“Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” have much in common, but it’s safe to say there is considerably more research going on in the “Jeopardy!” writers’ room. Recently, some of that research was focused on its fellow game show. And what better way to get information than going straight to the source?
That’s exactly what the “Jeopardy!” Twitter account did today when it asked “Wheel of Fortune” for some help with the categories for an upcoming episode.
At present, “Wheel” hasn’t gotten back to “Jeopardy!” yet. So hopefully, it was nothing too pressing. But it’s fun to see the two fan-favorite game shows interacting with each other. Along with “The Price is Right,” they’re in a league of their own when it comes to long-running primetime game shows. And believe it or not, it’s not the first time a “buy a vowel” themed category has surfaced on “Jeopardy!”
The April Fools Day ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Crossover
In 1997, Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak played an April Fools prank on their respective audiences. Trebek hosted an episode of “Wheel of Fortune” alongside Lesly Sajak. Later that day, none other than Pat Sajak walked out on the “Jeopardy!” stage in Trebek’s place.
For serious contestants, that day of taping was probably a bit worrisome. They wait their entire lives to play “Jeopardy!,” only to have a stand-in host on account of a prank. Thankfully, Pat Sajak was the consummate game show host. He ran the trivia game show masterfully. And the episode dealt with “Wheel of Fortune” themed categories to boot.
The categories included “Buy a vowel,” “Lose a turn,” and “Say ‘Jack.” The whole situation earned plenty of laughs from the audience.
Alex Trebek Appeared on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ for an Entire Week Before His Own Show Came Along
The 1997 April Fools Day saga is one for the history books, but it was far from the first encounter late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek had with “Wheel of Fortune.”
Before “Jeopardy!” was revived in the early 1980s, Alex Trebek was already an accomplished broadcaster. And who could have guessed he would have appeared on “Wheel of Fortune” before Pat Sajak even became the host? Apparently, Chuck Woolery failed to show up, and Merv Griffin asked Trebek to replace him temporarily.
In the 1997 April Fools appearance, Trebek joked about the situation.
“I was the guest host for an entire week once,” he said. “And I must have done such a good job that the producers couldn’t wait to ask me back, and so here I am today…sixteen years later.”