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Pat Sajak Says He'll Be Leaving Wheel Of Fortune Soon

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Pat Sajak who has been hosting Wheel Of Fortune for 40 seasons says he's seriously considering retiring from the show.

SOURCE - The TV icon is currently celebrating his 40th season of peddling vowels, and in a new interview with ET, he strongly suggests that those days could be numbered.

“Years go by fast,” Sajak says. “We’re getting near the end. It’s been a long [time]. We’re not gonna do this for another 40 years. The end is near. … It’s an honor to have been in people’s living rooms for that long.”

Sajak acknowledges, “In most television shows by this time, you would have said, ‘That’s probably enough,’ but this show will not die.'”

In fact, “it appears I may go before the show,” he jokes

We already lost one constant of nightly television when Alex Trebek died in 2020.  Now, Pat Sajak is leaving too? It does make sense. It seems hard to believe but Sajak is 75 years old. He signed through the 2023-24 season so maybe he's looking at leaving then?

Sajak has left Wheel of Fortune before. In January of 1989, he hosted The Pat Sajak Show which was a late night talk show on CBS. It was a huge failure and would be cancelled in 16 months. Sajak wound up just going back to Wheel Of Fortune. CBS wouldn't have another late night show until 1993 when David Letterman left NBC after not getting the Tonight Show job.

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Wheel Of Fortune is a fantastic game show but has lived in the shadow of Jeopardy for decades now. I agree that Jeopardy is the better show but that's like disregarding Lou Gehrig because he had Babe Ruth in the lineup. We're still talking about two of the best ever. Wheel of Fortune is taken for granted more than any other show. It's been around forever and everyone likes it but it's not as cool to rave about it partly because the game itself is so simplistic. 

What makes such a simple game stand out is Pat Sajak. He keeps that show moving with a light tone and you can count on one hand how many other people are invited into people's living rooms for two generations. You can make the argument that Wheel of Fortune relies on Sajak more than Jeopardy needs Trebek.  

I don't watch Wheel of Fortune every night. I tune in once in awhile often if I'm waiting for something else to come on. But it's a nice feeling knowing it's there. I don't think we're going to realize how much we liked having Pat Sajak around until he's gone.