Ryan Seacrest Pays Tribute To Pat Sajak Before Taking Over Wheel Of Fortune Hosting Duties: 'You've Set The Standard...'

Seacrest called Sajak an extraordinary host who set the standard for everyone in the industry. He also expressed gratitude for his partnership with Vanna White, highlighting the duo's impact on TV.

Published on Jun 10, 2024  |  03:05 PM IST |  39.3K
(Instagram / Getty Images
Ryan Seacrest (L) Pat Sajak (R) (Instagram / Getty Images)

Ryan Seacrest is ready to step into Pat Sajak’s shoes, but not without first thanking and acknowledging his predecessor's contributions to and legacy at Wheel of Fortune. He paid tribute to Sajak following his final episode as a host of the game show series on Friday, June 7. Sajak, for those who may not know, became the face of the Wheel of Fortune in 1981.

“Pat, congratulations on an incredible run with Wheel of Fortune!” Seacrest began his tribute Instagram post alongside a picture of himself, Sajak, and Vanna White. “Your dedication, charm, and wit have made the show a beloved part of American television for decades,” he continued, adding that Sajak's partnership with Vanna has been nothing short of iconic. “You've set the standard for hosts everywhere, and this marks the end of an era,” Seacrest concluded, sending best wishes for the future on Sajak’s way.


Ryan Seacrest has been anticipating taking over Wheel of Fortune as a host

“No one can ever do what Pat has done. He is incredible,” Seacrest thoughtfully said of having to fill in Sajak’s big shoes to People this April. He continued to sing praises for the departing host, saying he made the show something very special for so long and did so seamlessly and remarkably. “People love watching him,” he elaborated, expressing hope to keep the audience and viewership numbers intact in light of Sajak’s departure. He announced his retirement in June 2023. Seacrest was announced as his replacement the following month.

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Besides Wheel of Fortune, Seacrest also has American Idol and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin’ Eve hosting contracts under his belt.

Vanna White, 67, Sajak’s co-host on Wheel of Fortune, meanwhile, is not yet stepping down from the series. She’ll be joining Seacrest for his inaugural season, with a deal to continue the gig through the 2025–26 season.

Here’s how Sajak paid tribute to his long-standing partner on the show during his final moments on Wheel of Fortune on Friday.

Pat Sajak honors Vanna White before departing Wheel of Fortune


“Like me, she takes the show very seriously, but not herself,” Sajak said of White on Friday's episode of the show, adding how it would have been a disaster to have someone all full of themselves as his “professional other half” for these 40-plus years. He went on to compliment her kindness and humility, saying that though they won't be sharing the screen anymore, they'll surely remain good friends in real life.

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“I will miss our nightly closes and her laughter and her good nature,” Sajak added of his colleague while expressing enthusiasm that the duo live just five miles apart, which will give them plenty of opportunities to see each other outside of work.

White, for the record, has been by Sajak’s side since 1982, a year after he initially joined. She gushed about her friendship with Sajak in her Farewell to Pat video uploaded on June 6. There, White called Sajak her “brother” and a “true lifelong friend.”

ALSO READ: How To Become A Wheel of Fortune Participant? Here's All We Know

FAQ

When did Pat Sajak start hosting Wheel of Fortune?
Pat Sajak became the host of Wheel of Fortune in 1981.

Who is replacing Pat Sajak as the host of Wheel of Fortune?
Ryan Seacrest is set to replace Pat Sajak as the host of Wheel of Fortune.

What other hosting roles does Ryan Seacrest have?
Besides Wheel of Fortune, Ryan Seacrest also hosts American Idol and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin’ Eve.

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