Less than a year ago, Pat Sajak, then 75, opened up about the possibility of retiring from Wheel of Fortune.The show has been on the air for over 40 years and are rapidly approaching another anniversary, but Sajak seemed open to the idea of retirement, remarking he is “getting near the end.” His longtime co-star Vanna White doesn’t even like to think about the idea.
Pat Sajak Was Asked About The End Of WOF
Pat Sajak is 76 years of age. At his age, most people are retired and spending their days playing golf or enjoying other personal pursuits. Not the WOF host, however. He's still out there grinding on the game show beat. To note--it doesn't sound like a gig I'd give up on personally, either.
The show will tape an entire season in about 40 days and reportedly is able to tape six shows in a day (that's one more than Jeopardy! allegedly). The crew gets a lot done in a short period of time, and I'd assume it's a job with a good amount of downtime, and a job that still occasionally surprises Sajak and viewers.
According to Sajak, though, the show is much nearer its end than its beginning, at least where he and White are involved. He said a while back that "it appears" he "may go before the show," per comments to ET.
Years go by fast. We're getting near the end. It's been a long [time]. 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.
Of course, there's also been interest in what his co-star thinks of his comments.
His Longtime Co-Star Was Also Asked To Comment
When asked to comment on what her former co-star said, Vanna White revealed how much her “team” with Pat Sajak has meant to her for the past 40-41 years. Asked about the ending of the show, she declared, “I don’t even want to think about that.” She further noted, “I mean, we’re a team. That’s depressing. I don’t even want to think about it.”
Not many of us can say we’ve had the same job for the majority of our careers, but White and her TV co-star are even more special because they’ve both kept the same jobs for decades as a team. In fact, the TV star's life has been so consistently filled with Wheel of Fortune that it's honestly nearly impossible for her to consider waking up and going about her weeks without it.
White's spoken before about how "happy" WOF makes her, so it's not a huge shock to think the end of a long and fruitful career might be hard to reconcile with, particularly when it's not directly in front of her face yet. She mentioned as much in an interview with People.
I just visualize us just being there. I can’t think beyond that. . . . I can't imagine [whether it’ll continue]. Everybody relates Wheel of Fortune to Pat and Vanna. We're like Ken and Barbie, you know? We've been in everybody's homes for 40 years, so it would be weird having somebody else turn my letters.
The good news? The end is not on the way just yet for either Pat or Vanna.
Wheel Of Fortune Was Recently Renewed By ABC
Wheel of Fortune was actually recently renewed by ABC along with other syndicated game show Jeopardy!. Both shows were given five-year renewals, meaning they are guaranteed to be on the air through the 2027-2028 TV seasons. That will actually put Wheel of Fortune in a position to hit its 45th anniversary.
Unlike Jeopardy, which has landed new hosts in the aftermath of Alex Trebek’s battle with cancer and subsequent passing, Pat Sajak and Vanna White have been the mainstays on the series since its inception in 1983 (though a previous iteration of Wheel aired between 1975 and 1983). As the notable fashionista noted, it's been 40 years together, and should be a few more. While changes -- including a new puzzle board for Season 41 -- come occasionally, a lot of the show has remained familiar over the years.
Both games shows are among the most popular in syndication and frequently air back-to-back, going viral for funny BTS moments and more. The renewal comes five years after the last renewal (and after Fox bid and lost to nab the game shows). In five years, the shows will reevaluate, and we'll see where we are at.