Pat Sajak ranks among the top game show hosts of all time. There isn’t much debate over that in recent years. He holds the record for being the longest-standing host of a game show for his work on Wheel of Fortune.
Sajak was hired by Merv Griffin, the legendary producer who brought both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! to life. He was also a talk show host himself, among many other things.
For a little over a year, from 1989 to 1990, Sajak hosted his own talk show. He didn’t stop hosting Wheel of Fortune while he did that, but it did make him unavailable to film daytime shows.
Sajak told the audience he was stepping back from some of his responsibilities. During his explanation, he had a hilarious exchange with Vanna White and Merv Griffin.
“This is kind of weird because it’s a goodbye to some of you,” Sajak explained. “I’ve been doing this show about seven years now, and this is my last daytime Wheel of Fortune. But, I will continue to be on the nighttime show.”
As he continued to explain in this 1989 clip, Sajak thanked one person especially for helping him make it in Hollywood – Merv Griffin. He said that he will forever be grateful for Griffin taking a chance on him. Sajak also said that there was a lot of leg work the producer had to do to get him on the show.
Then, Sajak transitioned and started talking about Vanna White. He speaks directly to her as he says that he is bummed he won’t get to work with his co-host as much as he used to. White also thanks Sajak for helping teach her the game show business.
The Two Wheel of Fortune” Hosts Share a Passionate Kiss in Front of Merv Griffin
The two hosts joke back and forth for a few moments, and then Sajak gets right down to it. “But seriously, folks,” Sajak said with a smile. “There will be an exciting, wonderful, and terrific guy here on Monday. I don’t want to give it away right now for various reasons, but Monday tune in.”
Sajak motions to Vanna and says, “I know you two will have fun.” Then, the Wheel of Fortune hosts looks at the camera and says, “We have about 15 seconds left, I don’t know…”
The game show host then says, “come here, baby.” He wraps his arms around Vanna White and passionately kisses her. It is certainly not a short kiss. The audience goes nuts and starts cheering. White giggles as the two share a long kiss.
All of the sudden, Merv Griffin walks out and leans against the table, and watches the two kiss. He waits a few moments before he eventually begins to tap Sajak on the shoulder.
Sajak is shocked to see him standing there, but Vanna turns to the camera with a huge smile on her face. Both Wheel of Fortune hosts laugh, and Sajak tries to wipe his co-host’s lipstick off of his mouth.
This is certainly one of the most memorable moments on Wheel of Fortune. It is also one of the rare appearances that Merv Griffin showed his face on camera during the game show.