Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak is recovering from emergency surgery for a blocked intestine, the show announced late Friday. Sajak is expected to be ok, but producers still canceled Thursday's taping. Production picked up again on Friday, but with longtime co-host Vanna White talking over sole hosting duties.
"Our taping on Thursday was canceled because host Pat Sajak underwent successful emergency surgery to correct a blocked intestine," the show's producers posted on the Wheel of Fortune Twitter page. "He is resting comfortably and looking forward to getting back to work. Taping resumed today as scheduled and Vanna White has stepped in as host."
The tweet was accompanied by an image of the Wheel of Fortune game board spelling out "Get well soon Pat!"
On Monday, Sajak, 73, appeared to be in good health when he joined White, 62, and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek to honor producer Harry Friedman, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Friedman has been executive producer of both syndicated shows since 1999 and is planning to retire.
"He makes every member of the staff feels invested in the show… he’s just a caring guy and he knows what he wants and he’s not a pushover," Sajak told PEOPLE at the event. "There’s always a good reason for what he does and he always has the show and the audience in mind. He’s just a great guy."
"I’m mostly going to miss being around a contemporary because he’s my age. Between rounds, I go over and we made stupid jokes and references that no one else would get under 60," Sajak said of his friend. "So I’m going to miss that…I’ll just be talking to myself."
Sajak is the longest-running host of any game show in television history. He has been hosting the syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune since it began in 1982, and taped his 7,000th episode in May 2018. White also joined the show in 1982.
Trebek is also in the midst of a serious health battle. The 79-year-old is fighting pancreatic cancer, and has the full support of his fellow gameshow hosts.
“Oh, I’ve been supporting him 100 percent,” White told Closer Weekly in May. “We’ve known each other for over 30 years, of course. And even though he’s on a different show, we’re still the same family so I’m there and supporting him and praying for him.”
"The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer. Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex," Sajak wrote in a March tweet.
Photo credit: David Livingston/Getty Images
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