Just leave it to longtime Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak to turn an interesting moment into one that had viewers doing a double-take. On Tuesday night’s episode, Sajak decided it would be a good idea to give a good yank at a contestant’s facial hair.
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It all started with contestant Greg Weichert of Florida. He had a big, busy gray beard as he’s been “helping out” Santa Claus for 25 years. Weichert has a blended family of six children, 14 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. “I started a real beard about six years ago, it made all the difference in the world,” Weichert said.
‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host Pat Sajak Gives Beard A Good Tug
Sajak asked Weichert if kids still pulled on Santa’s beard. Weichert confirmed this and shared that he has told kids to pull on his beard before so that he can prove himself as the “real” Santa Claus. “If I come over there, can I tug on it?” Sajak asked before proceeding to do just that. He gave the man’s beard a firm pull and then backed away, the New York Post reports.
“I’ve never done that, and I will never do it again,” Sajak said afterward. Later in the episode, Sajak apologized to Weichert, appearing to look “choked up,” according to the Sun. “Thank you all for being here, and I apologize again, Santa,” he said. The Post reached out to Sajak’s representative for comment.
Viewers Criticize Host For His Actions Against Contestant
After this took place, some people went on Twitter to express how “cringey” they thought the interaction was. “#PatSajak pulling on that dude’s beard was super cringy #WheelofFortune,” one person wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. Someone else wrote on Twitter, “@WheelofFortune why is host harassing contestant Greg of his body hair? Nobody grabbing pat’s fake wig? How rude! And name calling?? What is wrong with #patsajak ??!!”
A viewer criticized them for their Santa Claus talk, writing, “If @WheelofFortune & @patsajak could be a little more mindful of the younger audience they have when someone who plays Santa is on as a contestant, that would be super helpful… Really hard to keep the magic when someone named Howard talks about being a Santa Claus.”
But some people found the clip to be quite funny after it was posted on the official Wheel of Fortune Instagram account. “Y’all so funny. Love this show!” a fan commented. “I just absolutely love this show,” another seconded.
This is not the first time in recent months that Sajak, who has hosted Wheel of Fortune since 1981, had an embarrassing interaction with a contestant.