After hosting the hit game show ‘Wheel of Fortune’ for 40 years, Pat Sajak has officially made a rookie mistake.
On Thursday’s episode, the longtime host accidentally blurted out the answer to the bonus round, while the contestant struggled to guess a phrase with the letters ‘_ _ _TE _ RAN_L_.’
“Well, I’d rather be here than there, to be honest,” said Sajak, 74,.
As it turned out, the term “ frankly, ” which Sajak tried to mutter, was the answer to the puzzle.
Fortunately for him, the participant did not seem to understand the slip of the tongue and could not guess the answer within the allotted 30 seconds.
Pat Sajak, not in the picture, could be heard saying, ‘Well, I’d rather be here than there, frankly,’ as the contestant struggled to guess the phrase ‘honestly’ last Thursday
In the bonus round of the game, the contestant who has collected the most money during the show can choose one of three categories to solve a puzzle.
They are then asked to choose a card from a wheel with a prize on it that they can win if they guess the answer correctly.
Participants are given the letters ‘R’, ‘S’, ‘T’, ‘L’, ‘N’ and ‘E’, and are asked to choose a vowel and three other consonants to solve the word puzzle.
On Thursday’s episode, the contestant chose the letters ‘A’, ‘P’, ‘G’ and ‘H’ and struggled to come up with the answer, despite Sajak blurting it out.
At the end, his co-host Vanna White, who has been flipping and touching the letters on the board for over 35 years, asked him if he heard what he was saying.
“I did it right after I said it,” Sajak replied in the closing seconds of the show. “I wonder how many people caught it in the house.”
Sajak, right, and co-host Vanna White, left, addressed the flub in the last few minutes of the episode, highlighting the situation
Sajak has been the host of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ since 1981, after Merv Griffin imposed a moratorium on new episodes until NBC President and CEO Fred Silverman agreed to hire him.
“It shows that people are concentrating and not paying attention to me,” he said of the incident. “It’s funny what your mouth says and your brain tells you not to.”
He also made light of the situation, joking at the end: “Honestly, see you next time.”
Sajak has been the host of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ since 1981, commissioned by television personality Merv Griffin.
Griffin had asked Sajak a year earlier to take over Chuck Woolery’s guest appearance, but Fred Silverman, then NBC’s president and CEO, turned down his hiring, calling Sajak a more local celebrity.
In response, Griffin imposed a moratorium on new recordings of the show until Sajak was hired.
He now holds a Guinness World Record for longest game show career, and he and White celebrated the show’s 7,000th episode in 2019.
But of course a long career comes with a number of accidents.
Earlier this year, Sajak accidentally opened the prize envelope early, at the beginning of the puzzle.
He then said, “I’m not sure why I did that,” laughing to himself and leaning on the prize wheel for support.
He later blamed it on the fact that it was a Friday.
In addition, Sajak came under fire in February after asking a participant what they do for a living.
As Chris Brimble continued to respond, it became apparent that he was lisping.
At the end of the conversation, Sajak answered ‘I you’ rather than ‘I understand’, which some viewers on Twitter called ‘horrible’ and ‘offensive’.