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Taxi! With the return of Discovery’s vehicular quiz show, Cash Cab, we hailed a ride around New York City’s Upper West Side with Emmy-winning host Ben Bailey to pose a few of our own burning questions.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So is this the original Cash Cab we’re sitting in?
BEN BAILEY: No, it’s a new old one. I have the original in my garage. My neighbors are like, “Are you a cab driver?!”
Do you ever take it out for a spin?
Once in a while. Get people excited just to disappoint them.
What sort of reputation do you have among New York City’s cabbies?
If they drive a minivan cab they generally have a complaint, because they say people will hail them and see that it’s not me and then wave them on! [Laughs]
After a five-year hiatus, why do you think the time is right for Cash Cab‘s return?
So many shows on TV are so heavy. News programs are very stressful these days. Most of the scripted stuff involves murder, death, and crime. I think what’s important about shows like Cash Cab is that [they] are light and fun and a break from all that other stuff.
This incarnation includes celebrity guests like Matthew Perry and Brooke Shields. Who has been the most hopeless star when it comes to trivia?
There was one celebrity who didn’t actually give a single answer. I don’t want to say his name, but I will — it was Gilbert Gottfried. He was hilarious, but he was pretty much zero help.
What percentage cut of Carpool Karaoke do you feel James Corden owes you?
[Laughs] 100 percent! Everything he’s made should be mine! I’m flattered. It seems like Cash Cab sort of brought about this whole new genre of TV where people are shooting shows in cars. I don’t want to name any others — Jerry Seinfeld — but I think it’s great. I have no problem with it.
In all your years doing the show, what’s been your most memorable fare?
There was a family from Bowling Green, Kentucky — which is where I was born — that struck out. I asked them a question about Star Wars: What’s the peacekeeping organization that has the ranks of Padawan and Knight? The answer is Jedi. Their guess after a lot of deliberation: Space Invaders! [Laughs] I’ll never forget that.
You’ve won three Daytime Emmys for hosting Cash Cab. Can you please outline your plan to dethrone reigning winner Steve Harvey?
Easy, it’s already in action. Just started making this show again. I’m going to run him right out.
Cash Cab‘s return premieres Monday, Dec. 4, at 10 p.m. on Discovery.