“Wheel of Fortune” star Pat Sajak is sitting pretty as the host of one of America’s longest-running game shows, and he wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not even for a prime gig on the “Today” show.
In a 2013 interview with HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight,” Sajak explained why he wouldn’t want to host the “Today” show.
“First of all, that’s not gonna happen,” Sajak said. “I don’t think they’ll be approaching me anytime soon.”
He added, “I don’t want to get up early. And I don’t want to work every day. I mean, I know that sounds— but I’m at a stage in my life and career, this is great. It is the greatest schedule in the world.”
Sajak and co-host Vanna White have to be in Burbank, California four days out of the month. During that time, they tape six episodes of the show per day.
Watch the interview here:
Sajak Shows No Inclination to Leave ‘Wheel of Fortune’
Despite claims otherwise by the tabloids, Sajak has shown no interest in leaving “Wheel of Fortune.” His contract reportedly runs through 2022, and the host, who has been appearing on “Wheel of Fortune” since 1981, has yet to talk about impending retirement.
Sajak did take a brief break from the show in 2019 when he underwent emergency surgery to correct a blocked intestine. White took over Sajak’s duties during his time off the air. She had filled in for Sajak once before, when he got laryngitis in 1996, according to USA Today.
Still, at that point, Sajak did tell USA Today that he expects to leave the show in less than a decade. He said his exit will come “in the single digits” of years from now.
“I’d like to leave while the show’s still popular, and I’d like to leave before people ask me to leave,” he said. “And I’d like to leave before people tune in and see me and go, ‘Ooh, what the hell happened to him?’”
Show Underwent Some Changes During the Pandemic
After a months-long hiatus in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, “Wheel of Fortune” resumed production last summer after making some key changes to its set. Specifically, the iconic wheel was redesigned to permit more room between the contestants, per USA Today.
Additionally, the show provided personal protective equipment for cast, crew and contestants behind the scenes. Social distancing measures were implemented in front of cameras and behind them. Only essential crew was allowed onstage. And all staff and crew were tested regularly, with contestants tested before they entered the studio to appear on the show.
With all those safety measures in place, Sajak seems to feel comfortable continuing in his job for the next few years at least.