‘Wheel of Fortune’: Pat Sajak Once Switched Jobs with Vanna White after Losing His Voice

by Suzanne Halliburton

One TV host described Pat Sajak and Vanna White as the “Fred and Ginger of puzzles. ” And there was a time when the two Wheel of Fortune stars needed to switch places.

That’s why Sajak was flipping letters and White was asking the contestants to spin.

It seems Pat Sajak had a case of laryngitis. Losing your voice might not matter to the rest of us, but Sajak makes a living with it.

“I did her job one day,” Sajak said of White during a 2013 interview with Good Morning America. “It got so bad (his voice) I couldn’t get through the bonus round.”

The two switched places in 1996. The category was “thing.” And the answer was “synonym.” After Sajak turned the first three letters, he pronounced himself “exhausted.” He was startled the first time he heard the bell ding for a correct letter.

White said he did a good job, although it wasn’t a complete switch of responsibilities. As White observed, “he didn’t put my dress on.” Or a pair of heels. It takes incredible balance to walk gracefully across a stage in a pair of stilettos without stumbling at least once.

Pat Sajak Revealed Other Wheel of Fortune Details During Interview

Other Wheel of Fortune details were revealed in the interview with Good Morning America. Like, did you know the wheel weighs 2,400 pounds? And there’s only one wheel. So if it suddenly goes bad, like Sajak’s voice, the show is screwed.

Other behind-the-scenes factoids? Pat Sajak and Vanna White also only work on Wheel of Fortune for 35 days a year. But they’ll do five to six shows per day. White never repeats an outfit. She also doesn’t keep any of them.

White had to fill in for Pat Sajack in 2019. Sajack needed emergency surgery to fix an intestinal blockage. So White needed to take over for an entire episode, as opposed to a round.

Was she nervous? “Oh, my gosh, that’s an understatement,” White told the New York Times. “I was very nervous.”

The two do like to joke with each other. And the Pat Sajak quips keep the show breezy and funny.

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Pat Sajak told Good Morning America. “But we do take the show seriously. It’s important for the people who watch it. It’s certainly important to the three people who play every day. “