Pat Sajak is a national treasure at this point. He’s been hosting “Wheel of Fortune” for nearly 40 years and will leave behind a legacy difficult for any future host to follow.
He is similar to the late Alex Trebek in this regard. The two of them have become so synonymous with their shows that it’s almost impossible to separate them. But Pat Sajak doesn’t take the stage for each taping with these things on his mind. In fact, the longtime “Wheel of Fortune” host apparently gives very little thought to his own legacy.
An interviewer with Soap Central caught Pat Sajak at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2011 and asked him about his career. It just so happened that Sajak won a Lifetime Achievement Award that year.
“You know, when you do a show, all you’re worried about is doing the show and hoping you have a little success with it. You don’t think about things like how long is it going to- you know, am I going to have 30 years or win awards,” Sajak said.
So he wasn’t giving very much thought to his legacy in 2011. But that interview was 10 years ago. And to this day, Pat Sajak is hard at work on “Wheel of Fortune.”
‘Wheel of Fortune’ Has Become Bigger Than Just Television
Pat Sajak would be the first to say that “Wheel of Fortune” is a simple show. There’s not all that much to it. It’s just a game of hangman, with Vanna White and Pat Sajak spicing it up with some flair. But for whatever reason, people have fallen in love with it. And the desire for it hasn’t subsided all that much over five decades.
In his 2011 interview at the Daytime Emmy’s, Pat Sajak elaborated on why they saw fit to give him a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“It just, people have made the show a part of their daily routine for a long time. And so somewhere along the line we became more than a popular show, we sort of became part of the popular culture. And it’s a nice spot to be in.”
A nice spot indeed, Pat.
The imprint that Sajak has made on popular culture continues to grow with each passing season. It would be interesting to hear the longtime host’s thoughts on his legacy now that he is getting up there in age. No one can keep it up forever, but Pat seems determined to try.