Pat Sajak is publically indicating he’s near done with hosting Wheel of Fortune.
All good things must come to an end, including beloved game show hosts retiring. It looks like Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune fame may be calling it quits after more than 40 years of hosting. Sajak has been hosting Wheel of Fortune since 1981 along with his co-host Vanna White, who joined the show in 1982.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Pat Sajak had this to say about his potential retirement: ” It’s been a long [time]. We’re not going to do this for another 40 years. The end is near,” adding “It’s an honor to have been in people’s living rooms for that long.”
While Pat Sajak might miss being on Wheel of Fortune, fans will undoubtedly miss the host after his retirement. At the very least, they can expect to see Sajak, and the show’s new puzzle board, for at least one more season, as he and White have both renewed their contracts through 2024. Also, fans won’t miss out on Sajak’s Wheel of Fortune antics entirely, as he plans to stay on for Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, which will be entering its third season.
While Pat Sajak and Vanna White are known for being the hosts of Wheel of Fortune, they weren’t the first. Wheel of Fortune first hit TV sets in 1975 with Chuck Woolery and Susan Strafford serving as the original host and hostess. The late great Alex Trebek even took over hosting duties for a week in 1980. Sajak took over the hosting duties in 1981, despite NBC President and CEO Fred Silverman’s objections that Sajak was “too local,” and the rest is game show history.
Pat Sajak will be leaving quite the legacy behind, as he became the longest-running host of any game show in September 2022. To nab the record, Sajak surpassed Price is Right host Bob Barker, who hosted the price-guessing game show from 1972 to 2007. Until Sajak officially retires, he’ll continue to add to that record making it a difficult one to beat for future hosts.
Wheel of Fortune continues to be a popular game show to this day, so it’s likely that a replacement for Pat Sajak and Vanna White will be sought out when the two decide to call it quits. Fan-favorite quiz show Jeopardy! recently went through its own transition pains as they sought a suitable replacement for Alex Trebek after his passing. Jeopardy! ended up going with a co-host solution, replacing Trebek with Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings and The Big Bang Theory star and real-life neuroscientist Mayim Bialik.
Undoubtedly, it will be difficult to replace Pat Sajak and Vanna White after they’ve been the faces of Wheel of Fortune for so long. As they say, the show must go on, so it seems unlikely that they would shudder the series altogether after the hosts decide to retire. The Jeopardy! hosting transition was controversial among long-time fans of the show, so it remains to be seen if Wheel of Fortune faces similar backlash once the time comes.
For now, we’ll just have to continue watching Pat Sajak and Vanna White until they’re ready to hang it up for good. Wheel of Fortune is currently airing new episodes of its 40th season on weekdays. The first episode of the next season of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune will air on September 25 with Amanda Seales, Snoop Dogg, and Mark Duplass appearing as contestants.