The original host Drew Carey awarded arbitrary point values after each game, often citing a humorous reason for his decision.
The points were purely decorative and served no practical purpose.
After this game during the first season of the series, credits simply rolled under the show's theme. features four performers, two of whom, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles, were regular, permanent performers throughout the original format, having featured prominently in the UK original; Stiles since his first appearance in its second season in 1989, while Mochrie since his first appearance in the following season in 1991, with both making regular appearances in the UK version from 1995 until its end in 1999.
In the second season, the reading of the credits was performed by one or more cast members in a comedic fashion, based on a theme announced by Carey that often derived from a successful joke earlier in the show. Another performer who made frequent, recurring appearances was Wayne Brady, who appeared in the majority of episodes of the original format.
The show's "short-form" approach to improv received criticism from some improv actors. During his tenure as host, Drew Carey also took part, though only in one game, after one of the performers was declared the "winner" and allowed to take his place at his desk in the studio; host Aisha Tyler did not take part in games when the show was revived, but has occasionally joined in for a quick scene during the Scenes from a Hat game.
As of 2017, Mochrie is the only performer to have appeared on every single episode of the American version.
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".
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.Carey convinced ABC to air test episodes in the United States.