‘Wheel of Fortune’: Could This Be Why the Show Didn’t Recognize Pat Sajak’s 40th Anniversary?

by Taylor Cunningham

Pat Sajak’s fans were disappointed when Wheel of Fortune didn’t recognize its host on his 40th on-screen anniversary. But there is a logical explanation for the apparent snub.

December 28th marked Sajak’s fourth decade with the iconic game show. And because of the momentous milestone, Wheel watchers were expecting a lot of fanfare. But instead, the episode completely disregarded the occasion. And angry fans immediately took to social media to air their grievances.

“WOW! Not one mention of Pat Sajak’s 40 year anniversary on last night’s Wheel of Fortune??? This is unacceptable,” one person commented on Pat Sajak’s Twitter page.

“From what I’ve seen, today marks 40 years since @PatSajak first made his debut on @WheelofFortune,” another viewer wrote on their personal page “… I’m curious if Wheel is going to post anything about it?”

The show did not end up posting a tribute to its lovable host on any social media pages. And we don’t have an explanation for that. But we do know why they may have skipped celebrating on air.

Unlike sitcoms and drama, Wheel of Fortune is pre-taped without a definite release plan. Most episodes are filmed months in advance. And sometimes, the show tapes multiple shows in one day.

So because the producers don’t know when they’ll drop each episode upon filming, they have no way of planning when to add a tribute. Though, we’d assume the show could figure out a way to film an anniversary episode and set it aside until the day arrived.

But whatever reason Wheel of Fortune has for skipping the celebration, we hope it acknowledges it soon. Because Pat Sajak’s loyal cheer crowd wants answers.

Pat Sajak Reflects on 40 Years with ‘Wheel of Fortune’

On December 28th, 1981, Pat Sajak replaced Chuck Woolery as the host of Wheel of Fortune. And from that day forward, he’s remained the face of the beloved game show.

This year marked 40 years with the series. And as Sajak realized on his special day, a lot of changed since he began his on-screen career.

So to put it in perspective for his fans, Pat Sajak posted a Tweet that highlighted what was happening in America the day his debut episode aired.

“When I started hosting Wheel (with Susan Stafford) on this date 40 years ago, the top 10 TV shows included Dallas, Three’s Company, The Jeffersons, and The Dukes of Hazzard. Ronald Reagan was in his 1st year as president,” he wrote. “Number 1 song: Olivia Newton-John’s Physical.”