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Toronto Through the Eyes of Cabral "Cabbie" Richards

Posted by Kelly Anderson / January 3, 2010

Cabbie on the StreetFor those familiar with the interview stylings of Cabral "Cabbie" Richards from The Score, you can imagine what it's like to interview him. The TV personality who rose from an internship to become "Cabbie on the Street," the hyper-hugger interviewer of many NBA and NHL stars, is as energetic and off-the-cuff in person as he is in his television segments.

After rapid-fire apologies for a Score taping that ran late and a quick check of my handwriting, Richards finally settled into talking about the select downtown zone he spends his time in, and what he'd do as a hypothetical Toronto tour guide for his frequent interview subject, Kobe Bryant.

What neighbourhood do you live in?

King West.

What are your favourite parts of the city?

I like the downtown core -- my little zone is Lakeshore to Bloor and Dufferin to Yonge. I don't like the suburbs. The only time I get out of my zone is when I'm off to the airport or to my boy's place at Yonge and Finch, where we have dude nights watching Taser videos on YouTube or anything involving the word "fail" -- like "driver fail" or "stripper fail." Yep, that's it... I'm a loser.

What's your relationship like with the city as a TV personality?

Because my show was originally called Cabbie on the Street, when I started, I was all over the city. I would just go and bombard random people in any neighbourhood. We would go to Yonge and Eglinton; we'd go to the Danforth or Bloor West, basically anywhere.

Now when I travel, I definitely rep Toronto. I don't do as much stuff out on the street anymore, but I'm always repping. I'm still Cabbie on the Street.

Are you surprised by how far you've come at the Score, starting as an intern and now interviewing people like Kobe Bryant?

Yeah, it's pretty shocking... especially for someone who doesn't have that much talent. All I do is talk. It's been a pretty cool process.

You know how they say you're supposed to enjoy the ride? I actually just get caught up in what I have to do next. What's my next interview? I'm always asking that question. I don't really spend that much time smelling the roses, because then you just get to thinking about the cool stuff you've done, and I think that's a little weird... like "I did this and I did that." I'm just want to know what time is lunch?

What's been your favourite interview so far?

Probably the number of Kobe Bryant interviews I've done, but I interviewed Michael Jordan this year, and that was a landmark for me. Jordan was a childhood idol of mine, and getting to interview him and make him laugh was great. I even hugged him.

How many times have you interviewed Kobe?

I've interviewed Kobe 12 to 14 times. The last time I interviewed him was at the NBA Finals, and I got a one-on-one with him, which was very difficult... but I got it. Before that one, we were in a limo. But look out for the next one... it's so cool. We're going to air it around the end of the NBA All-Star Game, so February-ish.

Kobe BryantIf you were Kobe's tour guide for one day in Toronto, where would you take him?

I'd probably take him to the CN Tower because I doubt he's ever been up there, and it's one of the defining structures of our country, even though it's really touristy.

I'd bring him here to the Score. We'd go check out Body Worlds at the Science Centre if it was still on. There'd be a fat guy, and I'd be like, "Kobe, this guy's like me! And this dude's like you!"

I'd take him to my sushi joint, Asuka in Yorkville, and we'd go to look for kicks too. We'd go to Good Life Goodfoot or Stolen Riches.

Our other meal would be at a Thai food place. We could go to Golden Thai on Church Street or a place around the corner from me on Queen Street called Sweet Lulu -- it's a tiny place, but the food's so good.

As for nighttime, it would depend on what day of the week it was. Say he comes on a Saturday, then we'd be going to Jezebel. That's where we'd party. When I go out it's always a tour of spots, so I'll hit Pravda or Foundation Room and then end it at Jezebel. So we'd do some variation of that.

We would finish by eating Chinese food at The Garden, which is at University and Dundas. That's late night, after 3:00 a.m.

Who would you like to meet that you haven't met yet?

There's the holy trinity: MJ [Michael Jordan], Tiger Woods and David Beckham, so [having knocked Jordan off the list], that leaves Tiger and Beckham. And above those three, I'd also like to meet Obama and Oprah... O squared. Those two are above the holy trinity.


If you could ask Tiger Woods one question right now, what would it be?

I wouldn't ask him the obvious one, like "Why are you so dumb?"

You know the thing about Tiger is that nobody really knows that much about the dude. We know some of his dirt now, but before that, he was just an awesome golfer, a global brand... the end.

Maybe I would ask him, "Tiger, can you tell us about you please?" or "What are you going to do now? What's the plan?" I'd probably ask him about himself.


Are there any athletes that see you and turn around?

Yeah. LeBron James is one. There's a certain reaction sometimes when I walk in a locker room or dressing room that's like "aw man, here he comes." Whenever I see [Alexander] Ovechkin, he's like "What are you doing here?" Ovechkin doesn't actually run, but I get that "aw man" reaction. LeBron runs.

Sidney Crosby and CabbieYou've interviewed Canadian icons like Sidney Crosby but also non-athlete celebrities like Jay-Z and Will Ferrell. Who are some other celebrities you'd like to meet?

