by Greg Schwem
Try as they may, the folks overseeing Pat Sajak’s final appearance as “Wheel of Fortune” host will have a tall order keeping it under wraps before it actually airs.
Maybe the leaker will be a fed-up camera operator, anxious for payback after years of having to zoom in on Sajak’s changing hair color. Or a researcher, forced to log extra hours after Sajak rejected all of her “Around the House” puzzles. Maybe Vanna White herself has been waiting for revenge after Sajak asked, in a 2022 episode, if she had ever watched opera “in the buff.”
Regardless, one can just feel like Sajak, after deciding to call it quits next year, in what will be his 41st season (no, that’s not a misprint), will snap — perhaps multiple times — before his last bonus round. Fans of the show should be prepared for anything and everything, from the moment Sajak takes the stage.
“Well, here we are everybody. After doing this since the year Reagan got shot, it’s our last episode. Vanna, are you ready?”
“I’m ready Pat. Truthfully, I’m kind of emotional.”
“Me too. Actually, I’ve been crying every night since they canceled my talk show.”
“’Bosom Buddies’ lasted longer, Pat.”
“It also lasted longer than the time it takes you to reveal two ‘Ds,’ Vanna. Speaking of double Ds, let’s meet our first contestant. Hi, Cheryl.”
“Where are you from, Cheryl?”
“The great state of Georgia!”
“Ahh, yes. Say hi to Marjorie Taylor Greene for me. Wow, you take one selfie with her, and you find out how liberal your audience is. OK, Cheryl, the category is ‘Food and Drink,’ both of which are going to taste amazing in about 30 minutes. One of them has been in my back pocket since 2017. Care to guess Vanna?”
“I wouldn’t know, Pat.”
“That’s why you’re over there and I’m here. Cheryl, spin the wheel.”
“Come on $1,000!”
“Clapping doesn’t help Cheryl. Haven’t you ever watched the show? See? $250. Pick a letter.
“I’d like an ‘M’ please.
“There’s one ‘M.’”
“I’d like to buy a vowel.”
“That’s a shocker.”
“An ‘A’ please?”
“Four A’s. Vanna is going to have to do some jogging. Hey, Vanna, do you ever jog in the buff? While listening to opera?”
“Here’s two letters I’m going to reveal to you, Pat. HR. As in Human Resources.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time. Cheryl, what do you want to do?”
“I’ll spin, Pat.”
“You do that. Oh wow, bankrupt. Kind of like this show after I leave. Contestant number two, David. It says you’re a high school teacher. What do you teach?”
“I teach English, Pat.”
“We could have used you on this show, Dave. Hey, Vanna, remember that college kid who couldn’t pronounce ‘Achilles’? Wonder where that kid is now? Probably teaching English, like Dave here. OK, Dave, spin.”
“Pat, can I buy another vowel?”
“Oh, for the love of Merv Griffin. You’re not even gonna try? Fine, buy a vowel.
“An ‘I’ please.
“Two I’s, as in ‘This puzzle is so easy, Dave should be able to solve it with two eyes closed.’ What do you think, Dave?”
“I’ll spin, Pat.”
“Fine, be greedy. Oh, wow, ‘lose a turn.’ Hope you enjoyed your moment in the spotlight, Dave. Contestant number three, Sarah. You want to say hi to a special someone?”
“Yes, my mother who is 93, retired and living in Florida.”
“Great, Sarah. Thanks for saying ‘hi’ to three quarters of our viewing audience. Please tell me you’re not going to buy a vowel.”
“No, I’ll spin Pat.”
“Two Rs. Now we’re cooking.”
“Pat, I’d like to solve the puzzle.”
“Go for it. Sarah.”
“Margarita with sand!”
(ABRUPT FADE TO BLACK. CUT TO PENSIVE SHOT OF RYAN SEACREST HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS)
(Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author of two books: “Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad” and the recently released “The Road To Success Goes Through the Salad Bar: A Pile of BS From a Corporate Comedian,” available at https://www.amazon.com/. Visit Greg on the web at https://www.gregschwem.com/.
You’ve enjoyed reading, and laughing at, Greg Schwem’s monthly humor columns in Senior Living News. But did you know Greg is also a nationally touring stand-up comedian? And he loves to make audiences laugh about the joys, and frustrations, of growing older. Watch the clip and, if you’d like Greg to perform at your senior center or senior event, contact him through his website at https://www.gregschwem.com/)