The TV host and his partner, Vanna White, reflected on their 38 years together on the game show in an interview with ET published Thursday. The duo has been on with the popular nighttime competition show since its inception in 1983.
“We’re certainly closer to the end than the beginning,” Sajak, 74, revealed. “I’d like to leave before people tune in and look at me and say, ‘Ooh, what happened to him?’ “
He added that he “wouldn’t bet on seeing us in, like, 10 years,” to which White, 65, agreed.
“Probably, yes,” White said.
However, Sajak says his time on the show with White has been almost “unfathomable,” and that the two have a family-like bond.
“We’ve been together for like 38 years and he’s like my brother,” White added. “He’s funny. I mean, we could finish each other’s sentences if we wanted to. We know each other that well.”
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While the two plan to retire in the distant future, the duo recently renewed their contracts through the 2023-24 television seasons, Sony Pictures Television announced earlier this month.
Set to begin its 39th season later this month, “Wheel of Fortune” saw executive producer Mike Richards step down after derogatory comments he made in 2014 were surfaced. Richards was also removed from his role as a replacement host on “Jeopardy!,” which is still trying to find a successor to the late Alex Trebek.
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As part of the new deal, Sajak will take the role of consulting producer in conjunction with his hosting responsibilities.
“Wheel of Fortune” will also welcome back Maggie Sajak, the longtime host’s daughter, who will be rejoining the show’s digital presence as an online host and social media correspondent. She’ll be on exclusive videos, behind-the-scenes access, and interviews with the hosts and contestants.
In 2019, Sajak and White celebrated their 7,000th episode of “Wheel of Fortune” — a feat the dynamic duo told USA TODAY they could never have predicted.
“I thought, ‘Well, this is gonna be fun, but I can’t imagine it lasting that long,’ ” White said at the time. “I remember sitting in the chair next to Pat saying, ‘I wonder where we’ll be in 10 years?’ … And here it’s been 36.”
Sajak called his gig “the best job in television,” citing its fast-paced shooting schedule.
“It is work, but it’s almost like coming to your second family because most of the people that work here have been working on the show for 20-plus years, so we really are one big happy family,” White added.
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Contributing: Scott Gleeson, Erin Jensen