A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle has said ‘Pat Sajak is an a******’, days after he announced plans to step down from the Wheel of Fortune game show after more than four decades at the helm.
Drew Magary skewered the longtime host of the ABC quiz describing him as ‘an empty suit’, ‘that one real estate agent your wife didn’t like’, and someone who ‘possesses all the warmth of a Cheesecake Factory host.
Magary notes that Sajak’s time on the show appeared to focus more on celebrity interactions rather than any genuine engagement with regular contestants.
He complains that as a viewer he found the show dragging, with unnecessary segments featuring Sajak and his co-host Vanna White just as the game concluded and suggests that only moments when contestants made glaring mistakes caught his attention.
‘Maybe that’s why I always grimaced whenever I happened upon the show at 7:25pm, only to realize that the game show part was over and all I was left with was Sajak and co-host Vanna White doing their whole ‘I Think We Learned Something Today’ routine as a final, needless segment.
‘Maybe that’s why the only time I’ve ever paid attention to ‘Wheel’ during my adulthood was whenever a contestant f***** up badly.’
On Monday, Pat Sajak confirmed his plans to step back from the show after more than four decades fronting the popular television game show
Drew Magary, pictured, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle has said ‘Pat Sajak is an a******’, days after he announced plans to step down from the Wheel of Fortune game show
Drew Magary skewered the longtime host of the ABC quiz show describing him as ‘an empty suit’, ‘that one real estate agent your wife didn’t like’
On social media a number of other users also appeared to agree that Sajak’s stepping down was no great loss
Alex Trebek announced that he was diagnosed and battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019 and died in November 2020
Magary says that the show often fell short of its potential and believes it could be far better than it currently is – but he does not believe audiences share a fondness for Sajak the same way they did for Jeopardy’s Alex Trebeck, noting how he only worked four days a month – equalling 48 days a year – for a paycheck of $15 million.
It means Sajak pulls in $312,500 for each day he works and $52,083 per episode according to 2016 figures.
He likely earns more than that given that he signed new contracts in late 2021 for him to host the show until the 2023-2024 season.
Part of the reason fo Magary’s dislikes is because their politics do not align.
In 2014, Sajak tweeted at what called ‘global warming alarmists’ calling them ‘unpatriotic racists.’
He also wrote a series of blog posts for a conservative website called Human Events.
One of the articles around 2008 was titled, ‘Opposed to Obamacare? Then You Must be a Racist.’
At around the same time, Sajak described himself as a ‘Conservative Republican delighted with the disarray on the Democratic side.’
Magary says he hopes that Wheel might use Sajak’s departure to With Sajak’s transform into something more appealing than just a show for the elderly.
Producers can seek a younger and more genuine host, update the categories and phrases to reflect the present era, conduct an open audition for hosts to generate interest, and allow the puzzle segments to breathe instead of overwhelming them with unnecessary additions, he argues.
‘It’s a chance to make ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ for the first time in decades, good television,’ he says.
‘No one was ever going to replace Trebek in the hearts of ‘Jeopardy!’ fans. By contrast, replacing Sajak in your heart will be as emotionally arduous as getting a new mailman,’ Magary suggests in one particularly cutting line.
‘Both ‘Wheel’ and its viewers only stand to benefit now that Sajak is gone after four decades-plus of presiding over ‘Wheel’ with his teeth spiritually gritted.’
Sajak and White were pictured with one another in Las Vegas at a TV convention in 1995
In 2011, Sajak was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmys for his work on the TV staple
Pat Sajak confirmed his plans to retire, on Monday, as the Wheel of Fortune host after holding the position for more than four decades
Magary notes how many modern game shows lack the thoughtfulness and care required for such enduring appeal, often relying on former athletes turned hosts who struggle to explain the rules.
‘Wheel of Fortune,’ on the other hand, is simple and intuitive, making it accessible and enjoyable. Without Sajak, Magary believes the show can regain its fun and communal spirit.
However, even once Sajak steps down, he will still continue to be associated with ‘Wheel of Fortune’ as a consultant for three years following his departure meaning he may well have influence over the show’s direction, maintaining its current, outdated format.
‘It’s a good bet Sajak would like it to look the same as it does now: inane, dated and pointless. Why do you think Ryan Seacrest is already getting talked up as a favorite for the job?’ Magary adds in a cutting payoff.
On social media a number of other users also appeared to agree that Sajak’s stepping down was no great loss.
‘CBS gave him a late night show and put him up against Johnny Carson in 1989. Needless to say, it did not go well. He has the personality of a dial tone,’ Jackson Harris wrote.
‘I always had a conspiracy theory that Pat secretly didn’t want people to win. He always seemed a bit too okay with people going bankrupt. It was like they were winning his money,’ tweeted Bill Mueller.
‘I think it would be fun’: Whoopi Goldberg has her eyes on taking over as Wheel Of Fortune host after Pat Sajak, 76, announced his retirement
Meanwhile, speculation is continuing over who might replace Sajak.
Whoopi Goldberg admitted she has her eyes on taking over as host.
On The View on Wednesday, conversation turned to who would host Wheel Of Fortune as the panel welcomed Jeopardy! presenter Ken Jennings as a guest.
Joy Behar revealed: ‘Whoopi wants the job’, to which the actress, 67, agreed: ‘I want that job. I think it would be lots of fun’.
Whoopi is no stranger to game shows. She starred on the 1998 revival of Hollywood Squares and was also a producer for the show over its seven seasons.
While some viewers thought Whoopi would be great for the role, others weren’t convinced.
‘Replace with Whoopi Goldberg! NOT Ryan Seacrest, he’s overdone. Vanna’s too sweet. Need someone with an edge & humor,’ one wrote.
Another added: ‘@RyanSeacrest or Whoopi Goldberg for @WheelofFortune as @patsajak replacement is a horrible idea. Give it to John O’Hurley!’
A third viewer said: ‘If Whoopi Goldberg becomes the new host of Wheel Of Fortune I will never watch again. Terrible fit.’
Meanwhile, Wheel of Fortune favourite Vanna White would ‘highly consider’ taking over the role as host.
A source close to White, 66, told DailyMail.com the show’s letter-turning co-host is more than ready to step up to the task.
‘Vanna doesn’t want to leave Wheel of Fortune even after Pat’s announcement of retirement and she would highly consider taking over his role as host on the show,’ the insider revealed.
Mixed response: While some viewers thought Whoopi would be great for the role, others weren’t convinced
Wheel of Fortune favorite Vanna White would ‘highly consider’ taking over the hosting role from Pat Sajak
The source continued: ‘The next year is going to be quite the ride and Vanna wants to be a part of it all even after he leaves, and she hopes they don’t force her out.’
The TV personality has co-hosted the long-running game show with Sajak since 1982 and the insider stressed that the star has no desire to stop now.
‘Vanna is in it for the long haul,’ they added. ‘If she doesn’t take over Pat’s job when he is done, she would like to be a part of the selection process for Pat’s replacement because if it is up to her, she is in it forever.’
However, the TV star is prepared for the decision to take time as the source added: ‘Vanna knows that they are going to do the same thing they did with Alex Trebek and his replacement and make a huge to-do about it all. A year from now, if Vanna is gone from Wheel, it wasn’t her decision.’
On Monday, Sajak confirmed his plans to retire as the Wheel of Fortune host after holding the position for more than four decades.
Suzanne Prete, the executive vice president of game shows for Sony Pictures Television, issued a statement saying: ‘As the host of Wheel of Fortune, Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for 40 amazing years.
‘We are incredibly grateful and proud to have had Pat as our host for all these years and we look forward to celebrating his outstanding career throughout the upcoming season.’
Prete said that Sajak had ‘agreed to continue as a consultant on the show for three years following his last year hosting,’ adding: ‘We’re thrilled to have him remaining close to the Wheel of Fortune family!’
Sajak has hosted the nighttime edition of the show with White since 1983.