Vanna White steps in for Pat Sajak to host ‘Wheel of Fortune’

The Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 taping of “Wheel of Fortune” was canceled after host Pat Sajak underwent emergency surgery for a blocked intestine.

  • The show resumed taping Nov. 8 wheel co-host Vanna White moving into Sajak’s role at primary host, standing next to the contestants and keeping the game flow going.
  • White’s role is typically limited to activating letters on the show’s digital puzzle board and clapping as well as appearing in promotional materials and bumpers.
  • The show is taped in advanced and sometimes out of order and, based on images for the set the show released, appears to be filming holiday themed Disney episodes.
  • Because of that, Mickey Mouse filled in for White at the puzzle board.
  • The episodes are reportedly scheduled to start airing Dec. 9.

It’s not immediately clear how many episodes White and Mickey will appear on. “Wheel” typically tapes a week’s worth of shows in a day, so the pair could potentially appear for five episodes.

  • Of course, a lot will depend on how long Sajak is out and where in the taping schedule “Wheel” is.
  • Since “Wheel” does tape out of order, it’s possible the show can take a few weeks off while Sajak recovers and still be able to provide station with new episodes.
  • However, it’s also possible that, come the next taping, Sajak may still be out, meaning White could end up hosting at least another 5 to 10 episodes.
  • It’s not immediately clear either how long the Disney tie in was scheduled for — so at some point there might not be a character conveniently available to fill in at the letter board.
  • Technically, the show would probably tape without anyone at the letter board since it can be controlled remotely without requiring White’s touch.
  • Normally White taps part of the frame around one of the screens that make up the board to trigger the letter’s reveal
  • During some puzzles, such as a toss ups, it’s not practical for her to do so fast enough so the game board operater reveals the letters all at once.

Coincidentally on Nov. 7, “Wheel” was in the new for another reason: Some fans were outraged over a possible mixup between the letters “B” and “D.”

  • However, because “Wheel” tapes in advance, the episode featuring White as host did not air Nov. 7 — but rather it was taped that day.