Jimmy Kimmel Pranks Taxi Passengers Who Try to Mute His Videos

Jimmy Kimmel Live June 19 - Publicity - H 2019
ABC/Randy Holmes

In New York for a week, the ABC late-night show's team used a hidden camera and mobile TV studio to call out riders who were quick to silence the 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' clips that pop up on seat-back TV screens.

Kicking off a week of shows in Brooklyn, Jimmy Kimmel surprised New York City taxi passengers during Monday night's episode of his eponymous ABC late-night talk show.

The host opened the segment by explaining that he appears in the programming that plays on the seat-back screens in cabs. "You get in a cab and a video of me and sometimes Guillermo [Rodriguez] pops up and you're forced to watch it, or so I thought," he said. "Recently it's come to my attention that when my videos come on, most people immediately hit the mute button on the screen."

In an attempt to call out cab riders who mute the clips, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! team put a hidden camera in the back of a cab and followed the car in a mobile television studio.

The cab's first customer was not amused by the ad and tried to mute the video as she spoke on the phone. During the phone conversation, the passenger told her friend that she was on her way to pick up shoes. "If you need to get your shoes, we can help you pick them up, too," Kimmel said in the video.

The woman tried to mute the screen, but Kimmel called her out. "I don't know why you keep doing that, but it hurts," he said as she failed to silence the video.

Once the woman realized what was happening, she responded, "I'm so not in the mood." The host and his sidekick Rodriguez explained that it hurts their feelings when people mute their clips, but told the woman that she can get out of the car.

The next passenger was also not amused by the prank. After Kimmel restated that the man was going to Brooklyn, the passenger asked the cab driver how to turn off the television. "What do you mean, how do you turn this off?" asked Kimmel. "What are you trying to do? You trying to mute me?"

"Does it strike you as odd that the television is talking to you right now?" Kimmel asked as the man poked at the television.

Kimmel and Rodriguez wanted to ensure that the customer had a good ride, so Rodriguez offered to get the man a pizza. "I'll eat you like a little taquito, you little wise guy," the man responded.

The host asked the final passengers how their ride was going. After a moment of silence, he asked again. The woman and man quickly began a conversation with Kimmel and told him that they just saw David Byrne's American Utopia. Kimmel shared that Byrne would be on the show later in the week, so the woman asked if they could have tickets.

While the man explained that he thought the interactive video wasn't a live video of Kimmel, the host surprised the passengers and gave them tickets to the show. He and Rodriguez then got in the cab and rode away with the couple.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! returned to Brooklyn to film a week's worth of episodes at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Howard Gilman Opera House for the fifth year. Guests for the Brooklyn-taped episodes include Eddie Murphy, Bruce Springsteen, Senator Bernie Sanders, Alicia Keys, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kelly Ripa, Ellie Kemper and John Krasinski, with musical performances from Alicia Keys, Byrne, The National, Paul Shaffer, The Sugarhill Gang and more.

Watch the full taxi segment below.