‘Cash Cab,’ TV’s Quiz Show in a Taxi, Ending Its Run

Ben Bailey, host of "Cash Cab" (Photo: Discovery)

Discovery Channel’s “Cash Cab” is going off duty.

The quiz-show-in-a-taxi series is turning on its “Off Duty” lights permanently now that it’s been cancelled after seven years and nearly 200 episodes, according to this story on the pop-culture Web site known as Vulture.com.

A Discovery Channel rep confirmed the story.

“Cash Cab” was a unique and well-loved quiz show, even if its scheduling — generally in late afternoons on Discovery and in other odd time periods — made it difficult to find for some.

In “Cash Cab,” amiable comedian Ben Bailey served as the New York City cab driver (possibly the world’s nicest) and host whose passengers would suddenly become game-show contestants after he would inform them they were riding in the “Cash Cab” and could win hundreds of dollars by answering a series of trivia questions in the time it would take for them to reach their destinations.

Were the passengers unsuspecting? That’s long been a subject of debate, with some observers insisting that the “passengers” were vetted or “cast” in advance. That question never diminished the fun for viewers watching this easy-to-take quiz show at home.

The easy-to-duplicate concept led to Las Vegas- and Chicago-based spinoffs, plus various versions in cities around the world.

“Cash Cab” won the respect of the TV industry too. As the Vulture story points out, the show won Best Game Show Emmys in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and Bailey won for Best Host in 2010 as well.

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