Pat Sajak has been hosting Wheel of Fortune for over 38 years, but it seems like he’s been in more headlines in the past couple months than all the years before combined. It’s because lately his on-air behavior and comments have really gotten the attention of Twitter.
The incidents range from slightly embarrassing, like when Pat said “lift the ceiling” instead of “raise the roof,” to gaffes like opening the prize for the final round before the puzzle as opposed to when it is supposed to be revealed at the end of the round. He also recently made a suggestive comment to a contestant, called a contestant ungrateful, and had a rather icy exchange with a player over a bad pun. However, the thing that caused some viewers call for Sajak’s resignation was when he allegedly made fun of a player’s lisp. After that contestant spoke about himself, Pat responded “I see,” but seemed to say it as “I thee.”
Pat Sajak wilding pic.twitter.com/E7fAPCUQ9W— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) March 27, 2021
That got the rumor mill churning. According to Gossip Cop, tabloids like The Globe reported that the long-running game show’s producers were looking to replace Sajak, quoting “sources” as saying, “Pat’s always been a jerk and everyone only tolerated him because he seemed so good-natured, but his put-downs have gotten way out of control.” While In Touch reported something similar, citing another “insider” who said, “Pat appears to have made a bad mistake, and he probably feels terrible about it. Whether he will have to take a break or quit, that will be up to him and the show.” Star magazine even suggested Vanna White was gunning for Pat’s job.
However, even though reports are coming out about Pat’s job as recently as this week, it’s been over a month since the lisp incident and Pat is still hosting, so it’s very unlikely he will be let go or resign over what is now ancient history. In fact, his contract runs through 2022 and it looks like he will be the face of Wheel of Fortune until at least then, and perhaps longer if he renews. It’s not too surprising, during his time with the program, he’s scored 19 nominations for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host, winning it three times. He also holds the record for having the longest career as a game show host for the same show.