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.
He would reiterate this at the beginning of, and multiple times throughout, each episode by describing Whose Line as "the show where everything's made up and the points don't matter".
The style of the games were varied (see Games, below).
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.
The show turned into an inexpensive hit (though less so than the British version), and ABC kept Carey on as host.
This approach to reading credits was pioneered by the earlier BBC radio show I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again.