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STUDIO Entertainment One
RUNNING TIME 61 minutes
• Outtake: Somebody Say Hoo?
• Photo Shoot
• The Big Walk
• Cash Cab Blues
You know the guy from Cash Cab? He’s a comedian. A pretty damn good one.
Ben Bailey, the Emmy® Award winning host of Cash Cab and Cash Cab: After Dark, stars in Road Rage, his first live one-hour comedy event taped in New York City. Bailey shares what he’s learned about life with a humorous look at everything from unemployment to ornithology.
Ben Bailey is a funny, funny man. You might recognize him as the host of the US version of Cash Cab, the trivia-based game show that took place in a New York taxi. The show began airing on the Discovery Channel in 2006, but only recently ended.
Bailey is, without a doubt, one of the biggest key factors in Cash Cab‘s success. He was pervasively funny, ever-so-slightly sardonic, and always sympathetic to the poor unlucky schmucks he had to kick out of the cab. He even won an Emmy for his work on the show.
Road Rage is a very funny hour of stand-up comedy, but is an obvious attempt to build a larger audience for Bailey using his Cash Cab notoriety. There’s nothing wrong with that, really, but the vehicular game show looms heavily over this comedy special. Just look at the cover art.
Bailey is playing it safe here, with minimal profanity and non-controversial material. It’s as if the people who signed his Discovery Channel paychecks were standing just off-stage with disapproving looks on their faces. A good portion of the material is about Cash Cab, which comes as no surprise, because comedians write about what’s going on in their lives. When a comedian spends countless hours driving a taxi while reading questions to contestants, that’s bound to make a significant impact on their material. Luckily, the material is pretty damn funny.
His non-Cash Cab bits range from the persistence of Google to the plight of flightless birds. His funniest bit in this special is the chronicle of him being kept awake by an owl outside his window. It sounds dumb when I describe it, but trust me when I say the eventual payoff is piss-your-pants funny. Another bit about medicine cabinet manners had me cracking up. Again, it sounds dumb, but Bailey really excels at taking the mundane and making it absurd and hilarious.
If I do have any big criticisms of Road Rage, it’s that the material sounds just a bit too rehearsed. That tells me that Bailey has been using this material for a bit too long. Don’t get me wrong, I like the material just fine, but I bet Bailey used what little free time he had to write some fresh stuff after this. If you search his name on YouTube, you’ll find his other material is just as funny. Sure, there’s a little more “fuck” and “shit” scattered around, but that’s more my style.
Now that Cash Cab is over, Ben Bailey is now free to disconnect himself from the brand a bit. He can finally step out from behind the steering wheel and get on stage. He has the opportunity to vary his material, and get a bit more blue (raunchy) with his comedy. That being said, I can’t wait for his next one-hour special.
The video and audio quality on this disc are right where they should be. Dolby 2.0 Stereo is just fine. It’s stand-up comedy, not a Criterion release. Got it?
The extras are a bit odd, and only a few are worth checking out. The best extra on the disc features Bailey returning to the stage and explaining to the audience that he messed up a joke earlier in his set. They proceed to re-shoot the joke, which is an interesting look at how comedy specials are made. The disc also features a six-minute performance from Bailey and his blues band. The other three featurettes on the disc are all under a minute long, and are pretty skippable.
Folks, the bottom line is this: If you thought the “Cash Cab Guy” was funny, you were right. Road Rage… and Accidental Ornithology is currently available on DVD and Netflix Instant.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars