After hosting the word game show for 40 years, Pat Sajak will soon call out letters on “Wheel of Fortune” for the final time, he revealed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“Years go by fast. 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,” he said. “It’s an honor to have been in people’s living rooms for that long. People were out there welcoming us. We’re happy and proud.”
Sajak stated that he is also pleased with the program’s ability to stand the test of time.
“In most television shows by this time, you would have said, ‘that’s probably enough,’ but this show will not die. It appears I may go before the show,” he joked.
The program premiered in 1975, and Sajak took over as host in 1981. He has been nominated for and won three of the 19 Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host in his capacity. While contestants attempt to guess the correct letters, he is renowned for his charisma and clever jokes.
Sajak did not give a specific date for his departure from the program. However, he did make a guest star announcement before leaving. He wants Meryl Streep to participate in the upcoming “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” game on September 25.
“I’m still pulling for Meryl Streep ‘cause I wan to see her say, ‘Come on, big money!’” he says, before joking, “That’s all I want, but she won’t come on because she found out you can’t win an Oscar for this.”
Even Meryl Streep and the other A-list celebrities who have already signed up should be won over by Sajak’s assurance that all proceeds will be donated to charity.
“We wouldn’t do this for charity unless we wanted the charities to do well,” Sajak said, “so we try to stack as much as we can in that regard.”