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Pat Sajak Hasn't Always Been The Perfect 'Wheel Of Fortune' Host — See His Most Cringe-Worthy Moments Over The Years

Mar. 18 2021, Published 3:55 p.m. ET

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For nearly 40 years, Pat Sajak has been the beloved host of the game show Wheel of Fortune

The syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune has been hosted continuously by Sajak and Vanna White since its inception in 1982. It is the longest-running syndicated game show in the U.S., with over 7,000 episodes taped and aired. The TV institution features contestants spinning a colorful carnival wheel, solving puzzles and winning “big money,” and has been entertaining audiences since 1975 — when original host Chuck Woolery was emcee.  

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For a show that has been on the air for four decades, there are bound to be mishaps, slip-ups and scandals behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera. OK! recently reported that after a string of cringe-worthy moments, producers of the long-running game show are eager for Sajak to take a break.  

Sources revealed that since the 74-year-old TV legend who was forced to hand off hosting duties to Vanna White in 2019 after undergoing emergency surgery for a blocked intestine, he “just hasn’t been the same since.” The insider added, “The producers want him to at least take a break from the show. They’re hoping that will pull him out of this terrible tailspin!”

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Scroll through to see five cringe-worthy moments involving Pat Sajak on Wheel of Fortune

Sajak Seemingly Mocked A Contestant's Speech Impediment

Some Wheel of Fortune viewers were calling for Sajak’s resignation after he seemingly mocked a contestant’s speech impediment during an episode. The player, Chris Brimble, introduced himself as a tech salesman, revealing his noticeable lisp. And instead of replying to him with, “I see,” Sajak said, “I thee.”

“Thanks for making fun of people with a lisp on tonight’s show you arrogant overpaid jerk - Pat Sajak. Quit now. Maybe if you grew up with a speech impediment you’d understand. #WheelOfFortune #patsajak #speechimpediment #lisp #patsajaksucks,” a user furiously wrote on Twitter after the incident.  

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Sajak Called A Contestant 'Ungrateful'

Sajak had a mini meltdown during the November 25, 2020, episode of the long-running game show when contestant Darin McBain challenged the acclaimed host on one of the puzzle answers. McBain, whose mother was a three-day champion on the show back in 1982, was tasked with solving a puzzle for things beginning with the word "kitchen." Though he correctly guessed "cabinet," "towels" and "sink," Darin took issue with "kitchen oven" being up on the board.

"Kitchen oven?" Darin asked Pat. "What was that? Who calls it a 'kitchen oven?'" In response, Pat snapped back, "Don't! You won! Don't argue, Darin!... You got the puzzle. Ungrateful players! I've had it!”

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Sajak Snapped At A Contestant Who 'Interrupted' Him

Not all viewers laughed when Sajak clapped back at a contestant named Sheryl when she tried to make her next move while he was promoting Dick's Sporting Goods on the show. "Never interrupt me. Never, never interrupt a plug," the host said, adding: "You can do anything else but don't interrupt. I'm sorry, what'd you want to do?”

After the sassy remark, a user tweeted, “Is Pat ok?,” noting that the host had been a “bit testy” with contestants as of late.  

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Sajak Loses His Cool And Walks Off Set

After years of hilarious and ridiculous Wheel of Fortune fails, Sajak finally had enough. During a Best Friends Week episode in Hawaii, one contestant yelled out an answer during the "What Are You Doing?" category with only one letter available.

"Riding a brown horse," he shouted after guessing the letter "N." But what followed next left Sajak no choice but to walk off set before returning and explaining, "I'm losing it." After the next contestant guessed “Riding a white horse,” Sajak lost his mind, screaming, “who said anything about a horse.”

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Sajak Always Gets The Last Laugh On The Show

An awkward moment happened as Sajak was introducing that game’s crop of players. He concluded with Greg Wylie, a freelance project manager from California who has both a unique hobby and a sense of humor. During their banter, Sajak noted that Wylie is a competitive historical fencing enthusiast.

“It’s more Renaissance outfits and we do competitive fencing tournaments, you can do multiple players on the field,” the contestant explained. “So basically I go out on the weekend and stab my friends. So, it’s very cathartic.” Sajak then pivoted to Wylie’s marriage of 14 years and his teenage daughter.

“Well just stay on guard,” Sajak quipped. “Fencing humor there.” He then turned to the to go to a commercial break, but not before Wylie managed to sneak in a pun of his own. “I got the point,” Wylie joked, before Sajak shot him with a death stare. 

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