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Pat Sajak's Daughter Celebrated Wheel Of Fortune Host's 40-Year Anniversary With Fantastic Throwback Pic

Pat Sajak on Christmas-themed set of Wheel of Fortune
(Image credit: Wheel of Fortune)

As familiar a TV staple as anyone who has ever graced the small screen for an extended presence, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak celebrated a whopper of a career milestone during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. December 28, 2021 marked 40 years since he took the Wheel stage for his very first episode, and while he did temporarily step away time and again from contestants’ terrible guesses, Sajak has largely served as the iconic game show’s host since 1981. And you know who else was happy to celebrate such a major achievement in an awesome way? His daughter and occasional fill-in presenter Maggie Sajak!

As the social correspondent for Wheel of Fortune, Maggie Sajak is no stranger to catching fans’ eyes on Twitter and other platforms. And she definitely inspired some glee with viewers with the following throwback pic celebrating her father’s game show legacy: 

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If you look up “gee-golly fresh-face” in the dictionary, there’s probably a fold-out poster of Pat Sajak from his first Wheel of Fortune episode. The youthful energy coming off of that photo is mighty, and the host was amazingly already in his mid-30s when he took the job, as opposed to someone who’d just landed his first kiss at the eighth grade graduation. If only he’d been rocking a fuzzy caterpillar on his upper lip like fellow game show icon Alex Trebek…actually, no, let’s be grateful that was not the case.

I like that his suit jacket, when viewed through “digitally captured shot of non-HD ‘80s TV footage” fuzziness, kind of looks like the black-and-white dead air that isn’t nearly as prevalent as it used to be on television. I know it’s not that, but it’d be a timely look if nothing else.

Speaking of timely things, Pat Sajak shared his own post recognizing the 40-year anniversary of his first Wheel of Fortune episode, which he landed as a replacement for Chuck Woolery. Here’s his Twitter post, which also acknowledges his pre-Vanna White co-star:

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It’s almost strange that Dallas is the only piece of media Pat Sajak mentioned that has been revived or rebooted in the past decade. Although The Jeffersons did play into ABC’s most recent live sitcom recreations, while Dukes of Hazzard has earned completely different forms of attention. Hard to picture anyone trying to out-do John Ritter with a modernized Three’s Company, similar to picturing anyone attempting to follow Sajak as Wheel of Fortune host if and when he retires in a few years. Jeopardy! has certainly had a hell of a time trying to replace Trebek. 

Could Maggie Sajak rise up the ladder to take her father’s place one day? Only time and studio heads will tell, so just keep watching Wheel of Fortune when it airs in syndication. (Check your local listings to see when and where it plays.) And if you want to see Pat Sajak outside of wheels and letters and prizes, check out his statuesque cameo in Disney+’s Muppets Haunted Mansion special.

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.