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Pat Sajak: I used to host “Wheel of Fortune” drunk

120125wheel-of-fortune-pat1Longtime “Wheel of Fortune” star Pat Sajak said he used to host the show when he was D-R-_-N-K.

(Feel like buying a vowel? Try a U).

The game show’s host since 1981, Sajak told Dan Le Batard of “Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable” that he and trusty letter flipper Vanna White used to knock back margaritas at a Mexican restaurant before showtime back in the day, “and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet.”

Here’s a link to a story and video of the interview posted by TV Guide.

Happily, Sajak long ago gave up the pre-show cocktails and sounded relieved that he never lapsed into a stupor while the cameras were rolling. (Today, he joked during the lighthearted interview, he’d probably keel over if he merely sniffed a wine cork.)

“I had a great time,” he said. “I have no idea if the shows were any good, but no one said anything, so I guess I did OK.”

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

69 comments Add your comment

So what step is this?

January 25th, 2012
11:27 pm

So is this where you got the name for your column?

Lefty

January 25th, 2012
11:52 pm

Okay, I saw the interview with Le Batard and Sajak NEVER said he was drunk when he hosted the show. He did say that occasionally they’d go have a couple margaritas before the last taping, but he was absolutely joking when he said they had trouble recognizing the alphabet. Did you even watch the interview. Talk about sensationalism. This, and the accompanying headline, completely misrepresent Sajak’s comments.

BobT

January 26th, 2012
12:01 am

Sajak and Le Batard were joking with each other!!!! Hello!!!! Did someone take a few too many “literal” pills this morning.

Mountain Dawg

January 26th, 2012
12:02 am

Pago Flyer

January 26th, 2012
12:18 am

Pago thinks it’s goofy when they make contestants clap all the time.

fred

January 26th, 2012
12:34 am

So you think this is bs? Search youtube for “drunk pat sajak”, there are video clips of him hitting a wine bottle at every commercial, more of him so drunk he slurs, and hangs all over contestsants. See for yourself.

Michael

January 26th, 2012
1:25 am

Great Story

January 26th, 2012
1:35 am

Great story. I am now a better person for reading.

shaggy

January 26th, 2012
6:06 am

Bob Barker used to F_A_R_T in the general direction of his contestants.

FarmerRob

January 26th, 2012
6:09 am

OK, Jennifer this is where you jump in and fall on your sword for sorry, lame-a$$ reporting. What is when you print lies about someone–is that called libel??? Did you even listen to the interview or did you just print something from another lame reporter’s work or just from a transcript, where you get nothing of the nuance, inflection, and humor being used?

This is why the AJC is held is such high regard (NOT).

mojo

January 26th, 2012
6:56 am

If you see the video and watched the show,he was doing as a joke.I saw this many years ago,he used to do silly stuff to try to make the announcer laugh while reading the prizes, commercials etc..now they are taped. Plus, can anyone take a joke?

Mysticsheesh

January 26th, 2012
7:21 am

I just have to ask. IF the whole thing with Le Batard was a tongue-in-cheek interview, and IF Sajak was only kidding, etc., then WHY, pray tell, do you all feel compelled to attack Ms. Brett personally? Just curious, those of you who took that tack, were you also the playground bully when you were young?

A friend of mine just wrote a blog on this very thing. It said, in part:

“We are taught that it’s not nice to discuss (insert your favorite taboo subject here), yet on the Internet we are emboldened to say anything we please because we are not within striking distance of our readers. The Internet seems to make us feel that we have license to to speak without thinking, to write without editing, to fly off the handle, to behave recklessly. It is so impersonal, and yet it is so intensely personal.”

I read this column and a couple of others purely out of curiosity… not because there is going to be anything that should better my life, or make a difference in the sad state that our country is in. You guys really need to lighten up!

jeffrey d

January 26th, 2012
7:23 am

This is why the AJC is held is such high regard (NOT).

Soooooo…if it sucks so much here, why do you hang out here? Oh that’s right…complaining on the internet is your thing.

Kat

January 26th, 2012
7:24 am

Another misleading headline in the ajc today: UGA’s Mark Richt goes to jail for recruiting. This one wasn’t true either.

Orlando

January 26th, 2012
7:24 am

Wow, give Jen a break. No one is perfect…lets do a quality check of all your jobs~!!!! Lets see if you are flipping the burgers twice instead of once…. Get a life, its an entertainment blog!

Brad

January 26th, 2012
7:27 am

This story is trash. AJC continues to degenerate. Maybe I’ll start reading National Enquirer for a little more substance.

jeffrey d

January 26th, 2012
7:38 am

I don’t get why if people hate it here so much they keep coming back. I don’t like Waffle House. So I don’t go to Waffle House, order hashbrowns, and then complain about them. I guess some people aren’t happy unless they have something to complain about :roll:

Smokewagon

January 26th, 2012
7:40 am

I have watched Wheel while drunk before. Loved the double Vanna’s.

Fred

January 26th, 2012
7:54 am

Lefty

January 25th, 2012
11:52 pm

Okay, I saw the interview with Le Batard and Sajak NEVER said he was drunk when he hosted the show.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Are you deaf, stupid or just a freaking liar?

Host: Have you ever done wheel of fortune a little bit drunk?
Pat: Yes

I’d post a link but it’s already there and you were either too stupid to understand it the first time or deaf and couldn’t hear it, or like I said just a plain old fashioned LIAR.

