Between the untimely demise of “Jeopardy!” 2020 host Alex Trebeck and now Pat Sajak stepping away from “Wheel of Fortune,” two of America’s most beloved game shows will never be the same again. Sajak has hosted “Wheel of Fortune” since arriving in 1981, personally hired by creator Merv Griffin back when the show aired on NBC. A Los Angeles meteorologist at the time, his unconventional hiring to replace original host Chuck Woolery was not without NBC’s setback. Incredibly, he continued in the role without ever missing a day until 2019, when a life-threatening health scare forced him to miss hosting duties while recovering from a operation. His co-host Vanna White has stepped in to serve as lead host in his absence, though the studio has yet to make an announcement about a potential replacement.
Now 76, Sajak leaves “Wheel of Fortune” with huge success under his belt. In 2011, he won a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award and also won three additional Emmys for his work on the word puzzle show. With Sajak remaining on board in a consulting role for at least a few more years, he may have a hand in choosing his own successor. Given the spotlight formed on “Jeopardy!” throughout its struggles to choose a new host after Trebek, we hope things go a little better for “Wheel of Fortune.”