While the contestant named Deanna struggled to finish a simple puzzle, Pat clenched his teeth. Finally, she suggested buying a vowel and then announced that she would like to solve the puzzle with one letter missing. The longtime game show host could be heard shouting, “Please!”
Eventually, Deanna was able to guess the phrase correctly: “the most beautiful sunsets.” Pat seemed thankful that the segment was over, letting out a sigh of relief and a chuckle.
“I felt less like a game show host and more like a dentist, pulling teeth to get there,” he remarked.
Luckily for Pat, Deanna was a good sport and laughed it off. The audience roared with laughter after the playful exchange.
Season 41 of Wheel of Fortune will be Pat’s last as host after years of hinting at his possible retirement from the show. He will be passing the role over to Ryan Seacrest for season 42, which is set to air in September 2024.
Ryan, 49, has not been able to contain his excitement over starting the next chapter of his career. He explained that he hopes to keep the integrity of the beloved format of the show once he steps into the new role.
“My version will be the version that is,” Ryan said during an appearance on Sunday Today in September 2023. “The game works. All you want to do is walk in and say, ‘Good evening,’ grab your devices and ‘Here’s the first puzzle.’”
The American Idol host is thrilled to get the opportunity to work alongside Vanna White, who extended her Wheel of Fortune contract through the 2025-2026 season, Closer confirmed in September 2023. For Vanna, 66, continuing on with the long-running program feels bittersweet without Pat.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 41 years,” the letter-turner told Good Morning America in November 2023. “I think of Pat as family and always will.”
She continued, “I know everything about him,” adding, “I know when he walks in, when he’s walking up the stairs. If he’s in a good mood or a bad mood.”
The longtime colleagues-turned-friends refer to themselves as “Ken and Barbie.”
“I mean, we’re not quite that today,” Vanna explained. “But Ken and Barbie go together and always have. Peanut butter and jelly go together. Pat and Vanna go together.”