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The long-running “Wheel of Fortune” game show perhaps overlooked a major milestone for its longtime host, and some fans on social media feel let down by the omission.
On Tuesday, Pat Sajak’s daughter Maggie took to Twitter to inform everyone of her dad’s anniversary as emcee, an occasion that apparently went unmentioned on the broadcast itself or, so far, on the show’s own official, blue-check social media account.
“Happy 40th Wheel-iversary to this guy! On this day in 1981, @patsajak hosted his very first episode of @WheelofFortune…and the rest is history!,” the younger Sajak, who works on the show’s digital team, wrote about her dad.
Co-host Vanna White joined the show in 1982.
Pat Sajak himself highlighted how things have changed over the years since he took over the emcee role on the show as a replacement for Chuck Woolery.
As a side note, both men, as it happens, are Republicans who have opined about politics from time to time.
The show first premiered in January 1975.
— Maggie Sajak (@MaggieSajak) December 28, 2021
“When I started hosting ‘Wheel’ (with Susan Stafford) on this date 40 years ago, the top 10 TV shows included ‘Dallas,’ ‘Three’s Company,’ ‘The Jeffersons’ and ‘The Dukes of Hazzard.’ Ronald Reagan was in his 1st year as president. Number 1 song: Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Physical,’” he recalled about the-then prevailing pop culture.
When I started hosting “Wheel” (with Susan Stafford) on this date 40 years ago, the top 10 TV shows included “Dallas,” “Three’s Company,” “The Jeffersons” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Ronald Reagan was in his 1st year as president. Number 1 song: Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical.”
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) December 28, 2021
That Sajak, 75, was about to reach four decades on the TV program should not have been a particular mystery to the show’s executives and producers or anyone who keeps up with his Twitter feed, which has 300,000-plus followers, especially given a tweet sent on Christmas Eve.
📺On December 28, 1981, Pat Sajak became host of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ pic.twitter.com/RmkGeYCUpW
— RetroNewsNow (@RetroNewsNow) December 28, 2021
“What a week! Dec 25…Christmas Day. Dec 28…40th anniversary of my first ‘Wheel’ on NBC daytime. Dec 31…32nd wedding anniversary. Jan 1…2022 begins. And it almost has to be better than 2021, doesn’t it? Well, doesn’t it?” he quipped.
MLB play-by-play announcers often hang around seemingly forever, but Pat Sajak is giving them a run for their money.
It remains to be seen if the “Wheel” execs will circle back and commemorate Sajak’s longevity and legacy as star of the show.
What a week! Dec 25…Christmas Day. Dec 28…40th anniversary of my first “Wheel” on NBC daytime. Dec 31…32nd wedding anniversary. Jan 1…2022 begins. And it almost has to be better than 2021, doesn’t it? Well, doesn’t it?
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) December 24, 2021
Last week, the show prompted a controversy when contestant Charlene Rubush was prevented from taking home a brand-new car over a puzzling technicality even though she articulated the correct answer in the bonus round within the 10-second time limit.
Audi subsequently stepped up and made things right, however.
“Audi has been in touch with Charlene and will be gifting her the Audi Q3 she narrowly missed on Tuesday’s episode of ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ the carmaker explained in a statement.
“In the spirit of the holidays, we are thrilled to gift Charlene with an all-new Audi Q3,” added Audi of America’s chief marketing officer Tara Rush. “It is the season of giving after all and, technicality or not, we are always eager to share a bit of Audi magic and cheer!”
‘Wheel of Fortune’ controversy erupts when fancy new car prize lost over a technicality: ‘Ridiculous!’ https://t.co/5yq3BnwPSI
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) December 22, 2021
An Audi Q3 has an MSRP of approximately $35,000.
Emmy-award-winning Pat Sajak is receiving an enormous amount of online congratulatory messages for his tenure on “Wheel,” but as alluded to above, a least a few observers wonder why was it ignored rather than featured on the show itself.
WOW! Not one mention of Pat Sajak’s 40 year anniversary on last night’s Wheel of Fortune??? This is unacceptable. https://t.co/tekPiRWe6t
— Jeff 🌊 ☕ 🪴 (@wellsy57) December 29, 2021
Wow! No mention of Pat’s 40th year on #WheelofFortune tonight?
— R (@RDin1114) December 29, 2021
— RCNC Admirer 🗳🚁🏛🚄⛷ (@sketnj) December 29, 2021