I wanted to take the time to congratulate Pat Sajak on an unbelievable run. The longtime Wheel of Fortune host announced that he is retiring from the syndicated game show next season. “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last,” Sajak said in a statement. “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 and longtime colleague Vanna White signed contract extensions in 2021 that take them through next season. He has hosted Wheel of Fortune since 1981 and has won three Emmys for his work, not counting the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award he received from the TV Academy. He originally was recruited by creator Merv Griffin to take over for the outgoing Chuck Woolery, having already hosted two unscripted game pilots called Press Your Luck and Puzzlers.
Yup, that's me between Pat and Vanna during "Favorite DJ Week". There was a contest held in 15 cities where if the person won, they could bring their favorite DJ as their teammate. I was working in Kansas City at a secular radio station when one of my favorite listeners, Deborah Maddox-Austin won for our city, Deb has since gone home to be with the Lord. Thank you for your friendship sis.
About the game, the Wheel is HUGE and heavy. Deb was ill during our taping and couldn't spin the wheel, so I spun it for us hitting bankrupt... twice! We didn't win until the final puzzle and finished third.
Vanna and the puzzle board stand a good 50-60 feet away, and we had to turn away from the board during the commercial breaks. If you notice, every contestant is the same height because their standing on risers that the crew adjusts.
We shot three weeks of shows in a few hours and had to sign a non-disclosure agreement that we wouldn't tell what happened on the show until it aired.
At the wrap party Pat pulls me to the middle of the floor and says to the group, "This guy got the biggest applause over all you guys! You must be from Los Angeles?" I laughed and told him that I was the only on-air personality that went outside to mingle with the waiting crowd. Guess they appreciated that.
Congratulations Pat and Vanna. You will be forever remembered as being in our homes every night for 40 years. Salute!