Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak posted some interesting facts about himself on Twitter earlier today. The game show host said that to the best of his knowledge he is the long-running television host in American Television history.
Not long ago, the Wheel of Fortune host jokingly opined that the current social climate may be caused by too much coffee. Which just can’t be true, right? Coffee is the source of happiness and warm feelings. So, we decided it was best to fact-check Mr. Sajak’s latest claim. First, check out the tweet he posted.
Now, we don’t know what the record for Andy Griffith Show rewatches is. At the same time, we’d like to see that big ball of aluminum foil. The big statement here is his claim of being the longest-running host in American television history. So, let’s dig into that.
Is the Wheel of Fortune Host Really a Record-Holder?
It didn’t take too much research to find out that Pat Sajak is correct. Furthermore, he’s being a little humble. The Wheel of Fortune host is the longest-running game show host in American television history, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. As of May 8, 2019, Sajak had been hosting the show for 35 years 198 days. This put him just over Bob Barker’s 35-year run on The Price is Right according to History.
Sajak took over the hosting position on the syndicated version of the show in 1983, just two years after the show’s premiere, according to WheelofFortune.com. So, that portion of the claim is verified. However, he said, “I’ve hosted Wheel of Fortune longer than anyone has hosted any national program in the history of American TV.” So, we have to do a bit more digging.
From a 2012 Fox News article, we see that the only hosts coming close to Sajak’s record were Johnny Carson and David Letterman. Letterman topped Carson’s record of 30 years before he retired in 2015. However, he only served as a host for thirty-three years. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But, it still doesn’t beat Sajak. On top of that Wheel of Fortune is still going strong and Sajak shows no signs of stepping down. In fact, the man has hardly aged. So, he could keep going for quite some time. His record is going to be hard to beat.
The only American Game show to run longer than Wheel of Fortune is The Price is Right. The latter premiered in 1972 and has been running steadily since then.