Saturday, June 15, 2024

Finish This Phrase: Pat Sajak is Retiring from Wheel of Fortune After One Final Season Starting this Fall


I’d like an R, for retire.

Pat Sajak has announced he will have just one more spin of the “Wheel of Fortune” starting this fall. Sajak, 76, has been hosting the syndicated game show since 1981. It’s often the number 1 or 2 game show on the air, paired with “Jeopardy!”

No word yet on what will happen to Vanna White, who’s been turning letters on the show almost the entire time.

Sajak says on Twitter: “Well, the time has come. 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. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)”

Sajak leaving TV is like hearing Velveeta is no longer available. He’s part of the mass culture, sort of animated wallpaper. For four decades. he’s been there like it or not.

Who will take his place? Who could take his place? Tom Bergeron is probably already calling his agent. So are a bunch of people. But you know the next host will culturally diverse. Or maybe there will be a spinning wheel of hosts, like what Sony did when Alex Trebek died.

Or everyone could turn to PBS for that half hour, right? Nah.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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