‘Cash Cab’ host Ben Bailey ready to return to his comedy roots

“Cash Cab” has been a driving force in Ben Bailey’s career, but he loves returning to the spot where his showbiz journey began: the comedy stage.

The 47-year-old New Jersey native got his start as a comedian when he was 21. He moved to Los Angeles and worked at a comedy club before packing up and heading to New York to perform stand-up.

“There were a lot of challenges starting off,” he says. “I never saw it becoming a job when I was younger. But the first time I stepped on stage, I knew.”

Bailey says he originally wanted to work in movies and if he hadn’t made it as an entertainer, he’d probably be a carpenter. Or an artist. “Something creative,” he says.

When he’s not on the road doing stand-up, you might find him on the street. Or, rather, he might find you. As host and executive producer of game-show-on-the-go “Cash Cab,” Bailey turns unsuspecting New York City taxi passengers into contestants answering trivia questions for cash prizes.

The Discovery Channel rebooted the show last year after it originally ran from 2005 to 2012.

“It feels great to have it back and it’s been awesome,” Bailey said. “The reception we got from people on the street in New York was amazing.”

Bailey performs Friday at Green Valley Ranch Resort.

Review-Journal: You’ve performed here in Vegas a few times and a few episodes of “Cash Cab” were recorded in Las Vegas. What’s your favorite thing to do when you come to town?

Bailey: That’s a tough question for me, because I’m not a gambler and I don’t really go to shows. I do always try to find a new, awesome golf course to play. I played the course at the Wynn last time I was there. Another time I played at Shadow Creek. It’s this awesome course like 45 minutes from Vegas. It’s amazing. I like to find a cool little bar to have a drink at, too. And walk around.

What can fans expect to see at your show?

My new hour of stand-up material that’s ready to become a new special. Pretty clean and very funny.

Most of your performances are pretty clean — minimal profanity.

I swear when I talk, so sometimes I swear on stage, but not a lot. Definitely not word after word. Stand-up is as much about the writing as it is the jokes. I love the writing aspect of it. If you sit down and you write something and you try to make it quality writing, it’s not going to have (expletive) in it every other word. Probably won’t be in there at all.

What’s your creative process before writing?

I don’t have any ritual to get me there, but usually — either my jokes and ideas are flowing or they’re not. If I’m in a bad mood or stressed out, it’s definitely not happening. Other than that, it’s kind of happening all the time. I just have to write down the ideas as they come in. Or they’re gone. From there, I choose which ideas I think are good and then I work on them and expand them, make them into something.

“Cash Cab” has been airing since 2005 on and off. How does it feel to be back? How do you keep it interesting?

The reception we got from people on the street in New York was amazing. Everyone is so excited to have us back — that alone was worth it. The games are a lot longer now. We have a couple different camera angles. We have social media shoutout. We spend a little more time trying to get to know the contestants.

Are you a trivia person yourself?

Yeah, I am. I am a bit of a trivia nerd. I always watched “Jeopardy” at my house when I was younger.

What’s one of your most memorable experiences or reactions from passengers in the cab?

This time around, a guy got so excited that he started throwing himself up over the top of the seat. This huge enormous man was doing dolphin dives over the seats. He and his wife at one point when they were celebrating they were so excited that she head-butted him in the nose and we had to pull over because we thought he might’ve broken his nose. But he was OK.

Contact Mia Sims at msims@reviewjournal.com. Follow @miasims___ on Twitter.

Tim Burton's imaginative artwork coming to Las Vegas
Tim Burton's imaginative artwork coming to Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Spring Preserve kicks off its Holiday Express
Springs Preserve hosts its Holiday Express, which includes a train ride, visits with Santa, SNOW, and a village winter wonderland.
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like