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June 5, 2024 6:35 am  #1


Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

It's a show I haven't watched in decades, but I'll be DVR-ing Friday's episode because it marks a major broadcasting milestone. Pat Sajak's final show as host of the ubiquitous Wheel of Fortune comes after an incredible 42 years. I'll be curious how they usher him out and how emotional it might get.

Never mind buy a vowel. Buy a Kleenex. 

Ryan Seacrest will somehow shoehorn new hosting duties into his endless schedule starting Monday. 

The U.S. TV Guide paid tribute to the departing TV veteran on its front cover this week.

 

June 5, 2024 9:53 am  #2


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

I wonder how long Vanna will last; I think she's earned the choice to decide on her own.

I believe Pat is staying on as Executive Producer for another 2-3(?) years.

 

June 5, 2024 10:06 am  #3


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

Pat was a great host. I still remember the day that Bob Barker retired from The Price is Right and he gave a farewell message at the end of the show. Did you know that were other hosts that did Wheel of Fortune? They are Chuck Woolery, Rolf Benirschke, and Bob Goen. I think they did the daytime versions of Wheel of Fortune.

 

June 5, 2024 10:06 am  #4


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

She signed on for another two years, so she'll be around for a while yet. Not a bad living for doing something that requires absolutely no talent!

     Thread Starter
 

June 5, 2024 10:17 am  #5


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

haydenmatthews14 wrote:

Pat was a great host. I still remember the day that Bob Barker retired from The Price is Right and he gave a farewell message at the end of the show. Did you know that were other hosts that did Wheel of Fortune? They are Chuck Woolery, Rolf Benirschke, and Bob Goen. I think they did the daytime versions of Wheel of Fortune.

I've told this story before, but it's one of my all time favourite "what-if" tales. 

A friend of mine started in radio in Ohio and was a very successful disc jockey working at stations like WGAR Cleveland and WNBC New York. So not a small time talent. His name is Bob Pondillo, but he went on air as The Real Bob James. 

Back in the early 70s, he was working as a reporter for Entertainment Tonight, but he knew it wasn't quite the job for him. So he started looking for something else. And that's when he heard about an opening on a TV game show, which was looking for a new host. 

He decided to audition, and they played a fake game with fake contestants, just to see how he'd do. And it went great. In the end, it came down to Bob and one other guy as to who would get the gig. And the producers decided on the "other guy" because he'd been a weatherman on a Los Angeles TV station and they felt the audience would be more familiar with him. 

So my friend wound up back in radio and had a very successful career, while never looking back. But I often wonder what he thinks of how it all came out, because the show was "Wheel of Fortune" and that "other guy" was Pat Sajak. If the latter hadn't been more familiar to a local audience, it might be my friend retiring from that job as the current host. 

A twist of fate that hinged on the smallest of factors and forever changed two lives.  

Bob On The Air At WNBC, Circa 1988 After The Wheel Did Not Lead Him To A Fortune

     Thread Starter
 

June 5, 2024 12:32 pm  #6


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

Wonder how many people these days would know what those plastic things are on the lower left side of the screen.

 

June 6, 2024 4:08 pm  #7


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

Pat Sajak departs 'Wheel of Fortune' as TV's last old school game show host

"They were of a type. Generally middle-aged white men with the kind of telegenic, affable charisma found in local TV anchors – it's no surprise Sajak was a weatherman at KNBC in Los Angeles before Wheel of Fortune creator Merv Griffin called – these hosts were studiously inoffensive and positioned for appeal to viewers in middle America.

Many of them were former radio hosts or fledgling actors. But their primary fame came from leading viewers through amusing contests on television."

     Thread Starter
 

June 7, 2024 10:12 am  #8


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

An early preview of Sajak's final farewell.

So what's next for the erstwhile former host? You may not believe it.

 

     Thread Starter
 

June 7, 2024 4:39 pm  #9


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

I heard that there is a Russian version of Wheel of Fortune. Same as the American game, except there is a lineup to buy vowels.

 

June 7, 2024 6:00 pm  #10


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

They should have been promoting it as "Bye a vowel!"

