Vanna White has been on the Wheel of Fortune stage since 1982, but soon you’ll see her on television doing something for the first time: hosting the show. White has worked alongside Pat Sajak for 37 years but will now host the show for a stretch while the latter recovers from surgery.
Sajak underwent an emergency procedure to remove an intestinal blockage. The show announced the move on Twitter on Friday, with an image that spelled out “GET WELL SOON PAT!” on the board White has operated for decades.
Our taping on Thursday was canceled because host Pat Sajak underwent successful emergency surgery to correct a blocked intestine. He is resting comfortably and looking forward to getting back to work. Taping resumed today as scheduled and Vanna White has stepped in as host. pic.twitter.com/09zYOCE4hL
— Wheel of Fortune (@WheelofFortune) November 8, 2019
TMZ notes that Sajak will be off of hosting duties for about two weeks, which means the show will tape with White at the wheel while he recovers. The show later showed White on stage with various Disney characters and seemed to indicate that White’s episodes will air in mid December.
Vanna steps in as host and Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto join in the fun! pic.twitter.com/dEpHLxjTMU
— Wheel of Fortune (@WheelofFortune) November 9, 2019
The New York Post reported that it’s the first time White will host the show, though she did briefly man the wheel during an episode in 2013.
White, who’s been gracefully displaying items on the board since 1982, has never taken on hosting duties until now. But it’s about time. In 2013, during an episode where Sajak had to hurry backstage to re-watch a contestant’s tape that was too close to call onstage, White had a rare moment in the host role with the audience.
The crowd loved the chance to chat with the usually-silent White, according to the Washington Post.
It will be great to see White hosting the show, though the circumstances are not ideal. Hopefully Sajak is back to full health soon.