Who will take over the “Wheel of Fortune” hosting role when Pat Sajak exits after next season? If only we could spin a big wheel to find out! Sadly, our only option is to speculate … and pay attention when celebrities make rumblings about their desire to be considered.
The latest contender for the role may be Whoopi Goldberg.
When the topic of hosting “Wheel of Fortune” came up on a recent episode of “The View,” Joy Behar said, “Whoopi wants the job.” And Goldberg owned it: “I want that job,” she said. “I think it would be lots of fun.”
Here’s the whole conversation posted by “The View.” It took place as the women were interviewing Ken Jennings about his own hosting gig on “Jeopardy”:
It wouldn’t be Goldberg’s first time working on a game show. In the 1998 revival of “Hollywood Squares,” Goldberg was the joke-a-minute occupant of the renowned center square as well as an executive producer, and she has spoken of that game show job with incredible fondness.
But Goldberg isn’t the only one who wants the “Wheel of Fortune” gig. According to TMZ, Ryan Seacrest has entered some very early talks with Sony about taking the job.
And Stephen A. Smith, the host of ESPN’s sports analysis show “First Take,” expressed interest in the job during his podcast, “The Stephen A. Smith Show.”
“My mother loved ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ Loved ‘Wheel of Fortune,’” he said. “She really, really did, and so did I … I wanna throw my name in the hat.”
Another possibility is Pat Sajak’s own daughter, Maggie Sajak, who has already appeared on the show. In 2020, when her father was on medical leave to have surgery, she turned the letters so Vanna White could host the show, and she took on the role again this year when White was a contestant in a charity edition of the show.
But fans really began speculating about Maggie as a possible replacement for her dad after seeing this clip of her playing host during a “Wheel of Fortune” trivia game last December, as shown on the show’s official YouTube page.
Still, the oddsmakers at the sports betting site, BetUS, say the one with the highest odds of winning the gig is … White, the woman who’s been turning letters for Pat Sajak since 1982. According to The Sports Geek, White “has opened as the betting favorite to be the next host at +300 odds.”
If White moves into the hosting role, there will be a vacancy in the letter-turner spot.