Over the most recent holiday season, TV history was made (in a sense) on the long-running game show Wheel of Fortune. After host Pat Sajak ended up in the hospital due to an emergency surgery, hostess Vanna White stepped up and filled the role for the first time in decades, and pulled it off for weeks at a time. Fans were more than enthusiastic, despite any hiccups, but that doesn't exactly guarantee that White would jump back at the chance to host again in the future.
While Vanna White's return as host isn't as ludicrous an idea as, say, Wheel of Fortune replacing its iconic wheel with a square cube, it doesn't sound like she'll be beating down any producers' doors to convince them to make the change. Here's how she answered the always great Mo Rocca during a recent CBS interview.
Uhm, it's not at the top of my list. I loved being there, I loved doing it. But I was so nervous. Maybe if I did it a few more times, I would feel better about it. But I'm my worst critic.
The best way to tell that Vanna White didn't hate her time as Wheel of Fortune's substitute host is the way she says that doing it even more might have helped her feel less nervous about it. If she truly despised stepping into the hosting spotlight, she probably wouldn't care whether doing more episodes would help or hurt her trepidations. She would probably also be a more passive critic about it, as opposed to being her own worst critic.
Rather, Vanna White confirmed that she did indeed love being the Wheel of Fortune host through its Christmas-themed installments. I'm sure it wasn't a burden to have Disney's hallmark crew of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy around to help take care of the letters. It would be a mighty interesting twist if Pat Sajak retired soon, only to have Vanna take his place, with Mickey Mouse permanently filling in for White.
Pat Sajak is back at Wheel of Fortune's helm now, and barring any more emergency surgeries, it's not likely he'll bow out again anytime soon.(Unless she's got vacation time and his daughter is available to fill in.) But he was definitely happy to see that Vanna White was able to set aside her nervousness in order to lead the show. Here's how Sajak put it:
The fact that she did it speak volumes about her. It would have been very easy for her to say, 'I'm sorry, this is not what I do.' But the audience was rooting for her and almost proud to see her up there.
Indeed, after taking on the same letter-revealing duties for so many years, Vanna White was more than welcome elsewhere on the Wheel of Fortune stage, where she could interact with the contestants more directly. Understandably, White has a distinct empathy for the hopefuls that show up on the show to try and win money. In her words:
I feel so bad because those contestants go through so much and they're so nervous up there. You know, they say it the wrong way. . . . I feel so sad for them when that happens.
Vanna White is currently contracted with Wheel of Fortune until 2021, so fans will be able to watch her in her rmost familiar role for at least another two years. That said, it would be nearly blasphemous for the show to get rid of Vanna White even after that, so here's hoping she sticks around until the last possible instance.
Wheel of Fortune airs in syndication, so check your local listings to see when and where it is playing in your area.