Canadian Built: Cabbie Richards
Cabbie Richards has carved out his own personal dream job where he is able to be apart of the sports world while adding his signature dose of fun. The host and personality of “Cabbie Presents” ensures each sketch based segment is a carefree perspective on the professional athletes he interviews. Embracing absurdity, his take on sports journalism allows each interview to be filled with laughter and authenticity. We traded roles with Cabbie to ask him the questions for a change, regardless of which side of the interview he is on there is no lack of his signature wit and charm.
Tell us about yourself.
A textbook overachiever with heavy shades of rhinoceros. An average dude with a dream job. Personal space is optional.
What brought you into this industry?
Gravitated towards sports as my favourite escape, realizing there wasn’t enough talent inside this chubby body to compete professionally, so the next best thing was to work in the industry that broadcasted, featured and profiled the talented ones. I am one of millions that suck at sports, but immerse myself in them.
What’s your favourite thing about what you do/your industry?
Like an Olympic podium, there are 3 levels. Bronze: Full creativity to entertain audiences with athletes, actors and entertainers. If someone really likes an interview, then it was probably my producer Dave Krikst’s contribution or editor Owen Ewers making a change/suggestion. Silver: Having a dream job at the leader in sports in Canada. TSN is an iconic network and having the iconic Kobe Bryant on TSN mapping out the exterior glass case where I’ll live in his personal museum is a dream with a shade of nightmare. Gold: Getting millionaires to laugh and not like, “everyone laughs at the rich guy or the boss’ jokes” type of laugh. When the athletes laugh at a question or something stupid coming out of my mouth or a silly prop, that’s my favourite part of the job.
"I am one of millions that suck at sports, but immerse myself in them."
How do you come up with the skits and interview styles you have? What’s the process?
Fear and stress. Also, there’s a conversation with my producer Dave Krikst about an athlete and we consider three things: What hasn’t the athlete done before? What are they willing to do? What can I get away with on TSN? From there, we brainstorm separately and combine ideas the day before a shoot. And there’s still stress.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you during your career?
TIE. Craziest things that happened to me during my career, I had no real business doing. Kobe Bryant invited me to fly to Lakers practice in his personal helicopter. I am the only member of the media to fly in his helicopter. Pretty sure cookie crumbs were left in the back seat. In 2008, Chris Osgood (winning goaltender of the Detroit Red Wings) held the Stanley Cup to my lips and I drank champagne from it. I did not earn, will I ever earn the privilege of drinking from the most famous trophy in Canada’s history. Years later, I ate Cap’n Crunch (2012), Lucky Charms and M&Ms (2014) out of that same Stanley Cup. My brother Mike Richards is to blame for those ones. Don’t tell mom.
What does it mean to be Canadian?
To be Canadian means to be respected, adored and slightly weird.
What sets Canadians apart, be they professional athletes or fans, from the rest of the world?
Canadians sets themselves apart by being compassionate, cool and completely down for whatever. Have you ever traveled abroad, met Canadians that didn’t offer to buy you a drink, didn’t share something with you or didn’t want to do the most dangerous thing everyone else was doing? Hasn’t happened in recorded history.
What's the most accurate Canadian stereotype you've come across?
The most accurate Canadian stereotype is that women in Canada are beautiful. ACCURATE. Been falling in love with them since my birth at Mt. Sinai Hospital. There’s also this thing about hockey, but the women though…
"Canadians sets themselves apart by being compassionate, cool and completely down for whatever."
Outside of sports, what’s something you’re passionate about and would spend your time doing?
Need to spend more time creating lifetime experiences and memories for others. Love seeing videos where kids or communities are surprised by athletes or brands repairing, rebuilding or refurbishing playing fields, parks or anywhere we kids can live active lifestyles together.
If you could pick one place in Canada to visit, where would it be?
I only want to live in Toronto. Yes, “classic centre of the universe, d-bag” attitude. You’ll get over it.
What makes you most proud to be Canadian?
Feel proudest about Canada because this is a country of inclusion. When there are global crises, citizens fleeing conflicts can come here to build new lives. This is very important. Also, Canada invented ketchup chips. That shouldn’t go unmentioned. Lastly, we need a to start a campaign that identifies Canadians as the ones that invented kissing. Perhaps hire a US firm to do it. Canadians aren’t good at self-promotion.
Toronto is the centre of Cabbies universe and a place that has allowed him to pursue his passion for sport while incorporating an aspect of hilarity. He is the embodiment of the easy-going, fun loving Canadian, a person we are proud represents our country on the international stage. His personality is infectious and the effortless nature of each segment is what makes people drawn to him. We can’t wait to watch as Cabbie continues to bring his carefree charm to the sports industry. His charisma and humour allow his interviewees to open up and feel relaxed as if they are talking to a friend rather than a journalist, and that is exactly how we felt.