Pat Sajak - Wheel of Fortune - YOutube

‘Wheel Of Fortune’: Who Was The Original Host Before Pat Sajak?

Game Shows, News

For many, Pat Sajak is the Wheel of Fortune host they’ve ever known. He, however, was not the original host of the game show. When the game show first debuted in 1975, there was someone else standing in those shoes. Who was the OG Wheel of Fortune host? What happened to him? When exactly did Pat Sajak take over? Keep reading for all the details.

Who was the original Wheel of Fortune host?

According to The Sun, Chuck Woolery is the name of the original host of Wheel of Fortune. And, he wasn’t standing next to Vanna White. Susan Stafford was the name of his co-host. The two hosted the game show from the time it debuted in 1975 until 1981. In 1981, Pat Sajak took over as the host of the show and he’s been the host ever since.

Chuck Woolery - Susn Stafford credit: KCRR 97.7


Why did Pat Sajak take over?

A salary dispute is allegedly why Chuck Woolery walked away from the game show. At the time, he was receiving $5,000 a week to be the host. He reportedly wanted his pay to be bumped to $10,000 a week. Merv Griffin, the creator of the show, countered by offering Chuck $7,500 a week. NBC, however, offered to pay the difference. The offer, however, got rescinded when Merv Griffin threatened to move the show from NBC to CBS. Ultimately, Chuck Woolery left the show with his last episode airing on December 25, 1981.

Chuck Woolery - Youtube

His co-host Susan Stafford did not immediately leave the show when he did. She, however, only had a brief stint on the show with Pat Sajak before she also made the decision to walk away from the show too. As Wheel of Fortune fans know, she was replaced by Vanna White. Susan made the decision to leave the show because she wanted to help cancer patients in Houston. The original co-host went on to write a book about her time on the show. Likewise, she admitted she walked away because she wanted more to her life than what she was doing as one of the hosts of the show.

As TvShowsAce reported, Pat Sajak recently revealed his days on the show are numbered as the end of his era as a host draws near. Who will take over as the next host of the show or will the show be canceled? Fans will have to wait for the answers to these questions.

Wheel Of Fortune - Pat Sajak - Youtube
Wheel Of Fortune – Pat Sajak – Youtube

Did you know Pat Sajak was not the original host of Wheel of Fortune? Did you watch the game show before he stepped into the role of the host? Let us know if you knew this or watched with the OG host in the comments down below. And, keep coming back for more game show news.

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