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Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak got off to a bumpy start Thursday, and things only got worse after a contestant interrupted him a couple of times. The beloved host has built a reputation for his sharp wit and dry sense of humor over the past 38 years, but lately some fans think his contestant teasing has perhaps gotten a bit mean-spirited.
In the past week, the host’s antics seem to have overshadowed the game. While comedy is subjective, and Sajak certainly still has thousands of fans who think he is hilarious, his recent style of ribbing is rubbing some the wrong way.
On Thursday, contestant Sheryl Senet may have been a little too excited to play the game because she spun the wheel before she was supposed to and interrupted Sajak a couple of times. One time in particular she interrupted a sponsor plug, causing him to sharply chastise her.
“Never, never interrupt,” he scolded. “Never interrupt a plug!”
Sajak followed up the rebuke with his signature laugh and a smile. While the exaggerated anger was fairly innocuous in a vacuum, when added to the recent surge in outbursts it seems to be somewhat of a trend. And fans on social media were definitely noticing.
Last week, Sajak jokingly yelled at a contestant for being “ungrateful” after the player questioned the puzzle answer he had just correctly solved. On Wednesday, the host made a fencing joke that was one-upped by a contestant and Sajak proceeded to stare him down.
Individually, none of these moments were notably mean spirited, but as a collective whole they could be construed that way.
In the host’s defense, he films six episodes in a day. So perhaps his comedy was just a little off one day? Or perhaps he was grumpy that day? Or maybe he’s just trying to get through the rest of 2020 like the rest of us? He is human after all.
Sajak has never said anything egregious or overtly negative to a contestant. In fact, he often finds silver linings and sympathizes with players when they lose. So maybe he deserves another spin of the wheel before everyone tries to solve this recent puzzle.
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