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Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles, who would later star in the U. version, became regular cast members in the seventh and eighth seasons.

Some games are based on traditional improv games, with a considerable number brought over from the UK original, including Scenes from a Hat, Greatest Hits, Props, Hoedown, Helping Hands, Questions Only and Party Quirks.

Others were new and uniquely created for both the U. original format, and the revived show, with several only receiving 1 or 2 playings, due to either the games not having been well received by audiences, or Stiles' reluctance to perform certain rounds.

There are 8 games that have been performed at least once in every season, these are Scenes from a Hat, Greatest Hits, Props, Let's Make a Date, Weird Newscasters, Duet, Helping Hands and Questions Only. All games were designed with the same principle of those from the UK original – to test the performers' improvisational comedy skills, with some games requiring the host to ask the studio audience for suggestions for specific topics or situations, while at other times these suggestions were written by the production staff, or submitted by the audience in advance, and chosen from among these.

In addition, the host would control a buzzer which would signify the end of most games, or the end of individual sections of rapid-fire games such as "Scenes from a Hat".

Between games, the performers sat in four chairs facing the audience.

The performers who were not involved in a game remained in their seats.

, having made 76 appearances in the British version, and only having missed two episodes since the start of the run in the U. Colin Mochrie is the only performer to have appeared in every episode of the U. Topics for the games are based on either audience suggestions or predetermined prompts from the host, who would set up a game and situation that the performers would improvise.

The original host Drew Carey awarded arbitrary point values after each game, often citing a humorous reason for his decision.

From the second season onward, other musicians joined Hall – Linda Taylor made frequent appearances playing guitar and occasionally keyboards, while Cece Worrall-Rubin, Anne King, Candy Girard, and Anna Wanselius appeared alongside Hall (and sometimes also Taylor) on occasion.

The number and type of games played varied from episode to episode, yet while some games became more common over time, others faded from use.

All three regulars appeared on the British series; Stiles and Mochrie were both regulars (first appearing in the second and third series' respectively, and both appearing in every episode from series 8 onwards), with Brady a frequent guest in the final series which moved production from London to Hollywood.