Pat Sajak needs to buy a vowel to complete the word “ex_gger_te.” In a recent interview on ESPN2, the ”Wheel of Fortune” host claimed that years ago, he and Vanna White used to have “two or three or six” margaritas and then go back and tape the show while drunk. The story was everywhere, and even became a trending topic on Twitter Thursday, but Sajak now admits that he might have stretched the truth a bit.
“To be honest, and I hate to put an end to this drinking thing because we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of it, but it was probably a half a dozen times we went across the street and had a margarita,” he tells ABC News Radio. “But when you’re telling a story on the air, you want to make it sound more exciting than it was. In truth, you really can’t do television if you’re stumbling all over the place.”
However, Sajak says that the concept of game show hosts back in the day getting drunk during dinner and then going back to tape the show tipsy is not one that he made up. He said because they’d tape five shows in one day, there was always a dinner break. “I mean the stories around shows like ‘Hollywood Squares’ are legendary,” said Sajak. “You know, there’d be long dinner breaks and all the celebrities would have a glass of wine or two. And you could always tell when you’re watching which shows were taped after the dinner break!”
Sajak said he was a bit surprised at why the story started trending on Twitter — “I don’t know exactly what the appeal of it is,” he said — but he says that’s the way things work in this time of social media supremacy. “It is funny that on a little show on a little cable network, we’re doing a fun interview, two guys joking around and making a joke about having margaritas thirty years ago and it turns into, you know, a thing for a day,” said Sajak. “But it is the nature of the echo chamber now and here we are. So, let’s all enjoy it!”
Starting February 6, Sajak and “Wheel of Fortune” will host a Military Spouses Week — all the contestants will be military spouses representing all branches of the service.