The classic New York City taxi-based game show, Cash Cab, has been an American staple since it debuted in 2005. The show is so popular that host Ben Bailey claims his iconic cab has been followed by fans desperate to get their chance to answer rapid-fire trivia questions in order to win a fabulous cash prize. Some people, however, do whatever it takes to avoid getting filmed on the show, and their reasons for their hasty retreats vary wildly.
Ben Bailey is all too familiar with the extreme lengths people will go through to get a chance to appear on his hit game show Cash Cab. Speaking with Channel Guide magazine, Bailey dished some behind-the-scenes secrets that shed light on some of the ridiculous antics prospective contestants got up to.
“Usually later in our shooting season, when word has gotten out that we’re out on the street, people are out there looking for us, and they’re trying to get me,” Bailey explained. They don’t always just rely on catching Bailey’s cab by coincidence, he added. “Sometimes they’re following us around in their cars, and they try to wait for me to stop, and then they park and try to run up and hail me.” Unfortunately for these eager game show hopefuls, the cab always heads to a different location after dropping people off to get another game started.
Not everyone’s so eager to be seen on TV, however. Bailey has witnessed quite a few hasty retreats over his career as host of Cash Cab. “Once in a great while somebody gets in there and goes, ‘Oh, no. I can’t do this,’” Bailey said. He recalled one rider who quickly exited the cab and claimed that they were part of the witness protection program, so they’d obviously be unable to participate and have their face appear on TV.
Who knows if that excuse was actually true, but not everyone has a morally upright reason for declining the opportunity to appear on television. “Several times we’ve had a couple get in and then say they couldn’t play because they were not actually a couple, if you know what I mean,” Bailey explained suggestively.
Perhaps these “couples” knew someone back home who’d be quite upset to see their partner out with someone else. With a city as big as New York, and with as many out-of-town visitors and tourists, Bailey has probably run into all sorts of different scenarios. That’s part of what makes the game such fun to watch, so it must be quite the hoot to host.