Signs That Pat Sajak May Be Over Wheel Of Fortune

Pat Sajak has appeared on "Wheel of Fortune" since 1981. Sajak is widely known for his quick, yet dry humor that has contributed to the beloved show's success. But in recent years, "Wheel" fans have noticed that Sajak hasn't been as warm to the contestants as he once was. 

Social media started buzzing about his behavior in 2014 during "Best Friends Week," which was being filmed in Hawaii. After a group of friends prematurely tried to solve a puzzle with just one letter on the board, Sajak jokingly walked off the set. He returned with an incredulous expression on his face and quickly became a meme — with a little help from the "Wheel of Fortune" Twitter account. Other instances included when Sajak gave a contestant a death glare for slipping in a quick one-liner, and the many other moments we've elaborated on below. Is Sajak losing his patience more and more on the game show, or are fans overreacting to his comments and behavior? Let's dive into the signs that Pat Sajak may be done with "Wheel of Fortune."

He's open about his plans to leave Wheel of Fortune

Pat Sajak and letter-turner Vanna White have been brutally honest with fans about their futures on "Wheel of Fortune." Shortly after the two extended their contracts into 2024, they sat down with ET, where Sajak said he "wouldn't bet" on them being on the show in 10 years.

"We're certainly closer to the end than the beginning," Sajak said. "I'd like to leave before people tune in and look at me and say, 'Oh, what happened to him?'" Sajak's contract renewal also came with the added responsibility of becoming the show's coordinating producer. However, he relinquished one of his duties as host, taking a small step toward the day he'll step down from the role: It was decided that he would no longer touch the wheel for the "final spin." Instead, the contestant would.

"If you think about it, by doing the 'final spin' I, as host, had an impact on the outcome of the game and that has always bothered me because it just didn't feel right," Sajak said in a statement to Variety. He pointed out that the change placed the fate of contestants fully in their own hands, adding, "The host does not impose themself in any way."

Pat Sajak called a Wheel contestant 'ungrateful'

Pat Sajak "finally snapped" at a "Wheel of Fortune" contestant in November 2020, per Yahoo! Entertainment. Before the outburst, Darin McBain and the host had a friendly exchange about his mother's three-day run on the show back in 1982. But things got a little tense when McBain questioned the winning phrase of a puzzle about kitchen objects.

"Kitchen oven? What was that?" McBain asked. "Yeah, where else would you keep an oven?" Sajak challenged." "Who calls it a 'kitchen oven?'" the contestant replied. "You won! Don't argue, Darin," Sajak quipped, but the host seemed to get a bit exasperated when he raised his voice and continued, "You got the puzzle. Ungrateful players, I've had it!"

McBain laughed off the remark while Sajak insisted he was joking, but the host still apologized for his outburst later in the show. "I'm sorry I yelled at you, Darin," Sajak said to the crowd's applause. "I just don't remember your mother giving us trouble like you did." "She would never do that," McBain replied. The contestant also admitted that he was the one who initiated the exchange, which had one Twitter user calling for Sajak to be replaced by his "nicer" co-host Vanna White and another suggesting that Sajak was "sick [of] hosting" the show.

He shunned a contestant for interrupting him

As the host of "Wheel of Fortune," Pat Sajak is required to say and do certain things to keep the show running. In December 2020, contestant Sheryl Senet messed up his flow by spinning the wheel too early.

"I stopped you in mid-spin because I hadn't given the category yet, but that's all right," Sajak said, per Yahoo! Entertainment. Senet apologized, to which Sajak said, "It's all my fault. I'm the captain of the ship, and it's going down." Part of Sajak's job is to also make sure the show's sponsors get their proper shoutout. He got a little testy with Senet when she wanted to buy a vowel while he was promoting Dick's Sporting Goods.

"Never interrupt me. Never, never interrupt a plug. You can do anything else but don't interrupt. I'm sorry, what'd you want to do?" "I apologize," Sheryl laughingly responded, but some Twitter users weren't so amused. "Remember people, never interrupt the MAN," one wrote. "Did Pat stop drinking caffeine this week or something? He's had ZERO patience and I'm pretty sure he genuinely hates Sheryl," another tweeted. Others thought that people were overreacting to Sajak's warning and that he wasn't being rude at all, with one defender writing, "Nothing wrong with this exchange." Another user commented, "He was clearly just having a laugh, making a joke."

Pat Sajak seemingly mocked a contestant's speech impediment

"Wheel of Fortune" fans were not happy with Pat Sajak after he allegedly mimicked a contestant's lisp, per Yahoo! Entertainment. When asked about his day job, contestant Chris Brimble talked about his company that sells technology to help the elderly in nursing homes. The host wondered if it was a difficult job due to the older adults not being open to new things, but Brimble assured him this was a myth. "I thee," Sajak replied, seemingly mispronouncing "see" on purpose. Brimble appeared to laugh it off while Sajak went on to introduce the next contestant, but Twitter erupted over the mishap.

