Thursday, October 16, 2008

cashed out

I love Cash Cab. Sure, the questions are terribly easy, but there's just something undeniably awesome about the format, getting the true everyman on a game show without any sort of pretense. Well, that's what I thought. You see, I'd always questioned just how the whole thing worked, specifically, what happens when someone gets in the cab and wants to go 10 blocks as opposed to the 30+ the show dictates? I generated two theories: one, that there was some sort of specialized cab stand that ensured only people traveling long distances would get in the Cash Cab, or two, that were such a situation to arise he would just behave like a regular taxi (this is my favorite of the two). However, all that glistens is not gold, as I learned from that bastion of knowledge that is the AV Club comment board. Take it away Logoboros:

My brother and two of his friends were on Cash Cab. His appearance was filmed before the show had started airing, so it's possible they've changed up their process now that they're past the pilot stage. But they were "preselected" -- a woman with a clipboard came up to them (on the subway, if I remember correctly) and asked if they wanted to be filmed for something like a man-on-the-street interview about New York. They agreed, and were told to go to a certain corner, where a producer flagged a cab that they were told to ask to go to a specific address that would be the filming location. Then they found out they were on a game show. So, they were selected out of a crowd, but they were hardly auditioned, and they were genuinely not expecting to be part of a game show. However, they weren't just flagging a cab as part of business as usual. Of course, as I said, it's possible now that the show is more firmly established that they have an even more open mechanism for picking up contestants.
Yes, I know, the preselection here is rather clever and does little to diminish the surprise of being in the Cash Cab, but I can't help but be a little disappointed. Will I keep watching? Of course, if only because I'm really attracted to Ben Bailey.

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