‘Wheel of Fortune’: Vanna White Once Described How Show Creator Merv Griffin’s Energy ‘Was Contagious’

by Will Shepard
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Vanna White was brought onto Wheel of Fortune almost 40 years ago. She has done a marvelous job as the co-host of the show during her tenure.

Merv Griffin, the Wheel of Fortune creator, saw a serious potential match for Pat Sajak. So, he selected her for the job over the many other candidates who auditioned for the role.

Over the years, Merv Griffin and Vanna White grew much closer. Unfortunately, he passed away in August of 2007. In an interview shortly thereafter in 2007, the Wheel of Fortune host talked about what Griffin was like.

She and Pat Sajak talked about Merv in the interview. Both have great memories of the game show creator. In particular, it is certainly evident that White remembers him fondly.

“I guess just he was himself. He was never another person,” Vanna White remembered fondly. “He was just so easy and easy to talk to and fun. I saw … I mean, he was just a real person.”

Vanna White continued, pausing to think about how best to describe the late Wheel of Fortune creator. She smiled during the entire description of his characteristics.

There was no phoniness about him. So when people like that are around, they’re contagious,” White continued. “You know? So, I just felt so good around him and wanted to be around him more. I think that’s the feeling he left everyone with.”

Vanna White Progressed Immensely as a Host on “Wheel of Fortune”

Vanna White became an incredibly important part of Wheel of Fortune. She has the perfect personality for the show. Incidentally, this made Pat Sajak a little nervous about his spot on the show.

When the host of Wheel of Fortune was hospitalized in 2019, White had to step into the host’s position. Once Sajak was feeling better, he gave an interview with “Good Morning America.” During which he spoke about watching his partner run the show.

“In nearly 40 years, I’ve never missed a taping,” Sajak said in earnest. “So, it was very strange, and it felt really bizarre to know that that stuff was going on and going on well without me. That really was troublesome.”

He knew that the show was in the best possible hands. It would make sense for White to take over his duties if he were to happen.

“What a trooper,” the Wheel of Fortune host said complimentary. “And I’m not condescending in any way because it would have been well within her rights to say, ‘wait a minute, this is not what you’re paying me for, and this is not what I do, and I’d rather not.’ But she’s a team player.”

Even though it was temporary, Sajak was a little nervous about his co-host replacing him. However, that was not in the cards. When he was able to return to the show, everything went back to normal right away. Could you tell if there were any hard feelings between them afterward?

Outsider.com