Grab your tissues, folks. After more than four decades on television, Pat Sajak revealed he is officially retiring from hosting Wheel of Fortune.
The longtime game show personality shocked fans on June 12 when he posted the surprise announcement on Twitter. In the tweet, which quickly went viral on the social media platform, Pat shared his plans to leave after the 2023-2024 season set to begin later this fall. The moment is also significant for him, as it will mark the end of his hosting Wheel of Fortune after joining in 1981.
“Well, the time has come,” he wrote. “I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!).” With Pat being a staple of the game show for close to half a century, many viewers wasted no time sharing how much he has meant to them over the years. What’s more, some couldn’t help but feel emotional over the turn of events.
“Noooooo! That’s me selfishly screaming for you to stay! Of course you deserve an amazing retirement. Thank you for being a national treasure, sir! ,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Congratulations on a job well done! You deserve this!” another replied. “You’re the best, Pat. You made the show what it us today! Thank you,” a different follower commented.
Although Pat’s retirement is on the horizon, he won’t be leaving the Wheel of Fortune world so quickly. In an official statement obtained by Deadline, after he steps away from the stage he’ll have a new role behind the scenes. “As the host of Wheel of Fortune, Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for 40 amazing years,” said Suzanne Prete, EVP Game Shows at Sony Pictures Television. “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.”