Can I buy a vowel? A. Two As? Okay, I’ll solve – Vanna White is hosting Wheel of Fortune!
That’s right, y’all. Vanna White is stepping in for Pat Sajak and hosting Wheel for a few weeks, the first time Pat has been gone for longer than a single episode in…well, forever.
And we have to be honest about her performance. Vanna is killing it right now.
Don’t panic; your Wheel schedule isn’t going to be wonky forever. Vanna White is stepping in as host for three weeks of already-recorded episodes, which started airing this Monday, December 9.
According to a Twitter post from the official Wheel of Fortune account (yes, such a thing exists), Pat was out at the beginning of November for emergency surgery. He had a blocked intestine that simply could not wait.
Obviously, this wasn’t planned time off for Sajak, and the team of producers weren’t sure at first what they would do. You can’t just not air Wheel of Fortune. They knew they had to get Vanna on board.
Once, in 1996, Vanna and Pat switched places for a single round because Pat was suffering from a bad case of laryngitis and struggled to talk. On April 1, 1997, Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek swapped shows as an April Fool’s prank, with Trebek hosting Wheel and Pat hosting Jeopardy.
Those are the only two times that Pat hasn’t been at the wheel and ready.
When asked if she was nervous in an interview leading up to the first episodes she hosted, Vanna said that was “an understatement.”
“And to be asked almost on the spot, ‘How do you feel about hosting the show?’ Like, what?” She laughed at herself. “Normally I just stand there and I turn my letters, and I’m just happy as can be not having to worry about anything else.”
“But here I am controlling the game. So logistically, it was much harder. But I know every aspect of the game, which helped so much.”
So Pat is out for three weeks and Vanna White is stepping in. But who is going to spin the letters in place of White?
The answer is apparently Disney characters, if the first two episodes were any indication. On Monday, Minnie Mouse stepped up to the plate and offered her services. Tuesday it was Mickey’s turn.
The biggest problem fans have with Vanna’s hosting? Minnie and Mickey aren’t doing a very good job. Despite being adorable, they are simply standing at one side of the board and pointing at the letters, instead of manually touching each letter to turn it.
Frankly? Unacceptable. Vanna White did not walk over 2,000 miles (seriously) in a nearly 40 year period for Mickey and Minnie to stand and point. They have feet––they can walk their bouncy butts to each screen and touch it, just like Vanna does.
Pat Sajak was out for three weeks of taping, so we can expect his familiar face by next year. For now, we are graced with Vanna’s presence and jokes. At one point in Monday’s episode, she got confused by the wheel and asked, “How do you play this game again?”