Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cash Cab minus Ben

Discovery is bringing back Cash Cab. Usually this would gladden my aged heart, but there are a couple of real question marks.

First, Ben Bailey is nowhere to be found. This is a toughie, because the rubber-faced Ben was such a crucial ingredient in the original run. When Discovery tried a variant of the show with some other driver in Chicago, it flopped worse than Heaven's Gate.

Second, the new version will sometimes feature guest celebs behind the wheel. Uh-oh, such supposed star power could mean overly media-wise people faking reactions. Even worse, the reactions could look fake. A big part of the charm of the original was that Ben seemed honestly happy or rueful, depending on the outcome of his inquisition.

I know, I'm sounding like an old grump wishing for the good old days of, what, five years ago when Cash Cab went to the Nielsen chop shop. The new show might be just great, with a terrific host and occasional celebs adding to the attraction. At least the original is now on GSN for comparison purposes.

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