- (CRAM!) 24 hours ago, four brave souls were locked up in our Hollywood & Highland Cramatoriums. Deprived of sleep, our two teams were each given a huge pile of ridiculous information to study. Trapped in a Hollywood storefront all night, they had to resist the urge to sleep and cram as many facts as possible into their exhausted brains. (CRAM!) No sleep, no privacy, no mercy. Now we're going to find out what they've learned; there's 10 grand on the line.It's time... to... CRAM!- The opening, provided by host Graham Elwood
GSN Game Show which aired from January to September 2003 in which two teams were sequestered for 24 hours in a storefront at Hollywood and Highland (the "Cramatorium"). There, they were forced to "cram" factoids, jokes and trivia on which they would be quizzed throughout the show while performing various stunts. The game's three rounds included ranting while walking in an oversized hamster wheel, listing 12 items while competing in a sundry stunt round, and having the team members work an exercise bike or rowing machine while answering riddles. Points were awarded for right answers, and deducted for wrong answers or passed questions. The winning team received $1,000, while the losers got $500.
At the end, the winning team members were placed in onstage beds and blindfolded, with the lights dimmed, while "Miss Pickwick" read various bizarre facts in a relaxing tone. Upon the return from commercial, the contestants were then awakened (in a loud and alarming fashion, though if they hoped to win, they shouldn't actually have been sleeping) and given 60 seconds to stand on a balance beam, peg, or pair of surfboards while answering questions on Miss Pickwick's facts. If either contestant lost their balance, Graham would stop reading the current question and start over once they were back in place. Correct answers moved the team up a five-step scale; wrong answers moved them down a step, and getting to the top of the scale won $10,000; losers got $100 per step achieved (based on their final score). Win or lose, the winning teams were placed in comfy chairs and given coffee.
The show added a larger variety of stunts in Season 2 (which began June 15, 2003) and changed some rounds' time limits. Other Season 2 changes included a new assistant named "Dr. Damnearkilter" to taunt the contestants, and special celebrity editions every Monday.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- Big Win Sirens: The stock sirens heard on earlier NBC game shows were played if the Bonus Round was won.
- Bonus Round: Mentioned above; $10,000 was on the line.
- Golden Snitch: Because of the pacing and point values, whichever team won the hamster wheel round almost always went on to the bonus round.
- Losing Horns: Type C; the Mocking Sing-Song was played immediately upon time expiring in the bonus round.
This show provides examples of:
- April Fools' Day: On April Fools' Day 2003, the hosts of all GSN's original game shows (except Lingo) traded places. hosted each other's shows; Marc Summers (WinTuition) took that day's Cram. Miss Pickwick was played by Graham Elwood in drag.
- Asleep in Class: Contestants had 24 hours to cram facts into their heads in the show's version of homeschool from hell. This was what they didn't want to be, but could if they weren't careful. Same with the Miss Pickwick bonus round in which they listened to facts recited in a sleepy voice in a relaxing environment designed to try to lull them into nodding off.
- Catch Phrase: Graham had a tendency to say "Aw man, you guys!" after EVERY. SINGLE. FAILED. BONUS. ROUND.
- "You snooze, you lose!"
- From Miss Pickwick: "You're getting so, so sleepy." and variants thereof.
- Deadpan Snarker: Graham.
- Last-Name Basis: Berglind Icey was known simply as "Icey" on the show.
- Ms. Fanservice: Icey.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: After sixty seconds of listening to facts recited by Miss Pickwick in a soothing setting, the contestants were rudely shouted into getting up by Graham Elwood.
- Graham: Get up, get up! Clock's ticking, clock's ticking!
- Undercrank: Used at the end of each episode to show the next episode's contestants gathering into the "Cramatorium"...which makes one wonder what they did for the Grand Finale.