"Pat crosses the line far too much," one user tweeted. Another agreed that the host has an issue when it comes to the way he treats contestants on the show, writing, "He has a mean streak or an unthinking streak. Whichever ... it needs to STOP." Others found his behavior offensive on a more personal level, with one critic tweeting, "That's awful ... @patsajak – I use to be a fan ... I grew up with a parent who had issues speaking."  The incident didn't seem to affect Brimble's puzzle-solving, as he went home with over $12,000.

He may have cost Joey Fatone's charity money

NSYNC singer Joey Fatone appeared alongside Boyz II Men members Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris in a November 20201 episode of "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune." Instead of taking home a cash prize, celebs pick a charity to receive their winnings. Fatone chose the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center at the University of Kentucky, but as reported by Yahoo! Entertainment, some fans blame Pat Sajak for the singer not winning as much as he could have for the charity. Explaining the "Before & After" category, Sajak said, "That's one of those where you mash two things together, like we would say — 'It'd be Wanya Morris and Morris the Cat.' Then we'd put them together. Just an example."

When Fatone attempted to solve the puzzle, he said "Stretch Mark Mark Wahlberg," but only needed one "Mark" to win. This set Twitter ablaze, with fans divided on whether Sajak set Fatone up for failure or if Fatone should have read up on the rules before appearing on the show.

He jokingly quit his hosting duties when history was made

Three contestants made "Wheel of Fortune" history in early February 2022 by winning $100,000 each in three consecutive days. Perhaps no one was as surprised as Pat Sajak at the results in the bonus rounds. The large sum of money isn't just given out; contestants have to spin the wheel to determine their prize.

Revealing the earnings on the third day, Sajak said, "Who's gonna book my trip to Vegas?" and showed the $100,000 card to the camera. He then jokingly tossed the card and proclaimed, "I'm out of here. That's it, I'm through," before walking off the set. He quickly returned to congratulate the contestant. The show's official Twitter account had a different reaction to the win on social media, celebrating it with a tweet that read, "Breaking News: Wheel of Fortune is running out of confetti!"

Sajak's daughter, Maggie, who is the show's social media correspondent, also capitalized on the moment, sharing a FaceTime conversation with her dad. "I'm running out of words to describe my reaction. Stunned, surprised, I don't know. It's all inadequate," Sajak said in reaction to the payouts. He went on to say that it would be "virtually impossible" for another contestant to continue the winning streak. "You mean like three in a row was virtually impossible?" Maggie playfully challenged her father.

Pat Sajak doesn't know who Benedict Cumberbatch is

When you've hosted the same game show for 40 years, it may be tough to keep up with happenings outside of the "Wheel" bubble. Maybe that's why Pat Sajak doesn't have any clue who some of today's popular actors are, including Benedict Cumberbatch. The Brit, most commonly known for his roles in "Doctor Strange" and "Sherlock," was part of an answer on the show's "Before & After" category, which "Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune" contestant Tatyana Ali correctly solved, per ET Canada. Sajak didn't quite understand the answer and asked "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star to explain. This made Ali rethink her own knowledge, saying, "Benedict Cumberbatch is an act— an actor, right?" looking at the host for backup. "Yes!" she said.

Sajak admitted he was relying on Ali's answer because he didn't know who Cumberbatch was. "My apologies, Mr. Cumberbatch," he said. "But I spend a lot of time in my basement. I have no idea what's going on." The show's Twitter account also owned up to the blunder, tweeting, "Our apologies, Benedict Cumberbatch!," with a crying laughing face.

He gave away the answer to a puzzle

Pat Sajak has hosted "Wheel of Fortune" long enough to solve a few puzzles himself every now and then. But he accidentally gave away the answer to a puzzle on an April 2021 episode of the show.

Jeffrey, the contestant, didn't have much to work with when he only received half the letters he needed to solve the bonus round puzzle. "Well, I'd rather be standing here than there, quite frankly," Sajak said to the contestant, giving him the answer, per OK!. Although Jeffrey didn't catch the clue or solve the puzzle, Sajak and Vanna White addressed the slip during the show's closing conversation.

"I wonder how many people at home caught it," Sajak said. "There weren't many letters up there and I said, 'I'd rather be here than there, quite frankly' — which was the puzzle. But it goes to show you that people are concentrating and not paying any attention to me. ... It's funny what your ... mouth will say when your brain says, 'You shouldn't do that.'"