When Pat Sajak took some time off from his “Wheel of Fortune” hosting duties in 2019 to undergo emergency surgery, his longtime TV partner, Vanna White, filled in.
And though she made it seem flawless, his daughter, Maggie Sajak, revealed that it’s anything but.
Sajak, who currently serves as the show’s social correspondent, stepped in for White temporarily as she hosted three weeks worth of episodes as the fill-in host before Pat returned for his first episode back.
She told Yahoo Entertainment that the gig is much more labor intensive than just turning the letters.
Prior to her duties, she revealed that she got some coaching from White.
She recalled White coming over to her house the night before her first taping to give her some tips and pointers.
"She gave me a little tutorial, like on our refrigerator, of how to press the letters and how hard to press them and all of that," Sajak explained.
She continued: "She was so gracious in teaching me, and you know, she had a big job to do that week too, filling in for my dad. So it was a new experience for both of us, and I'm really glad we were able to do that together."
Sajak noted that her father was pleased with how she embraced the role and was thrilled to keep it in the family.
"He was really glad that it was something that we could kind of keep it in the family because it was a crazy time. I mean, you know, he had this emergency that happened and so there was a lot going on, so to kind of be able to simplify it and keep it all rolling. I think he was really thankful for that,” she said.
In March 2020, Pat told CBS Sunday Morning that fans were very supportive of White.
“The fact that she did it speaks volumes about her. It would have been very easy for her to say, ‘I’m sorry, this is not what I do,'” Pat said about White. “But the audience was rooting for her and almost proud to see her up there.”
Sajak is all too familiar with the “Wheel of Fortune” set as she grew up around it.
While finally landing an official gig on the show was a big deal for her, she recalled the one time her she joined her brother and “pretended to be Pat and Vanna during a close.”
“And we were, I don't know, I think I was like four and he was like eight," Sajak explained, adding, "It was very cute."
In September, it was announced that Pat and White have signed contracts to continue hosting the show through 2024. Sajak will also be adding consulting producer to his resume.
Pat and White have worked on the hit game show since 1983.
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