Cash Cab is a TV quiz show that originated in the United Kingdom and played there for two seasons. The show was hosted by John Moody. Unsuspected customers enter the cab and they are greeted with alarm-like sounds and flashing lights. They are told immediately that they in are in the Cash Cab, a “cab like no other.” Moody’s dialogue is unscripted but during his introduction he tells the riders that instead of handing me a fare when you get out, if you use your brains and answer his questions you may be payed a lot of money. There is a downside, as a game show, you get three lives, each time you miss a question you lose a life. If you lose 3 lives, Moody stops the Cab, any money made is lost and contestants have to get out and walk the rest of the way! For some reason, the UK version of Cash Cab did not last.
Comedian Ben Bailey started the US Cash Cab on Discovery, achieved a certain amount of popularity and now it is on Bravo. Cash Cab with Ben Bailey has apparently spawned a lot of versions in other countries.
In terms of game shows, Cash Cab generally involves a few thousand dollars a show. It’s not exactly high stakes TV. It is more earthy than most shows, and seems a little closer to real life, riding down the street in a cab, the involvement with mostly contestants that are not screened in advance. Contestants have the opportunity to use lifelines, the US version seems more stringent that the UK version, but smartphones are part of the play today.
It struck me that Cash Cab can be loosely viewed as a kind of metaphor for our lifetime and the afterlife that follows. People might suggest that it is a bit undignified for such a metaphor, but I was struck by this as I thought about it. Contestants must be willing to be faithful. If they have no faith, they get out of the cab before the ride begins. Their answers reflect their own knowledge, and those of friends who they phone. It can even rely on random people they ask who are walking along the street. There is a communal sense of life in the Cash Cab. The riches or the prize can be viewed as salvation and the Cab ride is in a sense our pilgrimage or our journey. Cash Cab riders often show their human side although they may have entered with a display of control and pride. By the end of the ride, they are often seen in their most human selves.
I find metaphors most useful as we make our way through life. At Sporting Chance Press, we often look at sports as a metaphor for life lessons and our pilgrimage through life. Sporting Chance Press publishes the Sports and Faith series books written by Patrick McCaskey that can seen on this website.
Of all our books on Sports and Faith, I think our Pilgrimage book is the most appropriate one for folks thinking about their journey through life and their road to salvation.