Just damn………

Jeffro Bodeen

January 26th, 2012
8:01 am

I bet he was knocking back something besides margaritas with Vanna…..:)

Lauren

January 26th, 2012
8:06 am

I watched the video and Pat was NOT joking about being drunk during some of the earlier tapings of the show, and what he describes its not even a big deal. The only thing he joked about in regard to being drunk was during the interview…jeez!

Oh and calling the the woman out of her name is really mature folks….

Mr. Ed

January 26th, 2012
8:12 am

“Soooooo…if it sucks so much here, why do you hang out here? Oh that’s right…complaining on the internet is your thing.”

Mebbe, these type people are decribed in an accurate manner in the “South Park” parody of Wheel.

The contestant was asked to solve a puzzle about the following subject manner. “People who annoy you.”

elroy

January 26th, 2012
8:14 am

AJC should get rid of nearly all columnist. They suck! this story/report is a good example of why. Mark bradley in sports is atrocious as well.

greader

January 26th, 2012
8:19 am

Didn’t you know that the AJC was the new tabloid?

dansfae

January 26th, 2012
8:25 am

Why does he think this is a revelation?

Ryan Seecrust

January 26th, 2012
8:26 am

So you’re saying Pat Sajak was drunk behind the wheel?

BK

January 26th, 2012
8:48 am

Agreed seecrust. He should have gotten a SUI. Spinning under the influence

JackDennis

January 26th, 2012
8:59 am

Yeah, Sajak is widely known as a rabblerouser. Once came on air with a hair out of place.

cubefarm girl

January 26th, 2012
9:04 am

First time in this AJC portal, and who cares if the story is true or not….The comments are awesome: Seecrust (seriously funny), BK (you too), Jeffro, Smokewagon (me too), Shaggy.

~ Thanks for the morning laugh ;D

I'm so dumb

January 26th, 2012
9:07 am

Isn’t this the entertainment/Hollywood/celebrity column? When I read the short, somewhat humorous piece, I wasn’t expecting any more or less. Why do some of you people even bother to read and then to comment on a article that is so beneath you? Skip this section of the website next time, why don’t you.

Ryan

January 26th, 2012
9:11 am

Interesting. I have to be drunk to watch Wheel of Fortune.

Heady

January 26th, 2012
9:16 am

Do you really have to be sober to be a game show host?

Jennifer Brett

January 26th, 2012
9:16 am

Dear “I’m so dumb”:

You’re actually pretty smart. :)

Jennifer

crackbaby

January 26th, 2012
9:31 am

Can’t imagine how mind numbingly boring it would be to host the same show thousands and thousands of times…..

Seems like it would drive one to drink

Bob in Sandy Springs

January 26th, 2012
9:58 am

Truth in reporting…..

Just another reason why the AJC is sinking…..Currently known as the Atlanta Daily fish wrapper.

Randall Simmons

January 26th, 2012
10:07 am

What a HARD_A_S_S!

Mid Town Joe

January 26th, 2012
10:12 am

I’d like to buy a vowel. Is there an “R”?

Dr. Oncologist

January 26th, 2012
10:24 am

Bob in Sandy Springs: …..Currently known as the Atlanta Daily fish wrapper.

never heard that before, corncob bob. did your crack team of comedy writers stay up all night sweating over the corn in your excrement?

Mike

January 26th, 2012
10:30 am

“Match Game” was notorious for this. They taped two weeks worth of shows every other weekend, and would have a dinner break between the “Wednesday” and “Thursday” shows. Which is why the episodes that ran later in the week were much crazier, like the one where Maclean Stevenson didn’t have a change of clothes for the next “day” and showed up wearing a tie with no shirt. Or Betty White’s striptease (I can’t believe she was in her fifties at the time!)

woodrow

January 26th, 2012
10:32 am

Well Mr. Sajak, I must say, you did not do a very good job and I never liked your snarky act. Perhaps you should have drank more.

wsmit

January 26th, 2012
10:51 am

I never thought about it till I saw him having trouble on a show last year (2011). I said I think Pat’s drunk!

BravesFan

January 26th, 2012
10:56 am

Hey CancerDr. LOVE your response to Bobbie!! I was wondering why Bobbie would read the AJC if he hates.

baconbits

January 26th, 2012
11:12 am

Wow! Stop the presses! Anybody remember the ole Johnny Carson show from the 60s and 70s? They smoked cigarettes! What a dumb article. Oh well. I guess rookie journalist types have to apprentice somewhere.

All I remember is

January 26th, 2012
11:25 am

Life was better in the 1980’s.
Ronald Reagan, no internet, no cell phones, less idle chatter.

randy

January 26th, 2012
11:32 am

when i watched to show religiously back in the 90s i used to think on sometimes “i bet he’s been drinking” he always had that look like he threw back a few

cathie kerns

January 26th, 2012
11:32 am

cathie kerns

January 26th, 2012
11:33 am

randy

January 26th, 2012
11:34 am

wow guess i threw back a few bf i wrote that one lol

Dean

January 26th, 2012
12:26 pm

I sometimes wondered if Pat was a little tipsy.

Miss Cleo

January 26th, 2012
12:29 pm

Why is my comment “awaiting moderation” when other bloggers on here are saying way more “offensive” things (some even to the point of insulting you, personally)???????????