'Wheel of Fortune' Host Pat Sajak Under Fire for Yelling at Contestant Day After Viral Tackling Moment
Was he being cranky or funny — or a little bit of both?
Pat Sajak, the longtime host of the popular game show “Wheel of Fortune,” took a little heat from the media for a remark during Wednesday’s show that some thought sounded rather gruff.
The New York Post was one of the first to draw attention to the incident — if it can even be called that — and several other media outlets, including Fox News, followed suit.
“Please, solve the darn puzzle,” he urged Nicole of Peachtree, Georgia, who had repeatedly spun the giant wheel and correctly guessed several letters in the word puzzle, Fox reported.
She did, raking in $10,650 for correctly guessing “coconut & cough syrup.”
The Post said Sajak “yelled” his remark, and its headline characterized him as scolding the contestant.
‘Solve the darn puzzle’: Pat Sajak scolds ‘Wheel of Fortune’ contestant https://t.co/Db9IVuv4px pic.twitter.com/kM3Hsjf6OT
— New York Post (@nypost) March 23, 2023
The news outlet couldn’t resist multiple puns, joking that Sajak “nearly threw in the vowel” and claiming the contestant’s delay in solving the puzzle “seemingly made his head spin.”
“But Sajak’s irritation didn’t stop there,” the Post continued. It went on to describe Sajak’s follow-up comments in negative terms. “‘We appreciate that you pretended you didn’t know till the end. You increased the drama and that was great,’ he mocked, believing that Nicole knew that he was just joking with her,” the outlet reported.
The Post’s story went on to again bring up an incident from earlier in the week, in which Sajak also made headlines for playfully putting a wrestling move on a winning contestant who said he is a part-time professional in the sport.
Despite multiple news outlets reporting the incident as “bizarre” and “unhinged,” the man involved, Fred Jackson, played along with Sajak’s joke and later said, “I loved it.”
‘Wheel of Fortune’ wrestler defends Pat Sajak attack: ‘I loved it’ https://t.co/2v9sovgPXE pic.twitter.com/iBmZTq54Jg
— New York Post (@nypost) March 24, 2023
Some YouTube commenters said Sajak may have carried his joking too far.
“Has anybody thought to reach out and just see if he’s ok?” one asked. “Maybe the Clown World is getting to him.”
Others theorized the incidents were just publicity stunts.
“Ratings must be tanking. Gotta do something lol,” another commented.
Several indicated they didn’t see what the fuss was all about.
“This…..this is scolding someone?” one asked.
Another pointed out, “He’s always done things like this. It’s funny and even the contestants know he is only having fun with them. Oh well…welcome to cancel culture 2023.”
Still another said, “Welcome to America of 2023, where game show hosts can no longer have fun with the contestants.”
“All fun and games, lighten up a little, people,” another chimed in.
A few even questioned the media’s news judgment for even making a story — let alone multiple stories — out of it, offering remarks like:
“Lol slow news day?”
“This is the most non-story ever.”
“Wow talk about trying to make something out of NOTHING…”
One even asked, “Does Pat’s ex wife work at the Post?”
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