|Directed by||Dave Thomas|
|Country of origin||Canada
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||52|
|Executive producer(s)||Adam Shaheen
|Camera setup||Single Camera|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Planet Grande Pictures
Cuppa Coffee Animation
HBO Family Original Programming
|Original channel||HBO Family|
|Original release||February 1, 1999 – March 1, 2001|
Crashbox is a Canadian-American educational children's television game show that airs on the HBO Family digital cable television channel in the United States. It aims to educate grade-school children in history, math, vocabulary, and other various subjects.
The show takes place in the insides of a game computer where green game cartridges (which are sculpted out of clay) are created and loaded by rusty robots. Each half-hour episode consists of at least seven 2-to-5-minute educational games. Near the end, the robots will do "Crashbox Rewind" where they review most of the games to the viewers.
Crashbox was one of the cornerstone programs for the relaunch of the HBO Family channel in February 1999. The series has never been released on DVD or VHS, but continues to air reruns on HBO Family to this day.
Crashbox is a HBO television series created by Planet Grande Pictures, and is animated by Cuppa Coffee Studio, headed by Adam Shaheen. Planet Grande Pictures gave Cuppa Coffee Studios a time frame to complete 13 hours of programming in 7 months time.
- Captain Bones: The skeleton pirate named Captain Bones uses his bones to make puzzles to save him from going "stark raving mad". Many puzzles consist of incorrect math problems that need to be solved (e.g. 1 + 1 = 3, or 1 + 1 = 6, changes to 1 + 1 = 2, or 7 - 1 = 6, by moving one bone, which means, 3 becomes 2, or 1 and a plus sign become a 7 and a minus sign), or puzzles that need to be arranged to make another image (e.g. a dog would be facing the other direction, or a fish would look like a tree).
- Dirty Pictures: Similar to Haunted House Party, the viewer must figure out who the most well-known person is by watching parts of a picture in a museum dusted off by a maid and reading the museum keeper's cue cards.
- Distraction News: In this recurring game of staying focused, Dora Smarmy, the cardboard cut-out anchorperson, tells the news of a particular topic while nonsensical distractions run amok onscreen. After talking about the topic, she asks the viewers five questions about the topic.
- Ear-We-Are: In this game, the viewers need to listen to sounds and figure out what thing or place a couple of two different disembodied human ears, possibly known as the Ear-We-Are, are thinking about. This game rarely appeared in the series. When it did, it would usually be the last game.
- Eddie Bull: At the Walla-Walla Washington Zoo, a boy named Eddie Bull (a pun on 'edible'), is swallowed whole by an unseen animal and gives the viewers clues (trivial facts about an animal) to have them figure out what animal swallowed him alive. After he tells the viewer what the animal is, he manages to come out alive in the end, usually due to "going back the way (he) came", otherwise known as allowing the animal to regurgitate him.
- Haunted House Party: At a haunted house party, a famous dead person is the special guest whose silhouette is seen through windows. The viewers have to listen to the person's historical facts and figure out who he/she is. Right before the person reveals who they are, the narrator stops him/her and recaps on the facts about that person.
- Lens McCracken: In order to figure out what happened in a crime scene, a bumbling, but heroic, self-proclaimed "ace photo snooping detective" named Lens McCracken shows the viewers three different things that are zoomed in very closely, by mistake, and need their help to figure out what those things are. Sometimes they close the episode with this game.
- Mug Shots: Verity Pins, a New Yorkish detective, gets four suspects pinned down for lying and allows the viewers to spot which three are guilty by listening to their lies. The suspect who says something truthful and trivial is innocent. A guilty party might give wrong information i.e. the location of natural site that is actually in another area or an animal of the wrong type. In one episode, one of the suspects said that she "went to a Steven Spielberg film festival, where she watched E.T., Jurassic Park, and Independence Day". Verity then said that Spielberg didn't make Independence Day, but instead it was made by "Some other guy!"
- Paige and Sage: In one minute, the viewers must find ten differences between two panels. Both panels have the same background, but both Barbie-type doll girls have the differences in their own panels. This game rarely appeared in the series. When it did, it was usually the last game.
- Poop or Scoop: A sideshow caller, whose arms and cane are only seen, shows four different animals and a fact that relates to each one. If one fact is true, viewers would choose "SCOOP." If false, they choose "POOP." This was the only game in the series that has rankings on how many questions the viewers answered correctly. If the viewers got only one answer right, the rank is "Party Pooper", if they got two right, the rank is "Pooper Scooper", if three, the rank is "Super Pooper Scooper", if all four questions are answered correctly, the rank is "Super Duper Pooper Scooper".
- Psycho Math: Prof. Rocket, the robotic host with a crazy persona, lets viewers solve equations by showing pictures that represent a particular number (e.g. Number of letters of the alphabet = 26, Number of days in a week = 7). Three pictures are placed in the first three boxes with a question mark in the fourth box (e.g. # x # - # = ?). Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division signs are used randomly. Order of operations is not taken into consideration.
