Richard Hammond tries his hand at comedy, as you know. But I also understand that you do as well. What do you typically talk about?
McDonagh: I take my 35 years of cab driving experience and describe how some of the neighborhoods have changed. Times Square used to be known as Crime Square. And the lower east side, I describe how you used to see junkies in Tompkins Square Park. Today, I see hipsters going around with yoga mats.
I show pictures of my old licenses and some of the sites I’ve seen, plus a lot of guerrilla theater.
What was it like working with Richard Hammond? Were you familiar with his work?
McDonagh: I had no preconception of him–I didn’t even know what “Top Gear” was. But when I met Richard, I never realized what an international star he was. Everywhere we went in Manhattan, people were coming up to the guy asking, “Can I have your autograph?” It was just amazing to me.
What did you learn from your experience with Richard?
McDonagh: What I learned is that there’s a lot in this world that I don’t know about. Particularly like shows like “Top Gear,” which I now know is a huge show! Those guys are huge stars! I’m so involved with New York City politics and driving that there’s a whole world passing me by on cable.