‘Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White Revealed She’ll Host Show Even When Sick: ‘Trash Can Behind the Puzzle Board’

by John Jamison

How does the old saying go? The show must go on? Well, for longtime “Wheel of Fortune” host Vanna White, it’s more than just a saying. The game show veteran of 38 years has some pretty intimate experience with making sacrifices to put a good show on the air.

“Wheel of Fortune” waits for no man or woman when it comes time to tape. Apparently, it doesn’t even matter if that person is at the center of the whole production. Spending decades working on the show, Vanna White was bound to run into an illness at some point. And she did.

Did she let it hold her back, though? Absolutely not.

In a 2014 interview with Big Island Now, Vanna talked about experiences she had when she found herself sick on the “Wheel of Fortune” set.

“We have been sick, but the show must go on. I was nauseous sick one time. I had a trash can behind the puzzle board,” she said in 2014.

The way she talked about it, it almost sounds routine. Thankfully she had the luxury of being able to run back to the trashcan before anything got too out of hand.

The ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Co-hosts Have Even Switched Places Due To Illness

A sick Pat Sajak couldn’t even bring “Wheel of Fortune” to a halt. The show found itself in dire straits when Sajak developed a case of laryngitis back in 1996.

Nursing his voice, Pat Sajak took over Vanna’s puzzle board duties, while Vanna took over the main hosting job. The show went on and the segment earned a bunch of laughs as Sajak added his own little flourishes to the letter reveals.

The duo had another brush with sickness more recently when Sajak got an emergency surgery to fix a blocked intestine. This time, Vanna found herself in complete control of the show.

In a 2019 interview with “Good Morning America,” Vanna White talked about how she reacted when she realized she would be hosting.

“I was like, ‘What? No. You’re kidding, right?’ And my first thought was, ‘There’s no way.’ I don’t pay attention to Pat. I’m busy with my letters and my puzzle board. I mean, I’m hearin’ him, but I don’t really pay that much attention,” she joked.