During a recent introduction on Wheel of Fortune, host Pat Sajak hilariously made fun of the show’s announcer for being on the stage.
For a decade now, fans of the game show have heard announcer Jim Thornton’s voice. They may not recognize his face, but if you’ve watched Wheel of Fortune in recent history, you’ve definitely heard Thornton speak. The announcer has worked as a news anchor for Los Angeles‘ KNX station for years. But when longtime announcer Charlie O’Donnell passed away in 2010, Thornton became one of several guest announcers to fill the position.
In 2011, Thornton earned the gig permanently, and has lended his voice to Wheel of Fortune ever since. So if you’ve watched the game show anytime from April 18, 2011 and on, you’ve definitely heard Jim Thornton.
Of course, Thornton’s role is typically off-camera each episode. The announcer can be heard introducing the show and its co-hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White. He also announces contestant winnings on the show, including cash prizes, vacations, new cars and more. But in a recent episode, Thornton is on stage during the introduction, which typically isn’t the case. He’s at a small podium near the show’s puzzle board as he introduces the two hosts.
“Ladies and gentlemen, here are the stars of our show, Pat Sajak and Vanna White,” he says aloud.
The two longtime hosts walk out on stage as Sajak escorts White who’s holding onto his right arm. White waves to the crowd as Sajak notices that Thornton’s on the stage. In a planned but funny bit, the host goes on to ask why Thornton is even on stage in the first place.
“What’s Jim doing out here? I’ll tell you, you gotta keep him locked up,” Pat Sajak jokingly says.
‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contestant Leaves Pat Sajak Stunned After Solving Tough Final Puzzle
Announcer Jim Thornton’s presence on stage made for a good laugh. While host Pat Sajak acted surprised to see him on stage, he was genuinely stunned by a contestant’s performance last week. A contestant named Ruth went into the Bonus Round facing her toughest challenge yet with the final puzzle of the night.
Ruth needed to guess a three-word clue in the ‘EVENT’ category, and she only had five out of the 19 letters revealed to start. After choosing ‘C, M, D, and O’ as her additional letters, Vanna White turned over two more letters, which left a dozen blanks on the board.
The Wheel of Fortune host told Ruth, “This looks tough to me.” However, as the 10-second timer began, she immediately answered, “MAKING A BREAKTHROUGH.” Ruth’s correct answer left Sajak shocked.
“It’s a hard puzzle. Talk it out. Maybe you can get it. Blah blah blah blah,” Sajak amusingly said to Ruth mocking himself for doubting her.
“Make me look like a liar,” Sajak joked with the contestant. “As I said, ‘It’s an easy one. She’ll get it with no problem.’ Congratulations, Ruth! Nice job.”