to Bravo, where it’s been going strong ever since.
The show’s premise is pretty simple. Supposedly unassuming passengers enter what they believe to be an ordinary cab only to find themselves greeted by a barrage of flashing lights. And then comedian Ben Bailey behind the taxi’s wheel.
After they discover that they are prospective contestants on a roving game show, Ben offers them a proposition. If they choose to go forward with the ride, the Cash Cab will drive them to their destination while asking them a series of trivia questions.
At first, the questions are pretty easy, but they get increasingly difficult along the route. The harder the question, the more money that it’s worth. Each of the first four questions is worth $25. The following four are worth $50. Every one after that is worth $100.
Each correct answer wins the contestant the cash, but incorrect answers mean they end up getting a strike. And you guessed it, if they get three strikes, Ben pulls over and kicks them to the curb regardless of where they end up.
To spice things up, contestants allowed ‘shout outs’. This allows them to call someone or ask a random person on the street for help. Contestants get one ‘mobile shout out’ and one ‘street shout out’ per game.
If the passenger has won at least $200 and the cash cab hits a red light, this initiates what the game calls a ‘Red Light Challenge’. They then have to answer a multi-part question in thirty seconds for the chance of winning an additional $200. If they run out of time, they move on without receiving a strike.
If the contestant makes it to their destination without getting three strikes, they can opt to keep the cash they won or bet it all in a double-or-nothing Video Bonus Question.
So, yeah. That’s Cash Cab in a nutshell. It’s a deliciously entertaining premise with an equally charismatic and fun-to-watch host. Comedian and New Jersey native Ben Bailey has been hosting the program for two decades. While it might not that surprising, he’s actually a full-fledged licensed cab driver in the Big Apple. And he’s probably the ONLY cabby in New York that also holds several Emmy awards.
If you’re like us and have been watching Cash Cab for a while now, then you might have a few questions and concerns about how the game show operates. Join Facts Verse as we discuss several secrets that Cash Cab’s Ben Bailey has shared about. It is his from award-winning game show that confirms what we’ve all feared.
Only One Vehicle Allowed To Tailgate
Behind the cab, a production van is always following to get exterior shots. Basically, this vehicle is a mobile command and control center that oversees every aspect of the Cash Cab’s technical side of things. Inside, technicians are watching every camera and keeping track of all of the ins and outs of the gameplay.
Ben Is Most Definitely NOT Reading The Questions While He’s Driving
Not only would that probably be illegal, but he would also be putting his passengers in serious danger. The last thing you want is for your New York cabby to distracted behind the wheel. Ben actually memorizes all the questions prior to each taping. Ben also fitted with an earpiece so that he can fed questions and answers whenever he needs a little helping hand. Since he’s already memorized the questions, a simple prompt makes it pretty easy to repeat the questions when he needs to.
Ben Has An Assistant That Handles The Grunt Work
It’s already a handful to ask random people a bunch of general knowledge questions while trying to navigate one of the busiest and most congested cities in the world. That’s why Ben always has one of several production assistants with him riding shotgun. They help him with handling things like triggering the flashing lights, cueing the music, turning on the video monitors, and operating all of the other in-game mechanics.
This assistant, which the production team endearing refers to as one of their ‘Vanna Whites’. It is to keeps track of scoring, shuffles contestants in and out of the cab, and gets them to sign all the necessary legal releases.
Some Contestants Recruited In Advance
Some participants genuinely caught off-guard when boarding the Cash Cab. And several contestants have reported stopped and recruited around Union Square. Even so, they not told that they’re going on the show. This ensures that they will still genuinely surprised when they find out they are a contestant.
One participant informed that they selected on a travel-themed show called When in Rome. Contestant told that they would weigh in on what some of their favorite, little hidden gems in the city were. A few weeks later,the contestant told that they selected to become a host for the episode about New York City and given a taping date and location to meet a production team.
