Wheel of Fortune stars Pat Sajak and Vanna White enjoyed a dinner together earlier this week to celebrate as things get back to normal in the game show universe following Sajak's emergency surgery. The duo were seen with Sajak's daughter, Maggie Sajak, who replaced White as letter-turner in this week's episodes. Sajak missed Wheel tapings in November, leaving White to host.
Sajak, his 25-year-old daughter Maggie, and co-star White were seen at Craig's in Hollywood on Thursday, with the game show host looking like his usual jovial self. Sajak's son Patrick, 29, and wife Lesley were also at the dinner, reports Closer Weekly.
Outside the restaurant, TMZ asked Sajak if he had any idea who should host after he retires. "Once I'm gone, I don't care who takes the reins," Sajak replied.
This was not the first time Sajak, 73, was spotted in public since his surgery in early November. Later that month, Sajak and Maggie were spotted at a Washington Capitals game. Sajak also returned to filming on Dec. 5.
Sajak needed emergency surgery for a blocked intestine. While he recovered, White stepped in to host solo for the first time in their 37 years on the show together. The first batch of White-hosted shows aired during the week of Dec. 20, with Sajak-hosted episodes returning the following week. However, the first new episodes of 2020 went back to White-hosted games.
"This is a little complicated, so pay attention," Sajak explained in a video shown before the Jan. 6 episode. "I was back from my surgery last week and had a wonderful time on the show, and I'm not going to be here this week. It's not that I had a relapse, it's just because of the technicalities of the taping order and all that. So you're going to see Vanna doing her Pat impression here. She does a great job. And we have a special letter toucher."
Sajak, like his Jeopardy! counterpart Alex Trebek, are signed to keep hosting Wheel through 2022. In a recent Good Morning America interview, Sajak hinted that he would continue to host for the next two to three years before retiring on his own terms.
"I'd rather leave a couple years too early than a couple years too late," the television legend said. "I don't have a date in mind, but you know, two, three [years], something like that."
In that same interview, Sajak said the quick surgery may have saved his life.
"You couldn't do anything," Sajak explained. "I was in [a] fetal position, lying on the bed. They try to give you various drugs for the pain. And none of it — none — was working. And then they gave me something, I couldn't even tell you the name of it, but suddenly, I wasn't thinking about the pain. I just had these beautiful pastels and lovely faces coming out of it."
Thankfully, the television legend is feeling much better today.
"I'm feelin' great," Sajak told GMA. "I've actually felt ridiculously good for several weeks. I've been back in the studio actually, doing shows. Even spinning the wheel and, you know, nothing has popped. So I think it's OK."
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