A lot of people have put long and hard thoughts into the potential day where one could reach a tipping point at work and verbally explode with rage. And while few people would expect to see it happen with a game show host like Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak, the long-time frontman recently took viewers by surprise with a fake (but still hyper-fierce) reaction to one contestant questioning the logic behind the correctness of one of his answers. It was probably the most animated Sajak has been on TV in ages, and it freaked some fans out.
During an episode that aired during Thanksgiving week, contestant Darin McBain was successful with a puzzle asking for four objects that begin with the word "kitchen," with answers that included cabinet, oven, towels and sink. All would have been fine and dandy had the episode just moved on, but McBain took his shot and questioned the normalcy of "kitchen oven" as everyday phrasing. When Pat Sajak countered by asking where else an oven would be, McBain agreed that it belongs in the kitchen, but implied that "kitchen oven" didn't belong in the right answers. And that's when Sajak let loose with a facetious mini-tirade that he later apologized for. Check a clip out below!
That was arguably one of the most uniquely uncomfortable game show moments that has ever followed someone being correct (Especially on a show like Wheel of Fortune, where puzzles inexplicably cause people to say the most baffling things instead of, you know, the right answers.) Darin McBain, whose mother appeared on Wheel of Fortune over 30 years ago, earned his share of defenders on Twitter who think he was perfectly within his game show rights to call out "kitchen oven" as being a questionable expression. But there's no way McBain could have known his comment would send Pat Sajak all the way up Batshit Response Mountain.
Though his faux ferocity gave way to smiles before too long, Pat Sajak's explosive outburst felt all too real at first, as he called out Darin McBain for being argumentative after he'd already won the puzzle. He then exasperatedly lumped McBain in with other "ungrateful players" before admitting he was joking. (Not that everyone on Twitter is so convinced it was purely fictional, but that's just how Twitter rolls.)
To be sure, Pat Sajak did make a more formal apology to Darin McBain later in the episode. Of course, he then chided McBain again for giving the show more trouble than his mother did in her time as a Wheel of Fortune contestant. Even when everybody knows he's just messing around, Sajak still goes for the gut.
Wheel of Fortune is gearing up to bring audiences a primetime celebrity-infused spinoff at some point in the near-ish future, and now I'm hoping that the show's producers and network execs add a little booze to the mix to see if we can get more spontaneous eruptions from Pat Sajak. Or maybe if Vanna White wants to go off on someone for buying too many vowels or something, that would rock as well.
With everything is seemingly going smoothly for episode tapings during all things COVID-19, Wheel of Fortune airs weekdays in syndication, so check your local listings to see when and where it's playing in your area. In the meantime, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule and our Winter and Spring 2021 TV rundown to see what new and returning shows are coming soon.