TODAY | January 19, 2014
>>> of friends for an evening of fun and games , you never know how that night will turn out. imagine the excitement when you go really big. you've got celebrities, you've got a band, you've got a bar. now add lester into your mix and you've got a party.
>> myself aside, that is all the make kings of nbc's " hollywood game night ." i was recently invited on as a guest and contestant hosted by the ever funny jane lynch .
>> the next game --
>> reporter: somewhere between a celebrity pop quiz , a cocktail party and a late night jam session . nbc's " hollywood game night " offers a new twist on some good old-fashioned fun.
>> this is inspired by sean hayes ' game notes, our executive producer. i've been to game nights at his home. crazy, wild, very interesting people from all walks of life.
>> reporter: i was invited to play this night.
>> this is my wonderful band.
>> reporter: host jane lynch showed me around.
>> we actually have a functioning fireplace. this is where i hang out. this is my home.
>> reporter: is this a real bar or night?
>> it's a real bar. booze. that's a real portrait of me. i'm sure you have a portrait of yourself.
>> reporter: as a journalist i wanted to come prepared. how do you prepare for this?
>> pi son.
>> reporter: i have been overthinking this thing because i'm a news guy. you can't study this.
>> no. this is why it's going to be very good for you to do this. you have to abandon yourself, you have to surrender to the game and to the experience and not worry about the fact that girng to have you doing silly things.
>> reporter: there are two teams. each comprised of slee celebrities who play for charity and one civilian who competes for money. tonight it was the men versus the women, martin short and jason alexander are on my team.
>> how would you describe it?
>> humiliating often.
>> i don't know the last name of the second guy. that's my problem.
>> this is a lucy goosey game.
>> the opposition, three very funny ladies.
>> i think we're more competitive than anyone on the stage has ever been.
>> reporter: actresses beth bears, july bowen and valerie bertonelli.
>> i'm mean as a snake. she's a survivor.
>> we know about beyonce. we'll be fine.
>> you have three correct.
>> reporter: game on. i quickly learned the only real prerequisite, the ability to let your hair down. it's important to be able to think right off the top of you head.
>> this is really funny and it's hard to concentrate because i'm laughing so much.
>> hamburger, things you put ketchup on and you eat them.
>> reporter: and shake a leg, literally. twist and shout
>> reporter: i'm having such a great time but i can't focus with martin short next to me. he is cracking me up.
>> i'm telling you, it's getting hot in here.
>> reporter: you know you're having a good time when on camera in front of a huge audience, you break out the rob robot. it's a far cry from the games you crew up playing at home, but certainly a winner to me.
>> you have them all correct.
>> i can't give away the ending. did my team win or lose? you'll have to tune in to the season premier of " hollywood game night " tomorrow at 8:00, 7:00 central. i have to tell you, i have never had so much fun. so nervous going in.
>> it looks like a blast.
>> everyone is having fun .
>> just playing silly games.
>> what we loved about it is something you could not prepare for. you're such an over-preparing guy.
>> i was study tapes of the show and trying to brush up on my pop culture .
>> out of your comfort zone .
>> you're either in all the way or you're not. it