PAT Sajak has announced in an unexpected personal note on Twitter that he is retiring from Wheel of Fortune after the end of the next season.
The game show legend began hosting Vanna White in 1984 and has been at it for 40 years.
The most important Wheel of Fortune news comes after the Season 40 season finale on Friday, June 9th.
The following Monday, with no new episode airing, Pat, 76, dropped the announcement just as the show is airing on many affiliate programs (7 p.m. ET).
The TV star tweeted: “Well the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last.”
“It was a wonderful ride and I will have more to say in the coming months. Thanks to you all.”
Pat will host until June 2024 and then step down.
So far, no host successor has been named.
However, many fans believe Pat’s daughter Maggie Sajak will be named as his successor.
‘END OF AN ERA’
Some fans simply dismissed it, as one person replied: “Honestly unacceptable. I demand Pat is Back Week once a season!”
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“Pat, you’re the game show master. Enjoy your retirement and love the king long,” another responded.
“Whoa…It’s about to end an era…An era that’s spanning part of our entire lives (or at least a big chunk of it!),” wrote a third.
PAT indicates “THE END”.
The Chicago native has hosted the Merv Griffin-created show since 1981, and was joined by his co-host Vanna the following year.
During an interview with entertainment tonight In September he said: “The years go by quickly. We are nearing the end.”
“On most TV shows at this point, you would have said, ‘That’s probably enough,’ but this show isn’t going to die,” he told the outlet.
“Looks like I’m going before the show,” added Pat.
The TV personality opened up about his 40-year performance and what he envisions for his future career.
“It was long ago [time]. “We won’t do that for the next 40 years,” he explained.
“The years go by quickly. We are nearing the end. It was long ago.” [time]. “We’re not going to do that for the next 40 years,” Pat explained.
“It’s an honor to have been in people’s living rooms for so long. The people out there greeted us. We are happy and proud.”
However, the ageless Vanna later made it clear that she had nowhere to go, calling the prospect of retirement “depressing”.
stay on the sidelines
Suzanne Prete, vice president of game shows at SONY, said in a statement to Variety, “As the host of ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for an amazing 40 years.”
“We are incredibly grateful and proud to have had Pat as host all these years and look forward to celebrating his outstanding career in the coming season.”
“Pat has agreed to continue as a consultant for the show for three more years after hosting it last year. We are therefore very pleased that he remains close to the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ family!”
LIKE FATHER LIKE DAUGHTER?
For whoever comes next, replacing the game show legend won’t be easy.
Fans have made no secret that they believe Pat’s own daughter, Maggie Sajak, is being considered for the role.
“I think she’s taking over Pat,” one person declared in a Reddit chat room, while another joked, “Nepotism at its finest!”
Currently, Maggie, 27, one of Pat’s two children, serves as the show’s social correspondent and fans already know her.
While one person offered their opinion, “She’s going to take over Pat and that’s the way the world works.”
However, the game show could be doomed! route and could hire guest hosts to host slates as well.
As for Pat’s opinion, he’s already given his daughter a seal of approval.
In a recent episode, Maggie mentioned a Christmas trivia party she threw with Pat and Vanna and said she had a blast.
Her father agreed, saying, “You were actually a good host!”
Maggie isn’t the only internal possibility, as announcer Jim Thornton stepped in to host a bonus round in place of Pat earlier this season, which raised some eyebrows.