Viewers of the popular game show “Wheel of Fortune” were surprised when longtime host Pat Sajak mysteriously left before the bonus round. Fans were left wondering what happened to Pat Sajak on Wheel of Fortune and speculated about the future of his 42-year tenure.
“Wheel of Fortune,” created by Merv Griffin, has been on air since January 1975 and is hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Sajak had hinted at a possible exit at the end of Season 40, while Vanna expressed her desire to continue hosting alongside him. Their on-screen partnership has become iconic, making it difficult for fans to imagine anyone else in their roles.
During the April 26 episode, Sajak gave up hosting duties in the bonus round, and the show’s announcer, Jim Thornton, took over as host. This unexpected change left fans speculating about Sajak’s absence, with some wondering if he was sick or had been fired. However, it became clear that this was a planned switch when contestant Sarah expressed her admiration for Jim Thornton at the beginning of the show. Jim jokingly responded to her praise, setting the stage for his unexpected hosting role later on.
When the show returned from a commercial break for the bonus round, Sajak was still absent, and Jim Thornton continued to host. Although Sarah couldn’t solve the bonus puzzle, she won an additional $40,000 and had the opportunity to meet Jim. Sajak reappeared briefly during the credits at the end of the episode and jokingly asked Vanna if he had missed anything.
The details surrounding Pat Sajak’s absence on that particular episode remain undisclosed. Some viewers speculated that it could have been an opportunity for Jim Thornton to showcase his hosting abilities as a potential replacement for Sajak in the future. With Sajak’s possible departure at the end of Season 40, Jim Thornton may have more opportunities to host episodes of “Wheel of Fortune.”
As of now, the show continues to air on weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on ABC, and fans eagerly await further updates regarding the future of the beloved game show and its hosts.