Cash Cab Mondegreens

Ben Bailey of Cash CabI like Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab show, and I like host Ben Bailey, who drives a cab all over New York City while he asks brain-teaser trivia questions – for cash.

Ben always begins the game by explaining that the first questions are worth $25, then $50, and finally $100 each if you survive the “three strikes” rule that long. Once, I heard Ben say, “as the stinks get higher …“.

I’m sure Ben said, “as the stakes get higher …”. Unfortunately, Ben tends to mumble at critical moments in question delivery. I heard “stinks“!

A mondegreen is a mishearing of a statement, poem or song lyric such that the listener hears something other than what was said, usually humorous. Kids are great for coming up with mondegreens, because they can’t parse what they hear with the benefit of adult education and experience. Adults in quizzes might well behave the same way, because by definition both question and answer might be totally new to them. A famous mondegreen revolves around God’s first name, “Andy”, from the verse “Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am his own …”

Some of Ben Bailey’s other mondegreens (as heard by yours truly):

  • George W. Bush has 15 cabinet physicians. Washington had only four. What were they? [Secretary of State, Attorney General, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Treasury]. Gee, I bet Ben meant Cabinet positions.
  • In Greek mythology, what was the name of the fabulous wooden horse? [Pegasus – that would be winged horse].
  • What sport uses the term “ombalay“? [Rock climbing – the term is on belay.]
  • and my favorite:

  • What tree was signed in 1919 that ended World War I? [The Versailles Treaty]
  • 1,813 total views, 1 views today