Pat Sajak Leaves WHEEL OF FORTUNE, a ‘Privilege’ to Keep Show Family-Friendly

Photo from Pat Sajack’s Instagram

Pat Sajak Leaves WHEEL OF FORTUNE, a ‘Privilege’ to Keep Show Family-Friendly

By Movieguide® Contributor

WHEEL OF FORTUNE’s long-time host, Pat Sajak, is proud to have kept the show family-friendly as he retires from his role and says farewell.

“Well, the time has come to say goodbye,” he said on Friday’s last episode with him. “I have a few thanks and acknowledgments before I go, and I want to start with all watching out there. It’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade.”

“I always felt that the privilege came with the responsibility to keep this daily half hour a safe place for family fun,” he continued. “No social issues, no politics, nothing embarrassing I hope, just a game.”

For many, it wasn’t just a game.

“…It became more than that,” he said. ” A place where kids learned their letters, where people from other countries honed their English skills, where families came together along with friends and neighbors, and entire generations.”

“What an honor to play even a small part in all of that,” Sajak concluded. “Thank you for allowing me into your lives.”

Sajak’s co-host, Vanna White, said goodbye to him, calling him a “brother.”

“I can’t believe that tomorrow is our last show together,” White said in a clip that aired in Thursday’s episode. “I don’t know how to put into words what these past 41 years have meant to me, but I’m going to try.”

“8000 episodes went by like that. When I first started, I was so green. You made me so comfortable and so confident, Pat. You made me who I am, you really did,” she said.

The two have spent a lot of time together off of the screen, and it’s those moments that White cherishes the most.

“As much fun as we’ve had on camera, those memories, milestones and life events we shared with our families outside the studio are my favorite,” she said. “We’ve watched our children grow up together, we’ve traveled all over the world, we’ve eaten hundreds of meals together, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve celebrated. What an incredible and unforgettable journey we’ve had.”

“As this chapter of our lives is coming to an end, I know you’ll still be close by,” she concluded. “You’re like a brother to me, and I consider you a true lifelong friend who I will always adore. I love you, Pat.”

Pat has been the main host on WHEEL OF FORTUNE for over 40 years, with 41 seasons and 8,000 episodes under his belt.

Movieguide® recently reported:

“Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all,” Sajak said via Twitter.  

Sajak took over the show in 1981 from Chuck Woolery who had hosted for the show’s first 6 years. In the 40 years since he took over, WHEEL OF FORTUNE has become a television mainstay and one of the longest continually running televised gameshows. 

Though Sajak won’t be on WHEEL OF FORTUNE anymore, he does plan to perform in a play called “Prescription: Murder.”

The play will be performed in Hawaii.

“Sajak, 77, will play a ‘brilliant psychiatrist’ who plots to murder his ‘neurotic and possessive wife’ (played by Amy K. Sullivan) with the help of his mistress (played by Therese Olival). To achieve their goal, the pair will rely on a ‘bizarre impersonation to create a perfect alibi,’” TODAY said on June 7.

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