Well, I'm happy to report that dreams really do come true. I recently got the chance to take a ride in the Cash Cab, along with Christie Colaprico and Peyton Weiss, Bravo's social media director and social media manager, respectively, during one unseasonably warm day in early October — and it was every bit as wonderful as I imagined. (Check out our game in the above video!)
But of course, you never know it's the Cash Cab until you actually step inside of it. From the exterior, the vehicle looks like any taxi cruising around the Big Apple. It's not until you shut the door when the aforementioned fanfare begins and you notice Ben behind the wheel that you realize it's going to be a much more special — and potentially lucrative — cab ride.
And yes, Ben really is doing all of the driving, which means he has to maneuver around the always unpredictable New York City traffic, such as ambulances rushing by or disgruntled motorists honking their horns, both of which happened during our Cash Cab experience. "Despite all the crazy things we have to deal with out here, the traffic noise — I mean you guys just got a taste of that before you got in, like an ambulance siren and then someone honking behind them — it's been really hot, it stinks," Ben told The Daily Dish in an interview in the Cash Cab before taking us for a ride to play the game. "But despite all of that, we're having a blast out here. So that tells you something. And I think that'll come through."
That's just one part of Ben's job. Not only is he a chauffeur, but he's also a game show host, quizzing passengers on all things pop culture, which there's even more of in this new version on Bravo, airing Monday through Thursday, 11:30/10:30c and Sundays at 10:30/9:30c. "It's a thing that's complicated that you practice over and over and over, like a guitar or a drum set, even hitting a golf ball, I often liken it to that. There's a million things that you have to do exactly right to hit a golf ball straight. But if you think about one of them too much, you're gonna probably mess it up," Ben said of becoming the ultimate multitasker while at the helm of Cash Cab. "So you kind of have to get it all in your head and just let it happen."
This month, Cash Cab made its triumphant return to TV on Bravo for the first time, something Ben is "super psyched" about. "It feels like home," he said of getting back in the Cash Cab. "It's amazing what you can get used to. Everybody on the crew is doing a million different things, myself included. Right now, it just kind of comes naturally. We've worked on it for so long, it's evolved into this machine. We're out here just cranking out fun, giving money away."
Ben put our knowledge of everything from celebrity-owned businesses to cinematic treasures to the test during our Cash Cab ride, asking us questions starting at a value of $50 each, then $100, and finally $200. Answer correctly, and green lights and a giant dollar sign flash on the ceiling of the car. But get a question wrong, and you'll see red with a big old X above you. This Bravo team was made up of trivia queens, so we didn't see any red Xs during our time in the Cash Cab. NBD.
That's right, Christie, Peyton, and I answered all six of our questions correctly, earning a total of $700. This game of Cash Cab was just for fun, so we didn't walk away from the taxi with any money in our hands. But we did come away with probably the greatest day of work ever, as well as a big check on our bucket lists.
I'd like to think we handled the pressure of being in the Cash Cab quite well, looking all calm, cool, and collected as Ben threw each question at us. That's more than we can say for some of the Bravolebs who will be appearing on the game show, which includes Fredrik Eklund, Ryan Serhant, and Captain Sandy Yawn.
"They all seem to have a good time. Everybody's like, 'Oh, yeah, it's gonna be fun,' and then when they're sitting there in the answer seat, where you are right now, you can see that they're kind of like, 'Oh, boy. I hope I do well.' And they all did, and they were all very entertaining," Ben said of welcoming Bravolebs to the Cash Cab. "They were great games. It seems like it's been nothing but great games throughout, with or without the Bravolebrities — which is a word I'm getting used to saying."
If this were a typical game of Cash Cab, Ben would have asked Christie, Peyton, and myself if we'd like the chance to double our earnings by answering one video bonus question correctly once we got to our destination. But if we got the question wrong, we would have walked away with nothing.
This is one dilemma Ben never has to face as the person who's always making the offer. Even though it's a risky move, Ben told The Daily Dish that he'd probably take the gamble because when else are you going to be in the Cash Cab, after all? "I think I probably would. I think I'd probably go for it. A lot of people get to that point, and they really don't know what to do. Often they say, 'You know what, we're only gonna be in the Cash Cab once. You don't get to do it again,' so they end up going for it, and I think I would probably employ that same philosophy," he said. "This is only gonna happen once, so let's do it. Let's go for it."
Once our ride came to an end, it was time for the Cash Cab to roll on as it always does, ready to pick up new passengers and give out loads of dough. But a girl can dream that she'll find it again someday, can't she?
Learn how to ace the game if you're ever lucky enough to find yourself in the Cash Cab, below.
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