Pat Sajak retiring from ‘Wheel of Fortune’: After more than four decades as the host of “Wheel of Fortune,” Pat Sajak has announced his departure from the popular game show. On Monday, Sajak tweeted, “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last.”
Pat Sajak retiring from ‘Wheel of Fortune’ after more than four decades
Although the 76-year-old has toyed with the idea of retirement for years, the news may not come as a surprise to many fans. Nevertheless, Suzanne Prete, executive vice president of game shows at Sony Pictures Television, praised Sajak’s impressive career and announced that he will continue to work as a consultant on the show for three years following his last year hosting.
Sajak has hosted the syndicated game show since its nighttime debut in 1983 and also hosted the daytime edition from 1981 to 1989. Despite being one of the most well-known faces in the business, Sajak has faced backlash from viewers this past season due to a few controversial comments. As of now, it is unclear who will be replacing the legendary host.
Pat Sajak’s is leaving “Wheel of Fortune” after more than four decades.
“Well, the time has come,” Sajak tweeted on Monday. “I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last.”
“It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months,” he continued. “Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)”
Suzanne Prete, the executive vice president of game shows at Sony Pictures Television, also reflected on Sajak’s impressive career in a statement shared with Variety.
“As the host of ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for 40 amazing years,” Prete wrote. “We are incredibly grateful and proud to have had Pat as our host for all these years and we look forward to celebrating his outstanding career throughout the upcoming season.”
Although Sajak won’t be gracing the small screen much longer, Prete said he “has agreed to continue as a consultant on the show for three years following his last year hosting.”
Sajak has hosted the syndicated game show since its nighttime debut in 1983. He also hosted the daytime edition from 1981 to 1989.
News of his retirement may not come as a surprise to many fans given the fact the 76-year-old has toyed with the idea for many years.
“It appears I may go before the show,” he told Entertainment Tonight last year.
“Years go by fast. We’re getting near the end. It’s been a long [time],” he continued. “We’re not gonna do this for another 40 years. The end is near … It’s an honor to have been in people’s living rooms for that long. People were out there welcoming us. We’re happy and proud.”
Despite being one of the most well-known faces in the business, Sajak has faced a lot of backlash from viewers this past season.
In April, Sajak caused a stir online after he was caught asking longtime letter-turner Vanna White whether or not she has “watched opera in the buff.”
Although White laughed it off, Twitter users weren’t so quick to let Sajak off the hook, calling his comments a “#metoo moment.”
The backlash came on the heels of another eye-roll worthy moment from Sajak, who called contestant Scott Ingwersen’s introduction “the most pointless story ever told.”
Sajak’s “cold-blooded” comment didn’t sit right with many viewers, who — once again — took to social media to voice their distaste.
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“Is anyone else watching #WheelofFortune??? Pat Sajak is such an a–hole who says to someone ‘that’s the most pointless story ever’ when someone is opening up on National TV???” one person tweeted.
“Poor Scott just wanted to tell his story. Pat just throwing the shade,” another fan noted.
Nonetheless, while it’s unclear who will be replacing the legendary game show host, they surely will have big shoes to fill.