“There are over 13,000 cabs in New York City, but there is only one where the driver pays you.” That’s the tagline of “Cash Cab,” a TV game show that happens in a taxi — if you get on the right one, that is. “Cash Cab” is an Emmy-Award-winning series that’s hailed as one of the most inventive and enjoyable game shows on American television.
You can catch the 14th season of “Cash Cab” on Bravo. Additionally, you can watch previous seasons on Discovery+. You can also download full episodes of the show plus other versions, such as the UK and Canadian spin-offs, on Apple TV.
This article will take you on a ride in the “Cash Cab.” We’ll introduce you to the show’s host and tell you all about the rules of the game. We’ll also explore a bit of “Cash Cab’s” run and how well it went so far. Whenever you’re ready, let’s go!
How “Cash Cab” Works
“Cash Cab” is a game show where unsuspecting NYC commuters and tourists expecting a normal taxi ride become instant contestants. The show debuted in 2005 with great reception from participants and viewers alike. It was one of more than 40 international adaptations of the franchise.
Comedian Ben Bailey pulls double duty as the show’s host and taxi cab driver. Each episode will feature two to three games that start as soon as the passengers get in the taxi. Ben greets them and informs them that they’re in the “Cash Cab.” He explains the mechanics of the game — the contestants will answer trivia questions for money. And then, Ben asks the most important question of all, “Do you want to play?”
They start with a couple of easy questions, but the questions get more difficult as they go and the corresponding amount for each also increases. The first four questions are worth $50, the next four are worth $100, and the questions after that are worth $200. In the first two seasons, the questions were worth $25, $50, and $100.
- Discovery Communications (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 240 Pages - 03/06/2012 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)
Along the way, the participants have two shout-outs if they get stumped. Their first option is a “Mobile shout-out,” which is a phone call to a friend or a family member. The other is a “Street shout-out,” where Ben pulls over so they can ask strangers for help answering a question. If the contestants give a wrong answer, they get a strike. If they get three strikes, they’re kicked out of the “Cash Cab” no matter where they are.
The game also included twists like the “Red Light Challenge.” It’s played when they have to stop for a red light and the passengers have at least $200 in prize money. Ben will ask a question with multiple answers and the contestants have 30 seconds to give all the correct answers. The challenge pays $250 if they get it right and on time, but no strike if they run out of time. Passengers who managed to bank at least $1,000 can have another chance at a “Red Light Challenge,” if they make it that far.
Participants win when they’ve gotten enough questions correctly to stay in the game when they arrive at their destination. But before they exit the “Cash Cab,” they are given two options: to walk away with their money or risk it all in a double or nothing play. In the video bonus round, Ben plays a clip and the question is based on it. Of course, a correct answer to the video bonus question means the contestants double their winning and a wrong one will see them leave the vehicle with no money. Either way, they get a free cab ride.
Anyway, the current reboot of the show airing on BravoTV promises higher prizes, an upgraded cab, and Bravo celebrity appearances. The show also changed the mobile shout-out to a social media shout-out instead. Additionally, the questions will include more pop culture references.
Where Is “Cash Cab” Filmed?
Since its first season in 2005, almost all of the episodes of “Cash Cab” have been filmed in New York City, except for a few episodes in season eight that were shot in Las Vegas. This is probably because the “Cash Cab” is a fully operational taxi and it’s not cheap or easy to get licensed in every state. In fact, Ben had to go through the extensive training and legal paperwork required to become a fully licensed taxi driver in New York.
What Is the Record Payout on “Cash Cab?”
Sam Meyer currently holds the title of “Cash Cab’s” biggest winner with $6,200 in prize money. It was a “Double Ride” game on the episode that aired on May 18, 2009. Sam correctly answered the Video Bonus Question and doubled his initial $3,100 winnings.
Starting in the fourth season, the show introduced the “Double Ride” games. It means the first four questions are worth $100, the next four are worth $200, and the following questions after that are worth $400 — and the “Red Light Challenge” is worth $500.
What Celebrities Have Appeared on “Cash Cab?”
The first installment of “Cash Cab” ran from 2005 to 2012. Then, in 2017, the show and Ben Bailey returns to Discovery with a new spin. Not only will the unsuspecting passengers become instant contestants for a game show, but they’ll also be ambushed by America’s favorite celebs!
So, episodes of “Cash Cab” beginning from season 12 featured some of the top names in comedy, film, and TV. Some even get behind the wheel of the cab itself, picking up lucky passengers. Some of the celebrities who joined the passengers to answer questions included Brooke Shields, Friend’s Chandler Bing/Matthew Perry, NCIS New Orlean’s Scott Bakula, and comedians Gilbert Gottfried, Dave Foley, Jeff Garlin, and Susie Essman.
The following seasons continued with a “Shark Week” episode and more celebrity guests like the Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott. The list also includes Man vs Food host Casey Webb, TV show host Andrew Zimmern from “The Zimmern List,” the host of “Fast N’ Loud” Richard Rawlings, and “Million Dollar Listing New York’s” Fredrik Eklund.
The surprise appearance of celebrities certainly brought more fun and fanfare to the show. Although some contestants may say that they weren’t a lot of help when it came to answering questions, it was all in good fun.
About “Cash Cab’s” Emmy Award
“Cash Cab” won the Daytime Emmy Awards for Best Game Show in the years 2008, 2009, and 2010. And as a host of the show, Ben has been nominated six times for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host. He took home the awards in the years 2010, 2011, and 2013.
About “Cash Cab” Host Ben Bailey
Ben’s full name is Benjamin Ray Bailey. Like many others, Ben moved to Los Angeles for greener pastures. He was working as a bouncer at The Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip when he was offered a chance to perform on stage. Thus, began his career as a stand-up comedian. Ben has since performed at all the major comedy festivals like Montreal (Just For Laughs) and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You may also recognize his 6-foot, 6-inch frame in episodes of the TV series “MADtv,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, “Hope & Faith,” “30 Rock,” and “Unforgettable.”
He served as consulting producer for “Cash Cab” in 2009 and executive producer from 2011 to 2013. In addition, Ben lent his hosting prowess to several other series, including “Who’s Still Standing” for NBC, “Best in The Business” and “After the Catch” for Discovery. Plus, he narrated the series “Smash Lab,” also for the Discovery Channel.
You can go see Ben live when he takes his comedy shows on the road and tours different cities. Similarly, you can listen to his popular podcast “Tall But True” and watch his stand-up shows on his YouTube channel, Ben Bailey Comedy.
What Is Ben Bailey’s Net Worth?
Ben Bailey has an estimated net worth of $6 million.
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“Cash Cab” is such a fun way to test your trivia and pop culture knowledge. You don’t have to be a New Yorker to get in on the action. Play along with friends to see if you can double your winnings with the video bonus question, or get kicked out on the curb.
As of now, there’s no news if “Cash Cab” is canceled or renewed for another season. BuddyTV is your official site for the most up-to-date headlines and breaking news on your favorite shows! We stay on top of all the latest news, so you don’t have to.
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV