When Wheel Of Fortune Will Air Episodes Where Vanna White Replaced Pat Sajak

vanna white wheel of fortune with mickey and minnie
(Image credit: viacom cbs press)

Game show fans were in for a shock in November, when Wheel of Fortune mainstay Pat Sajak had to bow out of taping episodes so that he could take care of a medical emergency. The longtime host still isn't back in front of the camera yet, just under a month since the incident first went down, but we know when and how his very familiar co-star Vanna While will take over those hosting duties.

Vanna White will get to step up as the lone host of Wheel of Fortune starting on Monday, December 9, which will be the first-day kickoff of this year's annual Secret Santa giveaway. (More about that soon.) After that appearance, White will continue hosting the program makes a return at some point, though it's still not yet known when that might be, such was the importance of the surgery that Sajak had.

And for the nearest future, it looks like Vanna White's traditional letter-revealing duties will be passed along to Mickey Mouse and other characters for the Secret Santa event, so we'll get to see the Disney icon traversing the stage in search of lit-up consonants and vowels. Mickey shouldn't have trouble hearing anyone's erroneous guesses, what with those big ears, amirite?

Check out Vanna White all dressed up and standing alongside even more familiar Disney favorites like Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto. (I have to think that Pluto would be terrible at Wheel of Fortune, though he's such a good boy, yes he is.)

From Monday, December 9, through Friday, December 20, Wheel of Fortune will be running its annual Secret Santa promotion, in which each episode's three contestants become Secret Santas to viewers watching at home. The stipulation is that viewers need a Wheel Watchers Club SPIN ID number, which will make them eligible to receive the same prizes that are won by the contestant in question. The promotion has been a winner in the past, and this year will be no different, with Disney stepping up for the first time as the promotional partner for the giveaway.

For those who aren't fully caught up on Pat Sajak's recent woes, the central Wheel frontman had to go under the knife for an emergency surgery in early November to fix up a blocked intestine. The surgery was reportedly a success, and Sajak has been in recovery mode ever since. Considering no word has gone public yet about when he might get back to basics heading up Wheel of Fortune, some fans may be worrying that unforeseen complications have gotten in the way.

All seems to be well, though, with Pat Sajak hitting up social media in recent days to share political opinions and Thanksgiving jokes. If that's any indication, he could very well be back to his normal Wheel of Fortune hijinks by the time new episodes are airing in 2020, depending on how the filming schedule falls.

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So remember, Wheel of Fortune fans, you can catch Vanna White taking on hosting duties for only the second time in her game show career when the Christmas-themed Secret Santa episodes kick off on Monday, December 9. Wheel of Fortune airs in syndication, so be sure to check your local listings to see when it will be airing in your area.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.