Slipping back into his the role of lead cabbie on “Cash Cab” felt like “putting on a comfortable, old pair of jeans” for host Ben Bailey.
The New York City-set game show that had Bailey spending his afternoons sitting in traffic awaiting tourists and locals alike to hail his disco-themed cab is slated to make its Discovery Channel debut (take two) Dec. 4.
“I was excited when they first announced it . . . One game into filming I was like, ‘did we ever stop?’ ” Bailey joked.
The host, 47, spent seven years on the series when it first aired, but the city was quite a different place back then. When it premiered in 2005, Lyft, Uber and other ride-sharing and transportation apps weren’t even a thought on a New Yorker’s mind. Returning with a reboot on the cusp of 2018, fans were left wondering how and if the current cityscape would impact the series.
If you were picturing Bailey as that cool Uber driver who becomes your new BFF, think again.
“Pretty much every day someone suggests to me that I should do the show with Uber, but we didn’t actually seriously consider that,” Bailey said. “We just went right back to the old New York City cab.”
Keeping in line with the cabbie tradition, “Cash Cab” will also return with its classic call-out-the-window helpline, but a few changes will be added to the mix.
Passengers stumped on questions will also be able to use a phone, text or social media lifeline. And, as if running into the “Cash Cab” wasn’t exciting enough as is, some passengers will be sharing their cabs with celebrities — like “Friends” star Matthew Perry, “Law and Order: SVU’s” Brooke Shields and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actor Jeff Garlin.
As awesome as hopping into a cab with Matthew Perry would be, the real celeb you’d want on your side during the show is Bailey himself, who’s become a trivia connoisseur over the years.
“I’ve learned so much from hosting ‘Cash Cab,’” he admitted. “I have so much useless trivia knowledge in my head at this point. It’s all kind of jumbled up in there.”
Bailey admitted he’s briefed on the questions before he quizzes the passenger to help things go smoothly. But before being handed the answers, the host does try to answer himself.
“Sometimes I get them all, sometimes I strike out in the first five questions. It just depends on what you get,” he said, proceeding to throw out the “hardest” trivia question he’s ever come across (and his favorite).
When people ask “me to quiz them, I always say, ‘What was the name of Alexander the Great’s horse? No one has ever known it yet, which is the point. It’s ridiculous and I don’t know why anyone would.”
The answer: Bucephalus.