- (KBOX: )Radio Scramble(/(KBOX: )Scramblin' Radio): Every evening, at KBOX, "Jumpin' Johnnie Jumble", an anthropomorphic microphone and radio host, plays tunes and commercial spots to let the viewers figure out what words the jumbled letters really make. The music will always relate to the unscrambled word (for example, if the original, unscrambled word was "mouse", the tune might be about how a "soume" kept squeaking). The beginning and end always show off an example of mixing the word "jumble" (e.g. meljub). In occasions, he disguises himself as another anthropomorphic microphone to broadcast either sports, weather, or traffic. KBOX is also the name of a real life radio station in California.
- Revolting Slob: In every episode, an offscreen female narrator (on the episode when revolting slob gets sick, before the second question, she sneezes and revolting slob offers his germy tissue, that's when her hand is seen. Her skin is white, and she has red fingernails. Also, when revolting slob eats a lot of beans and the narrator want him to eat healthier and puts a box of full grain cereal, that is when her hand is seen again. Her skin is white and has non-colored fingernails.) teaches the viewers three new vocabulary words based on a revolting slob's (literally named the Revolting Slob) behaviors and actions. Multiple choices are given before the correct word is revealed. In the end, one word explained from the third multiple choice section has to do with the Revolting Slob exploding into nothingness, and the narrator closes the episode with "No slobs (and any other living thing) were harmed in the filming of this show." Usually, they begin the show with this game.
- Riddle-Snake: After the Riddle-Snake plays a tune which brings up a riddle, viewers are given time to figure out the riddle before a man who never opens his eyes appears and gives the answer. When seen, usually it is the last game they play before the episode ends.
- Sketch Pad: On his sketch pad, an artist named Sketch draws pictures that tell a story and omits a picture so the viewers try to figure out what really happened before the final picture of the story is revealed. The story is usually in the form of a lateral thinking puzzle.
- Ten Seconds: A game where viewers must figure out the answers to a series of Rebus puzzles each within ten seconds. (2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd = Ten Seconds. Hence, the title). Sometimes they close the episode with this game.
- Think Tank: Captain Bob, a Jamaican submarine driver, is stuck in a large fish tank. Before all the water in the tank goes down the drain and the sub reaches the ground, the viewers need to figure out what three given things have in common. Each episode consists of two rounds. This game was played in almost every episode in the series. Occasionally, his submarine would be seen as part of the distractions in Distraction News, but Bob himself was not seen in it.
- Word Shake: In this game similar to Mad Gab, a French chef takes two to three words together and forms them into another word that sounds like the two to three words (or letters) said together. This game rarely appeared in the series, when it did, they almost always close the episode with this game.
At the end of every episode, there is a recap of some of the games shown with the answers known as "Crashbox Rewind". It is formatted by having a robot whacking a hammer on a "Rewind" button, thus operating a machine showing some of the answers in an episode. When Crashbox Rewind is over, the same robot whacks a "Credits" button, thus showing the end credits.
There are six total game loaders in both seasons.
- Metal Game Loader: A rusty, silver metal game loader. This one most commonly spawns "Distraction News", "Lens McCracken", "Ten Seconds" and "Captain Bones". Occasionally it spawns "Think Tank".
- Arcade Game Loader: This is a brown and silver game loader that always closes the final game of each episode in season one. It also spawns "Riddle Snake", "Paige and Sage" and "Psycho Math".
- Closet Game Loader: An old brown cabinet that almost always spawns "Think Tank" and "Eddie Bull".
- Car Game Loader: Nothing but wires, the car game loader slides to open, unlike others. It spawns "Distraction News", "Psycho Math" and "Ear We Are".
- Train Game Loader: Possibly the newest game spawner, It often loads "Mug Shots", "Poop or Scoop" and "Word Shake".
- Phone Game Loader: This newer game loader spawns "Revolting Slob", "Radio Scramble" "Dirty Pictures" and "Ten Seconds".
- Carlos Alazraqui - Assorted Haunted House Party Guests
- Maggie Baird - Verity
- Dee Bradley Baker - Assorted Haunted House Party Guests
- Veena Bidasha - Riddlesnake Raj
- S. Scott Bullock - Captain Bones, Lens McCracken
- Greg Eagles - Captain Bob, Sketch Pad
- Arif S. Kinchen - Professor Rocket
- Peter Lurie - Jumpin' Johnny Jumble/Green Robot
- Dawn Maxey - Valley Girl Voice in Paige and Sage
- Edie McClurg - Female Polite Voice in Revolting Slob
- Mike McShane - The Revolting Slob
- Ritchie Montgomery - Eddie Bull
- Alan Schlaifer - Ten Seconds Announcer, Butler in Haunted House Party, Left Ear
- Jerry Stiller - Host
- John Watkin - Horrid One, Right Ear, Word Shake Chef
- Mari Weiss - Dora Smarmy
- Danny Wells - Poop or Scoop Announcer
- Crashbox at HBO Family
- Crashbox at TV.com
- Crashbox and Cuppa Coffee article in TAKE ONE
- Crashbox at the Internet Movie Database
- Richard Katz, "HBO in Family way with heavy push of new fare", Variety, September 9, 1998.
- Lynne Heffley, "HBO Launches Spinoff With Pair of Excellent Kids' Shows", Los Angeles Times, February 1, 1999.
- Eichhorn, P: "Cuppa Coffee brews up a special blend of animation Take One Magazine, Summer, 1999, No. 24