'Wheel of Fortune' Fans Go After Pat Sajak for Slamming the Show's Old Format

Kayla Keegan
·3 min read
Photo credit: Gerardo Mora
Photo credit: Gerardo Mora

From Good Housekeeping

  • Recently, Pat Sajak dissed the old Wheel of Fortune shopping-spree format, labeling it "the most boring three minutes of television."

  • Both Pat and Vanna White expressed that they were glad the game show phased out the shopping elements, which prompted contestants to spend their earnings on physical prizes.

  • On Twitter, several Wheel of Fortune fans disagreed with Pat and Vanna, calling for the return of the retro format.

Some Wheel of Fortune fans don't agree with Pat Sajak's recent dismissal of one of the show's most iconic gameplay elements.

During the Dec. 23rd episode, TVLine reports that Pat teased a contestant for reminiscing about a retired Wheel of Fortune "shopping segment," where players would spend their winnings from the game show on all sorts of physical prizes. As longtime fans can remember, the shopping format took on various forms over the years until it was eventually phased out in the late '80s.

Clearly not a fan of the shopping-spree format, Pat, who has been on the show since 1981, told the contestant that he thought it was "the most boring three minutes of television." What's more, at the end of the episode, Pat turned to cohost Vanna White and doubled down on his dislike of the old concept.

"I don’t miss them [the shopping sprees]," he explained. "In retrospect [you think], 'Oh, that was kind of fun,' but, really, it was this thing going around with the [contestant’s] head in a circle … It was really not exciting television. We like it just the way it is." Agreeing with Pat's remarks, Vanna declared that Wheel of Fortune "is so much better now" than it was with the shopping-spree bit.

Though Pat and Vanna seemed to be in agreement, many folks on Twitter didn't exactly see eye to eye with the iconic gameshow duo. "I rather liked the shopping rounds, particularly when [former announcer] Charlie O’Donnell was reading off the prizes," one fan tweeted in response. "It could be epic with today’s money and products!" another said. "@Patsajak I agree that for the most part the shopping element was boring. But it had a unique charm to it because it was the only show that kind of did that thing. Other games you won cash alone or a prize that was assigned. Just my opinion," a different fan tweeted.

Per PopCulture.com's reporting, this isn't the first time Pat has expressed his aversion to the old-school format. On PatSajak.com in the early 2000s, Pat reportedly noted that he had no desire to bring back the shopping. "Trust me, it was the most boring two minutes in television as shoppers hemmed and hawed over whether they wanted the dining room table or the floor lamp," he allegedly said.

Recently, Pat has made headlines for what some fans have labeled "testy" behavior toward Wheel of Fortune contestants. In November, some viewers took issue with Pat after he jokingly called a contestant "ungrateful" when the player questioned one of the answers on the board. Pat once again drew backlash in early December when he scolded another contestant for interrupting an advertisement plug.

Through it all though, Pat has continued to stay silent on social media.

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