Younger generations may not appreciate the value of a classic game show. They’re not exciting enough and you won’t see any “ninja warriors” running across the screen.
But those of us who grew up watching “The Price is Right,” “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” hold a certain appreciation for the nostalgia of it all.
“Wheel of Fortune” is celebrating episode 7,000. This show is particularly near and dear to this writer’s heart as I had the opportunity to attend a filming over two decades ago.
For the select few who are unfamiliar with Pat Sajak, 72, and Vanna White, 62, the rules of “Wheel of Fortune” are simple — spin the wheel, guess a letter, buy a vowel and do your best to solve the word puzzles.
The show is iconic and has been a television staple for 26 years. What’s amazing is that no one could have guessed it would go so far — including the hosts!
White had no idea the show would take off the way it did. “I thought, ‘Well, this is gonna be fun, but I can’t imagine it lasting that long,’” she told USA Today, recalling a conversation she had with Sajak in the beginning.
“I remember sitting in the chair next to Pat saying, ‘I wonder where we’ll be in 10 years?’” she went on. “And here it’s been 36.”
And quite the career he’s had! It’s understandable he’d be a little exhausted. “It’s our 7,000th show,” Sajak says in the episode, according to USA Today. “Could someone get me a chair?”
But even after so many years, Sajak and White have remained a dynamic duo, playing off one another and smiling all the way.
“This woman and I have been together a very long time,” Sajak recalls in the episode. “It’s been a fabulous run, and we’ve got lots more in us, yes?”
They may never have dreamed “Wheel of Fortune” would bring so much good fortune to contestants over the years, but I think it’s safe to say this show’s a keeper.
Sajak isn’t retiring just yet, but he did tell USA Today that he plans to do so sometime before the next decade passes.
As for White, Sajak has a feeling she won’t continue without him. And would we want her to? This pair goes together like the letters “R-S-T-L-N-E.”
“Wheel of Fortune” holds a strong 10 million viewers this season according to USA Today. It comes in second only to “Judge Judy.”
Way to go, “Wheel of Fortune”! You’ve earned a huge round of applause and all the vowels of heartfelt congratulations coming your way!