They also asked the contestant to bring along a couple of their friends. When they met up with the producer, it surprised them when they found out that the transport van that supposed to take them to the filming location was actually the Cash Cab.
Other recruits given an extensive written survey covering things like current events, pop culture, and history to see if they were the right fit for an unnamed game show.
Your Seat In The Cash Cab Actually Matters
If you are lucky enough to hail the Cash Cab – or selected for the show while glancing at a tourist map in Union Square – you should be aware that the cab has an array of 10 cameras inside that are filming nonstop. Directly behind the passenger seat tends to be the angle that most often makes it on TV. It also tends to be the spot with the tightest crop. So unless you want the world to see all of your wrinkles and blemishes, you might want to take a seat in the cabs third row. Join Facts Verse as we discuss several secrets that Cash Cab’s Ben Bailey has shared about. It is his from award-winning game show that confirms what we’ve all feared.
Never Go Solo
If you do happen to get vetted to be on the show – even if you aren’t told so in such specific terms – always bring a friend or two. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that two or more brains are better than one. Trying to tackle the Cash Cab’s questions solo can be a difficult task. That being said, Ben says that while groups are a lot of fun to work with. They can also quite loud, which makes it a bit more challenging to run the game over all the excitement. Join Facts Verse as we discuss several secrets that Cash Cab’s Ben Bailey has shared about. It is his from award-winning game show that confirms what we’ve all feared.
Some Passengers Don’t Want To Be On TV
The vast majority of Cash Cab passengers are overjoyed at the prospect of participating in the game show and being on TV. Not everyone that hops aboard is quite as enthusiastic about their mugs broadcast on cable television. Ben once had one passenger hop in only to immediately exit. Apparently they were in the witness protection program and couldn’t risk having their cover blown.
More frequently, however, a pair of passengers will enter the cab only to inform Ben that they can’t seen together because they aren’t actually a couple. Obviously, they don’t want their partners back at home finding out via television that they’re out cheating on them. Ben says this kind of situation can make for one awkward exit. Join Facts Verse as we discuss several secrets that Cash Cab’s Ben Bailey has shared about his award-winning game show that confirms what we’ve all feared.
The Cash Cab Team Knows That You’re Following Them
When the word gets out that the Cash Cab is out doing it’s things, sometimes people will attempt to follow the vehicle around in hopes of getting on the show. Sometimes they will park nearby, get out and wait at a stop where they think they’ll picked up. This never works. For one, whenever the Cash Cab drops off a group of contestants, it always moves to another location. On top of that, that production van that we mentioned early is always on the lookout for such hopeful contestants. They want actual participants on the show at least somewhat surprised when they hop into the cab.
Moral of this story – Don’t Stalk The Cash Cab.
Winners Not Handed Cash
Really the show should called ‘check cab’, because even though winning contestants are shown handed cash at the end of their game. For legal reasons it doesn’t actually work like that. Contestants don’t get to keep the cash that’s seen on TV. In fact, the money seen isn’t even real. After the game is over, the contestant receives a check in the mail with their winnings several weeks after the taping of the episodes. It’s handled this way for tax purposes.
That said, contestants don’t exit the Cash Cab empty-handed. Whether they win or not, they get to take home a fresh Cash Cab T-shirt. So, that’s something.
It makes sense that what we see on TV isn’t exactly how things actually go down in real life. While Cash Cab strives for authenticity, it would be impossible to tape an episode completely candidly and unscripted. Regardless of what kind of game or reality show you’re dealing with, there is always going to be some behind-the-scenes’ string pulling’ that audiences at home aren’t privy to. Join Facts Verse as we discuss several secrets that Cash Cab’s Ben Bailey has shared about his award-winning game show that confirms what we’ve all feared.
Where you shocked to learn about any of the behind-the-scenes secrets of Cash Cab? And did you know that Ben Bailey was a full-fledged, licensed New York Cabby? Let us know your thoughts on this long-running game show in the comments section down below.
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