Don't ask me why I'd never seen it or even heard of it before. Chances are that when it was on, I was under ten and the idea of watching ANY bowling on television would have been anathema to me. I still wouldn't watch bowling on TV by pros, but there is something quite comforting in watching total amateurs doing it and since I feel I know these people, it's like spending a half-hour with family at the old bowling alley! The host of Celebrity Bowling was Jed Allan, an actor who had just portrayed the latest owner of Lassie (1968-1969), but who is better known as a star of many daytime soap operas such as Days of Our Lives and Santa Barbara.
The show featured two, two-person teams who would share each frame using a "Best Ball" system. Each player would take a stab at ten pins. Whoever took down the fewest would swap lanes and try to pick up the spare of his or her partner, who'd done better. Then the teams would proceed back and forth through the tenth frame and, depending on the scores, lucky audience members would win a terrific prize. If somehow a decent bowler happened to accidentally show up and the score exceeded 210 points, the winner would receive a car! Thanks to the hapless, often skill-free, way the stars played, this only happened one time in all those years! More often, a bowling ball and bag or maybe a watch or a microwave wound up as the top prize.
By the way, John Davidson's beige pants fit like a second skin to an almost science-fiction level!
Other stars included the children from The Brady Bunch. (Is Maureen McCormick braless?? "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!")
William Shatner and Hugh O'Brian (along with, not pictured, Fran Jeffries and Michele Lee.)
The unique conglomeration of Rory Calhoun and Frankie Avalon (!) versus Kate Jackson and Edward Albert!