Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak Recovering From Emergency Surgery; Vanna White to Host in His Absence
Longtime Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, 73, has had to undergo emergency surgery for a blocked intestine, the show’s reps tell PEOPLE.
While the longtime host is expected to be fine, Thursday’s taping of the show, which is now in its 37th season, was canceled.
“The Wheel of Fortune taping on Thursday was canceled because host Pat Sajak underwent successful emergency surgery to correct a blocked intestine,” the show posted to its social media channels. “He is resting comfortably and looking forward to getting back to work. Taping resumed today as scheduled, and Vanna White has stepped in a host.”
On Nov. 4, Sajak was in great health and spirits as he joined White, 62, and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, 79, to celebrate their longtime producer and friend Harry Friedman, who was receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Speaking of his friend Friedman, Sajak told PEOPLE, “He makes every member of the staff feels invested in the show… he’s just a caring guy and he knows what he wants and he’s not a pushover. There’s always a good reason for what he does and he always has the show and the audience in mind. He’s just a great guy.”
Sajak added of Friedman, who will retire this year after 25 years working on both shows, “I’m mostly going to miss being around a contemporary because he’s my age. Between rounds, I go over and we made stupid jokes and references that no one else would get under 60. So I’m going to miss that…I’ll just be talking to myself.”
Pat Sajak has been hosting Wheel of Fortune, which is the longest-running syndicated game show in the U.S., since 1982. The show taped its 7,000th episode in May of last year.
In a recent PEOPLE article, Vanna White said that she and Sajak had never had a fight after nearly four decades of working together. “Well, once,” she said, referring to an argument over whether one should put ketchup on a hot dog. Sajak, who is originally from Chicago, is against the practice.
The game show host has been married to Lesly Sajak, a photographer, since 1989, and the couple has two children, son Patrick, 29, and daughter Maggie, 25.