End of an Era: Pat Sajak Bids Farewell after 40 Years on Wheel of Fortune

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/08/2024
Pat Sajak just oversaw his last spin on the big wheel that served as his program for more than 40 years. Gameplay on the 77-year-old host's final Wheel of Fortune show, which aired on Friday, remained almost unchanged, according to the New York Times. After the show, Sajak turned to face the cameras and spoke to his followers. In an episode named "Thanks for the Memories," Sajak informed viewers, "Well, the time has come to say goodbye," the AP said. "It is been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade."
After hosting his debut Wheel show in 1981, Sajak thanked the cast and his family, which included his daughter Maggie, who has been a social correspondent for Wheel since 2021. He also spoke kind things about Vanna White, his co-host and letter changer. Sajak remarked, "Like me, she takes the show very seriously, but not herself," just before the two hugged each other onstage. "I cringe to imagine what these forty plus years may have been like if they had brought in someone who was acting like a prima donna and completely self-absorbed. Vanna is just as modest and kind as she appears to be." He did point out that because they only live five miles apart, they would probably continue to hang together outside of the office.

According to the AP, Sajak also acknowledged the participants as the "true stars of the show," saying that they "took great pride in talking about their family, their hometown, their friends, their schools, their jobs, even their pets." He continued by saying that he had always intended the program to be a "safe place for family fun," free of any discussion of social or political matters. With Sajak's formal departure, viewers of Wheel may anticipate that Ryan Seacrest of American Idol, the program is new host, will assume the helm when the upcoming season premieres in September. White is going to stay on as co-host.


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