CABRAL "CABBIE" RICHARDS
TV HOST. COMEDIAN. SPORTS FAN.
You have a great collection of Diesel watches. You once posted a photo of them in which you tagged us, and our Instagram nearly exploded! What do you like about them, and why do you wear them?
The Diesel brand has a ton of variety in the styles, from the watch faces to the bands to the oversized dials. They fit my personality, which leans towards bold and loud. “Bold” and “loud” are the polite words people use when describing my work. It’s code for obnoxious.
What’s an average day in the life of Cabbie like?
The average day involves brainstorming for a future interview, while prepping an edit for a current one. In the morning, there’s a scramble, racking my brain coming up with questions for a shoot or heading to the airport or finding a library to prepare edit notes for my editor. Every Friday, a new Cabbie Presents segment airs on SportsCentre, so every week, I’m editing or shooting, and often both. Most of the athletes that appear in the segment don’t play in Toronto, so I’m on a plane once a week flying somewhere to annoy one of the best athletes in the world. I’ll mix in a Jays or Raptors game from time to time, but generally the evenings are spent at TSN editing the next Cabbie Presents.
Other than crushing tacos at Speakeasy 21, what do you tend to do with your free time?
Somewhere between 1 and 3 a.m. is when the binge watching gets done: Ray Donovan, Atlanta, Narcos, Game of Thrones, Vice Principals, Silicon Valley, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, 60 Minutes . . . the PVR is in full effect. Occasionally, I’ll mix in a workout, but let’s be honest—tacos taste way better than burpees.
You describe your style as “Entertain first, inform second,” which is why you’re always cracking up your interviewees. Viewers have also laughed along as you rode kids’ tricycles, got pied in the face, and got dunk-tanked by their favourite athletes or celebs. To this day, which moment makes you laugh the hardest?
Good question . . . any kind of pain makes me laugh. Mike Tyson rubbing Vaseline on my face is worth a good chuckle. Even though it wasn’t physically painful, emotionally, there may have been trauma. He’s the best. David Ortiz, the Red Sox slugger, has a distinct full-barrel laugh that gets me every time. Generally, when the athlete is laughing, it’s truly the most enjoyable.
The activities that you do with your guests are definitely an awesome alternative to the usual “How hard did you sports?” interviews, not to mention they put them at ease. How do you come up with these ideas? Are there any that have completely crashed and burned?
HAHA. “How hard did you sports?” gave me a legit belly laugh. Have some crashed and burned? 100%. When Jonah Hill was in Toronto promoting the movie War Dogs about arms dealers in Miami, things went sideways. He plays a gun-toting, foul-mouthed d-bag. Kills the role. In the interview, I brought a toy Nerf gun and asked him to shoot my target, which was a cookie with the Toronto Blue Jays logo on it. Hill politely states that he’s anti-guns and doesn’t want to do anything with guns. This was very confusing. A. I’m holding an orange Nerf gun. It’s a toy. B. The movie is about arms dealers that sell guns. Needless to say, that part of the interview was left on the cutting-room floor ’cause it was so bad. Coming up with ideas is not easy. There’s stress, a bag of Ruffles, and a conversation with my producer Dave Krikst, and after that, some ideas emerge.
What moment in your entire career stands out the most to you?
Tough question . . . I’m really blessed, man. Gaining the trust of certain athletes and becoming friends outside of work is special to me. As far as highlights go . . . hugging Michael Jordan for seven or eight long seconds is on the Mount Rushmore.
Is there anything you would go back in time and change?
Yes, I’d go back far enough to befriend Louis CK, Conan O’Brien, and Chris Rock and absorb their collective genius. Think about how funny the Kobe interviews would be.
So, what’s next for Cabbie?
I’m just trying to make it.