Howard the Bowler


Original airdate
September 18, 1967
Directed by
Written by


With Mayberry's bowling team set to play in Mt. Pilot and the loss of one of the team's players; Howard Sprague fills in for the team.


The day of the match, Lou Jenkins (who never appears in the episode) has to leave unexpectedly to Atlanta on business. Andy, Goober and Emmett Clark (who is sponsoring the team) are left in a pinch to find a last minute replacement for Lou. Left with no other options after brainstorming all available bowlers in town, the team chooses Howard Sprague to fill in the empty slot.

Howard claims to have been practicing bowling frequently of late and much to the surprise of Andy, Goober and Emmett, Howard carries the team to victory and bowls a perfect game up to the last frame. A $40 bet ensues between Goober and Emmett and the Mt. Pilot team as to whether Howard can complete his perfect game. As Howard goes through his motion in his last bowl, the electricity goes out (presumably because Goober asked the owner of the bowling alley earlier in the episode to turn up the air conditioning full blast to keep Howard cool). The electricity cannot be fixed that evening so Howard is forced to wait until the next night to complete his attempt at a perfect game.

Howard is unable to sleep and develops headaches and shakes. Before bowling his last frame the next day, Howard is granted a couple of practice bowls and "gutter-balls" his shot. Andy speaks with the Mt. Pilot team and gets them to call off the bet between them, Goober and Emmett. With all pressure off, Howard successfully knocks down all pins and bowls a perfect game.


  • First episode with Emmett Clark.
  • Due to his ailing health, Howard McNear was forced to leave the show. Floyd's Barbershop was replaced with Emmett's Fix-It Shop.
  • Emmett spent $8 each on the bowling shirts to advertise for his store and claimed to have spent his annual advertising budget on this venture.
  • Though none of the following appear within the episode, TAGS Fans are introduced to a smorgasbord of characters as Andy, Goober and Emmett try to find a replacement for Lou Jenkins: Aunt Bee suggests the pastor but Andy declines because he and the team members curse after bad shots. Goober suggests Ab Winters but Emmett says Ab cannot because he plays basketball on Tuesday and Thursday nights and played poker the night before (his wife Emmy would not let him out of the house again). Goober also suggests Doc Springer but Andy said he would be unavailable because Mayberrian Cathy Hawkins is pregnant and due any minute. The last person who is suggested (by Emmett) before the group decides on Howard is Jeff Kingsley but Andy said he's out because he has the flu.

Image GalleryEdit

Previous episode: Next episode:
Opie's First Love A Trip to Mexico

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.