For the first time in over 37 years on the Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White isn’t just flipping letters and smiling in floor-length sequin gowns. As of Monday, she is officially hosting this classic evening program. At least for now!
After Pat Sajak had to undergo emergency surgery, someone had to step up to the wheel.
Who better than Vanna?
At the beginning of November, the official Wheel of Fortune Twitter account shared that Pat Sajak was taking some time off of taping after undergoing emergency surgery. Apparently, the 73-year-old Chicago native had a blocked intestine that really couldn’t wait.
Don’t worry, though – Pat is recovering well, and Vanna won’t be hosting for too long. While she’s looking lovely and embracing her new role, Sajak is going to return to the program soon.
Many people forget just how far in advance episodes are taped! Pat will be out for a full three weeks, so until the end of the year.
While Pat is on the mend and Vanna is stepping up to the wheel for hosting duties, who is spinning the letters and revealing puzzles?
Well, on Monday it was the famous Minnie Mouse. Last night, it was Mickey Mouse himself. Unfortunately, Wheel fans are a little persnickety with their routine, and not everyone is loving this rodent-heavy shakeup.
Here’s the real issue: Mickey isn’t touching the letters to turn them over. Vanna White spent nearly forty years walking back and forth in heels, touching (and in the old days, physically turning) blank spaces to make letters appear. Now, the mouse thinks he can just point, and the letters will magically show up. Mickey is showing an utter disregard for the honorable responsibilities this job carries.
Vanna was asked in an interview if she was nervous about stepping into Sajak’s shoes. “Oh my gosh, that’s an understatement,” she joked. “I was very nervous.”
Despite being on the show for so long, she said she had never thought of ever hosting the program herself. Only once, in 1997, did someone other than Pat host Wheel – on April 1, Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak swapped shows for a day.
Vanna’s first episode aired on Monday, and she has three weeks of hosting duties taped and ready to go. By that time, Sajak should be recovered enough to step back into the driver’s seat and resume normal functions.
While people may not be impressed with Mickey and Minnie, fans are loving Vanna in her new role.