For over 10 years, Ben Bailey has been best known as the host of Cash Cab, the gameshow where unsuspecting, real people have to answer Bailey’s questions for a chance at big money.
But what they may not know is that he’s been an accomplished standup comedian for over 25 years.
“I’d love for people to know me as much from my standup as they do from Cash Cab,” he says. “But Cash Cab gets them in the door.”
This weekend, he’ll be putting the cab on blocks and setting up shop at New Hope Cinema Grill for four shows. For those who may know the name but haven’t seen his standup, don’t worry. You aren’t alone.
“A lot of times people see someone who they recognize from television, and they assume he’s trying standup to make some extra cash,” Bailey explains. “They yell out stuff at the shows like ‘Red Light Challenge!’ or just ‘Cash Cab!’ or pretty much anything that has to do with the show. It’s flattering, but it can also get a little annoying. But once people come and see me they realize that I’m a standup first.”
But that’s not to say he doesn’t embrace his Cash Cab fame. In fact, the show has become a worldwide franchise, with more than 50 international versions of the show, filmed everywhere from China to Slovenia. And each program has its own Ben Bailey.
“It’s crazy because the shows have actually taken jokes and questions from our scripts and translated them for other countries,” he explains. “Seeing people who are impersonating you is flattering and funny, but it’s a little weird.”
Aside from his standup and Cab life, Bailey is also an actor, having appeared on shows including 30 Rock and Law & Order. He plans on growing his acting resume.
“I was very motivated to do television or movies, and I’m just now refocusing my attention on that once again.”
Just recently he created a video short, called Badly Written Action Man (B.W.A.M.), showing off his character work as well as his talents behind the camera.
“Comedy has become my day job that allows me to pursue other things,” he explains.
At the end of the day, he’s still a comic first and foremost, and with his shows this weekend and a new Netflix special coming out this spring, he’s ready to introduce new fans to his standup, and show Cash Cab fans that there’s more to Bailey than the guy they see behind the wheel.
IF YOU GO:
New Hope Cinema Grill
7 & 9:30 p.m. Feb. 22-23