Pat Sajak again drew viewers of “Wheel of Fortune” back into watching it closely when he briefly disappeared during a bonus puzzle round of the show and was replaced by host Jim Thornton for a brief moment.
While the moment caused a brief panic among viewers, it turns out the disappearance was little more than a fun swap between host Sajak and announcer Thornton. As the final round contestant would relate to E! News afterward, she was just a huge fan of the booth man and the moment was made extra special when he stood next to her for the final puzzle
“I love Jim Thornton so much,” the contestant Sarah told Sajak at one point of the show, according to E! News. “And how could someone not? His voice is so soothing and energizing. He’s hilarious and just such a good person.”
“When I don’t hear his voice I worry about him,” she added. “So, I’m so glad he’s here.”
Who's this guy and what has he done with Pat? pic.twitter.com/cFE71uefDg
— Wheel of Fortune (@WheelofFortune) April 27, 2023
As one Fox News commenter said beneath their own article, what happened was just a really great gesture to enhance the user experience of the contestant.
“Pat did not disappear at all. it was actually a very nice thing that was done. the winning contestant was a huge fan of the announcer Jim. In a wonderful act Jim stepped in and completed the bonus round with the contestant. Pat finished the show summarizing the contestants winning as Jim would have,” the person wrote.
“I looked at my husband and said it was a very nice gesture and was glad to see that they had done that for her. I understand that Pat has been under scrutiny recently, but definitely should not be critized for this,” the person finished.
The swap may or may not have been in the works anyways, but its timing was nevertheless curious.
This is far from the first time Sajak’s on-screen antics have entertained and surprised viewers. In another incident, he “tackled” one of the contestants.
That came when a contestant named Fred revealed he was, among other things, a professional wrestler. This tidbit came in handy after Fred won every puzzle thrown at him and the two other poor souls, who left empty-handed, and even cruised to a sweet $40,000 victory in the final round. Fred wound up winning over $75,000 for his efforts.
Sajak first asked the other two contestants after time ran out if they wanted him to “body slam” Fred for his complete domination. They said yes, and then once Fred won the bonus round, the host let him hug his father before wrapping him up in a behind-the-head hold, surprising people who weren’t paying close attention and providing a good bit of entertainment for viewers.
Check that funny moment out here:
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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