When Vanna White briefly transitioned from letter-turner to “Wheel of Fortune” host after Pat Sajak was hospitalized in 2019, she had to step into Sajak’s shoes.
During an interview with “Good Morning America,” Sajak opened up about what it was like seeing his longtime work partner take over his duties as he recovered from his home.
“In nearly 40 years I’ve never missed a taping,” he said about the experience. “So, it was very strange, and it felt really bizarre to know that that stuff was going on and going on well without me, that really was troublesome.”
Sajak knew that the show would be in good hands. If there’s one person who can fulfill the hosting duties properly, it’s got to be Vanna White. Since 1982, she’s been the show’s letter-turning queen who knows the ins and outs of the popular game show.
“What a trooper. And I’m not condescending in any way because it would have been well within her rights to say, ‘wait a minute, this is not what you’re paying me for, and this is not what I do, and I’d rather not.’ But she’s a team player,” said Sajak.
As White took over the role, fans and Sajak quickly realized she had a natural knack for hosting, making Sajak a little nervous about losing his job.
Pat Sajak Was So Impressed With Vanna White’s Hosting That It Made Him ‘Nervous’
“The next day, she was in the studio taping, and she did a great job. I did find she does like hosting, and I’m a little nervous, but not all that nervous. When I went back to taping last week, she brought in some homemade cupcakes. And I did have someone else taste mine first before I ate it,” Sajak hilariously joked.
As for what Pat Sajak told Vanna White before her hosting appearance, Sajak had just one piece of crucial advice: don’t get on social media.
“I said, do not go on social media. Because people are going to be jerks and say nasty things because they can. Because they can communicate with you directly, they can be anonymous. I don’t understand why people have to be so nasty,” said Sajak. “She’s out there doing her best. She didn’t ask to be put in that position.”
“Wheel of Fortune” has been Pat Sajak’s home for the last 39 years. He has Guinness World Record for the longest career as host of the same game show. White previously described the show without Sajak as “a word without vowels.”
“I’ll fill in the blanks until you return,” White tweeted at the time, alongside a picture of the pair. “Rest up and we’ll be solving puzzles in no time. (Don’t worry, your job is safe! Well, pretty safe.)”