Each episode of Acting Crazy featured two teams of four, each having one contestant, one celebrity and two "house players" (recurring players hired by the show), playing several rounds. In each round, one member of each team was brought out onto the centre stage and given a charade to act out to his or her team. That person had one minute to successfully communicate to his/her team whatever (s)he was given.
The time it took to complete each charade was added to a score for each team, and at the end of the show, the team which had acted out all of its charades in the fastest aggregated time won a prize for its contestant, and the champion would return the next day to defend against a new player. Should the reigning champion win 5 straight games, he/she would receive a chance to select prizes from the "Acting Crazy Galleria" (also referred to by Wayne as "Blair's Prize Emporium" during the 1994 tapings).
Midway through each episode, the contestants switched teams, taking their times with them, and the last round included a side prize which went to the team who had completed its charade the fastest in that round only. In the first few episodes, the time limit in the final round would be 30 or 45 seconds.
The five house players (of which four would appear on any given show) were Sue Burge, Melody Davis, Gary Jones, Billy Mitchell and Denis Simpson. (Burge and Davis, who are sisters, later competed as one of thirteen teams in the 2001 Travel TV series, The Great Race).
All celebrities appeared for ten shows, except MacRae (twenty shows, ten for each appearance) and McCoo, Davis Jr. and Jeffries (who were in a three-celebrity rotation with one another, each appearing for twenty shows, overall).