The legendary Pat Sajak has announced that he will be retiring as host of “Wheel of Fortune” after an astounding 40 years on the program. Sajak, who is 76, announced his retirement on Twitter in a post that said “it’s been a wonderful ride,” noting that the 41st season of the show will be his last.
“Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last,” he wrote in the tweet, according to Fox News. As of this writing there has been no announcement concerning a potential replacement for the well loved host, though it has been suggested his daughter, Maggie Sajak, a country singer, could potentially fill in, at least for a while.
Sajak went on to say, “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 started his lengthy tenure on “Wheel of Fortune” back in 1981. The show first debuted in 1975 and was initially led by Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford.
In the fall of 2022, it was revealed that Sajak had passed Bob Barker, the former host of “Price is Right” to become the longest-running host of any television game show.
“As the host of ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for 40 amazing years,” Suzanne Prete, Executive Vice President, Game Shows, Sony Pictures Television, went on to say in a statement made to Fox News Digital.
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!)
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) June 12, 2023
“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.Pat has agreed to continue as a consultant on the show for three years following his last year hosting, so we’re thrilled to have him remaining close to the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ family,” the statement continued.
The host also said that he was “very lucky in that I always knew that I wanted to be in broadcasting.”
“My early heroes were people like Arthur Godfrey, Dave Garroway, Steve Allen and, especially, Jack Paar,” he stated on the show’s website. “They helped shape what a television personality was, paving the way for so many others.”
The famous and ever lovely Vanna White became Sajak’s co-host back in December 1982 after Susan Stafford exited the program a few months prior. His daughter, Maggie, mentioned earlier, filled in for White during a switch-up with “Jeopardy!”
Maggie also worked behind the scenes of the show as a social media correspondent in 2021 while attending law school.
“The Wheel of Fortune staff and crew have always been like an extended family and I’m thrilled to be working with them,” the young Sajak remarked in a statement.
“It’s a real privilege to be able to treat the show’s longtime viewers to a look at what goes on when the cameras aren’t rolling. Plus, I get to use the carpool lane with my father,” she added.
Featured image taken from YouTube video embedded above.
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