Pat Sajak asks ‘Wheel of Fortune’ fans to ‘have a little heart’ after flub goes viral

Wheel of Fortune Pat Sajak
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

Pat Sajak is making a public plea to “Wheel of Fortune” fans.

The 75-year-old longtime host took to Twitter to ask fans to show some compassion for the contestants following a moment from a previous episode that went viral.

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On Tuesday’s show, three contestants made nearly a dozen attempts to solve a puzzle.

The correct phrase was “Another feather in your cap,” however, one contestant incorrectly guessed “hat,” “map,” and “lap,” before another contestant guessed the right letter and was able to solve.

Naturally, the flubs ignited a firestorm of responses and criticism from the very vocal fanbase on Twitter.

It even got the attention of some high profile accounts, including “Frozen” actor Josh Gad, who shared a snippet from the episode with the caption: “God help us all.”

Another account called it the "worst two minutes in the history of ‘Wheel of Fortune,’” and a third noted: “Hey if you feel like screaming at the TV in agony and want to throw something at your screen round 2 of tonight’s ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is *perfect* for you.”

All the mean-natured responses prompted Sajak to intervene on the contestants’ behalf.

"It always pains me when nice people come on our show to play a game and win some money and maybe fulfill a lifelong dream, and are then subject to online ridicule when they make a mistake or something goes awry,” he began on Twitter.

Sajak specifically called out the puzzle, he noted: "Sitting at home, it seems incredible that they couldn’t solve it, but I knew in real time what was happening."

He explained that many people use the phrase “feather in your hat” instead of “in your cap,” so when the answer was wrong, all three contestants were stunned.

"Now imagine you’re on national TV, and you’re suddenly thrown a curve and you begin getting worried about looking stupid, and if the feather isn’t in your hat, where the heck can it be? You start flailing away looking for alternatives rather than synonyms for 'hat,'" he added.

He continued: "And, of course, when it’s solved, you want to crawl in a hole. I’ve been praised online for 'keeping it together' and not making fun of the players. Truth is, all I want to do is help to get them through it and convince them that those things happen even to very bright people."

He explained that viewers watching from the couch can’t begin to “appreciate” the stress that contestants are under, adding, “Good-natured laughter is one thing. Heck, they laughed at themselves. But, hey, cut them some slack. Unless you’re there, you have no idea how different it is in the studio.”

“So, yeah, it was an oddly entertaining puzzle and it’s okay to laugh at the situation. But have a little heart,” he said.

He concluded with a very direct message: “After all, you may be there one day. And no one wants to be trending on Twitter.”

One of the contestant's from the episode, Christopher Coleman, told TMZ that the moment was “an isolated incident” and that he wished people would "have more empathy and a little more grace and understanding.”

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