It would be awesome to get Jack Nicholson because no one ever talks to him. There's this rule at the Staples Centre that nobody can talk to Jack.

I'd like to interview George Clooney and Brad Pitt, who I call the kings of the Earth. Those dudes are just like Oceans 11 in real life. As cool as that movie is... that's also them in real life.

You know what'd be really strange? It'd be cool for people to see me interview J. K. Rowling. She's a billionaire, and has made reading cool for kids with the Harry Potter series. She's from England, and is probably a huge soccer fan. I like to do things that people wouldn't expect me to do... like ice skating and bobsledding.

Photo of Sidney Crosby from Cabbie on the Street's Flickr stream.

Discussion

21 Comments

Derek / January 3, 2010 at 11:32 am
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I've always enjoyed Cabbie's interviews, even the ones from the early days...
MillerOut / January 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm
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This guy is embarrassing. His interviewing skills is pathetic and his mannerisms makes me cringe. Theres a reason why he gets the "here HE comes" reaction from athletes. Its because they feel embarrassed talking to him. If i'm watching thescore and he pops up, I can't reach for the remote control fast enough.

At least he recognizes he has little talent. Why can't his employers? He belongs on rogers community tv not a national sports station.
Lucas / January 3, 2010 at 12:35 pm
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Where did he get that t-shirt? It's rad.
Barky replying to a comment from MillerOut / January 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm
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Hahah i think he's hilarious and I'm pretty sure most athletes love being interviewed by him. His interview style allows you to view a side of pro athletes that we normally wouldn't see. I've also met him once and he's a super nice guy.
Caroline replying to a comment from Lucas / January 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm
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Yeah the shirt is awesome!!
Check it out

http://www.fortapparel.com/


You can get all the fort apparel you want off this site or @ Stolen Riches and North Trooper.


CHEERS!

P.S they also have hoodies too!
Elizabeth / January 3, 2010 at 02:10 pm
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I love this guy. His interviews are like no one else's. He gets athletes to laugh! He should get his own show!!
Ghostface / January 3, 2010 at 02:55 pm
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Cabbie's alright. Although I must say after reading this he sounds like a big kid - but what's so terrible about that?
buce / January 3, 2010 at 03:53 pm
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I think Cabbie is a complete embarrassment. He is simply a compilation of every stupid black stereotype. Always trying to "keep it real". He is nothing more than a cliche and a joke.
Trevor replying to a comment from Caroline / January 3, 2010 at 04:57 pm
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Hey Caroline, couldn't of said it better myself.

Cabbie's a huge supporter of FORT Apparel and has been so from the start. Check us out at www.fortapparel.com!
shucknjive replying to a comment from buce / January 3, 2010 at 07:30 pm
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well said.
kenchikuka / January 3, 2010 at 08:32 pm
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I'm on the fence on this guy. It's good that there's a comical sport journalist representing Toronto which put some diversity in the industry. His unorthodox process always gets your attention rather than his actual work. Is that a good thing?
Trevor replying to a comment from shucknjive / January 3, 2010 at 11:40 pm
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I'm kind of surprised by the negativity towards one of the most positive and well intentioned people I've ever met...
knows kicks / January 4, 2010 at 12:40 am
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shopping at good life?
Kelly replying to a comment from knows kicks / January 4, 2010 at 10:18 am
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Good point. He meant Goodfoot. Unless he's stealing shoes in the locker room at Good Life, of course.
Dawn / January 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm
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Sidney Crosby *sigh*
Karen / January 4, 2010 at 01:14 pm
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Cabbie is awesome, haters.
Glenny Mac / January 4, 2010 at 09:09 pm
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Kirby on the Street is awesome.
Cabbieisalright! / January 5, 2010 at 09:08 am
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About 4-5 years ago when he was still doing "cabbie on the street", i was at Trinity Bellwoods before my softball game and he came up to me and a couple of my teammates and asked us to talk to him. Next thing we know he has busted out pairs of sized 17XXX NBA shoes and the 4 of us are having a running race in these over-sized shoes across the park. The dude is simply fun, sincere and likes what he does. Its refreshing to see such an unorthodox view on atheletes other than the "oh ya we have to give 110% effort for 60 minutes" crap from typical interviewers.
Keep on keeping on Cabbie!
laura / May 22, 2010 at 11:18 pm
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CABRALLLLLLL <3
Brian Bradley / June 16, 2011 at 05:30 pm
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What else must be done by these veterans before the Canadian government meet the onus of their obligations to these same veterans?
Toronto NBA All-Star Game Tickets / March 28, 2014 at 01:43 pm
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Cabbie is a pioneer and has done a fantastic job allowing his specific style and personality translate to the players through his work. He is goofy enough to get the players to act "normal" or jokingly to the media vs up tight where they feel obligated to speak with the guy.

I love his work! I imagine he will have something nice put together around the NBA All-Star game in Toronto with Drake.

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