It’s a particularly exciting time to be a fan of Wheel of Fortune, and a rather nerve-wracking time to be Vanna White. Vanna will be taking over for Pat Sajak and hosting the show for a couple of weeks as he recovers from emergency surgery. We’re all rooting for her and know she’s going to do a great job, but we did wonder: How many times has Vanna White hosted Wheel of Fortune? The answer might actually surprise even the most dedicated Wheel fans.
How many times has Vanna White hosted Wheel of Fortune?
There are actually multiple answers to this question depending on how you consider it. On Vanna White’s IMDb page, she is officially credited as a Hostess of the show and has been since she first started working on Wheel back in 1982. So technically, Vanna has hosted the show nearly 7,000 times, thank you very much.
Of course, this is her first stint performing Pat Sajak’s specific hosting duties like talking to the contestants and moving the show along. Or is it? True Wheel of Fortune fans know that Vanna took over for Pat Sajak on one other occasion.
Back in 1996, Pat and Vanna switched places for the Final Round puzzle. Pat had laryngitis that night and wanted to give his voice a break. He gamely strode to the puzzle board and tried his hand at flipping the letters (this was back before the show had gone digital, obviously), and Vanna stood up by the contestant and guided him through his selection of three consonants and a vowel. Here’s a very charming video of that puzzle:
That was only for a single puzzle, though. This hosting stint is the first time Vanna has taken over Pat’s role for an entire show. In an interview with the New York Times, she revealed that she was very surprised when the show’s producers asked her to fill in for Pat on such short notice. “I’ve never even thought of that in 37 years,” she said. “And to be asked almost on the spot, ‘How do you feel about hosting the show?’ Like, what?!”
How long will Vanna Host Wheel of Fortune?
Due to the show’s unique taping schedule, all of the Vanna-hosted episodes have already been recorded. The first slew of them will air for two weeks on from Dec. 9 through Dec. 20. In addition to being Vanna’s hosting debut, these episodes will feature the Wheel of Fortune Secret Santa Giveaway. And since it’s also Disney week, Vanna’s letter-revealing duties will be covered by Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse.
Then, there will be two weeks of shows hosted by Pat Sajak, which he taped before his emergency surgery. Starting Jan. 6, Vanna will once again be the host, and there will be a surprise guest at the puzzle board. We are so curious about who that could be — will Pat once again try his hand at revealing the letters (hopefully with better results)? Will Alex Trebek be stopping by? We shall see. In the meantime, we’re so impressed by Vanna’s hosting skills and can’t wait to see more.