     Thread Starter
 

June 7, 2024 6:37 pm  #11


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

Mace,
The 1970's are calling they want their cold warrior back.
In case you didn't know, Russia as of the mid 1990's or so ceased to be a country where Soviet times were noted for long lineups to buy rotting food from nearly bare store shelves.
As soon as the Soviet Union fell in about 1990 Russia quickly evolved into a country of luxury stores, often joint ventures with countries like Finland.
If there are lineups today they are usually outside the local Mercedes or BMW dealerships with people carrying their buckets of Oligarch cash.
Only people like Tucker Carleson are amazed that Russian supermarket shelves are crammed with the finest filet mignon steaks and big loafs of french bread.



 

Last edited by newsguy1 (June 7, 2024 6:39 pm)

 

June 7, 2024 6:43 pm  #12


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

newsguy1 wrote:

Mace,
The 1970's are calling they want their cold warrior back.
In case you didn't know, Russia as of the mid 1990's or so ceased to be a country where Soviet times were noted for long lineups to buy rotting food from nearly bare store shelves.
As soon as the Soviet Union fell in about 1990 Russia quickly evolved into a country of luxury stores, often joint ventures with countries like Finland.
If there are lineups today they are usually outside the local Mercedes or BMW dealerships with people carrying their buckets of Oligarch cash.
Only people like Tucker Carleson are amazed that Russian supermarket shelves are crammed with the finest filet mignon steaks and big loafs of french bread.

Yes it is an old joke. 40+ years ago.

 

June 9, 2024 5:49 pm  #13


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

Bill Brioux has some thoughts about Pat Sajak's leaving.  And he gives us his top five game show hosts of all time..https://brioux.tv/blog/2024/06/07/pat-sajak-spins-his-last-wheel-of-fortune/

 

June 9, 2024 6:43 pm  #14


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

>> Who am I leaving out?

Chuck Woolery. Steve Harvey, Drew Carey, Regis Philbin

Last edited by Dale Patterson (June 9, 2024 6:44 pm)


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

June 9, 2024 8:13 pm  #15


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

And one of the best of all time, Bill Cullen.

     Thread Starter
 

June 9, 2024 8:21 pm  #16


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

This would appear to be around 1975 or so. Never even knew they put out a chart - on recyclable paper no less!

     Thread Starter
 

June 14, 2024 12:04 am  #17


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

Could not resist this last thing about Wheel. And if you're like me, the real answer isn't the first one you thought of. 

     Thread Starter
 

June 14, 2024 5:29 am  #18


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

Seen that one many times!

The syndicated nighttime WoF with Pat & Vanna premiered in fall 1983, maybe a month after I was born, and if I remember correctly, Buffalo's WKBW was one of the first stations to pick it up. As for the daytime/network version, the ill-fated "Rolf" days still stick out like a sore thumb, and that experiment may have been what killed the daytime Wheel. I was an inpatient at Sick Kids when I saw more than one promo for Benirschke as daytime host, and at the time, not only was I thinking "who?", but also "what about Pat?", not knowing that there were still separate versions produced for the network (daytime) and syndication (nighttime)... just like Family Feud in the Ray Combs era (RIP) which, at home, I'd see in the morning on WJBK Detroit (CBS at the time), and then in the early evening on WDIV (NBC).

 

June 14, 2024 6:01 am  #19


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

     Thread Starter
 

June 14, 2024 10:30 am  #20


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

RadioActive wrote:

Would I be correct in assuming the channels listed in the ad are Buffalo. Rochester, Erie and Elmira?
 

 

June 14, 2024 10:35 am  #21


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

You would be correct. This was from the Western New York State edition, which I received for many years, back when they'd let Canadians subscribe. And even then, they didn't make it easy. 

     Thread Starter
 

June 14, 2024 7:01 pm  #22


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

RadioActive wrote:

You would be correct. This was from the Western New York State edition, which I received for many years, back when they'd let Canadians subscribe. And even then, they didn't make it easy. 

Any Canadian stations listed? Probably only CBLT, CFTO and CHCH.

 

June 14, 2024 7:27 pm  #23


Re: Pat Sajak's Final Wheel Of Fortune Airs Friday

Yep. And there was channel 5 (CBC) and Channel 5N , which stood for New York, since many systems carried what was then WNEW.

     Thread Starter