We’re not sure you could get celebrities to wear triple-tone bowling shoes nowadays, but during the disco-crazed ’70s, no problem!
Celebrity Bowling, hosted by Jed Allan (CSI: Miami, original Beverly Hills 90210) was produced in Los Angeles, California at KTTV Channel 5. The popular series ran for eight years (January 16, 1971 to September 1978). Each week two-person teams competed on regulation size bowling lanes that were actually installed in-studio.
The rules of the game were known as “best ball”—each team members would take a shot on their own lane. If neither hit a strike, then whomever rolled the worse shot would try to pick up a spare on their partner’s lane. Winning teams garnered prizes (better accumulated score equaled better bounty) for audience members both present and sitting at home. Fabulous gifts included appliances and even new automobiles.
Hilarity usually came in two flavors: celebs that took their game waaaay too seriously; and lighthearted joking aimed at your partner or opponent. And, of course, some people had a better sense of humor than others.
This long-running series was an offshoot of The Celebrity Bowling Classic, a 90-minute TV special produced in 1969 for the Metromedia-owned stations, benefitting the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation.
Joe Siegman created Celebrity Bowling, and, along with Don Gregory, produced 89 episodes for their company, 7-10 Productions.
William Shatner & Fran Jeffries vs
Hugh O’Brian & Michele Lee
Jimmy Walker & Michael Ansara vs
Dick Martin & Leslie Nielsen
Roy Rogers & Don Adams vs
Bob Newhart & George Foreman
Donald O’Connor & Rosemary Clooney vs
Rose Marie & Morey Amsterdam
Tige Andrews & Elizabeth Ashley vs
Brenda Vaccaro & Michael Douglas
Ed Asner & Elena Verdugo vs
Loretta Swit & Gavin McLeod
Dick Martin & Billy Barty vs
John Schuck & Michael Ansara
Bobby Troup & Roy Rogers vs
Bob Newhart & Bob Culp
Adrienne Barbeau & Gail Fisher vs
Arlene Golonka & Cathy Lee Crosby
George Foreman & Dick Martin vs
Anthony Newley & Don Adams
Rue McClanahan & Ron Masak vs
Charles Nelson Reilly & Robert Clary
Leslie Nielsen & Susan Saint James vs
Angie Dickenson & Lloyd Bridges
Roy Rogers & Adam West vs
Kent McCord & Gary Collins
Howard Duff & Susan Saint James vs
Angie Dickenson & John Saxon
Bob Newhart & Dick Martin vs
Anthony Newley & Nipsey Russell