Pat Sajak has kind words for Alex Trebek, telling TMZ this week that he's rooting for the late Jeopardy! host to win the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host at the upcoming 2021 Daytime Emmy Awards. The news outlet caught Sajak walking in Beverly Hills and asked the Wheel of Fortune host if he thought Trebek would win once again in the category.
"Alex has won a lot, I presume he will win again. I hope he does," Sajak said. When asked if he would be happy if Trebek posthumously won, he said, "Yeah! I'm rooting for him." Trebek seems to be the favorite for this year's Emmy, but Sajak is used to losing to him, even joking that he is the "Susan Lucci of game shows," referring to the soap opera actress who was nominated 19 times before winning a Daytime Emmy for All My Children.
Sajak was nominated for this year's Daytime Emmys in the game show host category alongside Trebek for Jeopardy!, Steve Harvey for Family Feud, Wayne Brady for Let's Make a Deal, and Alfonso Ribeiro for Catch 21. Sajak has been nominated 20 times for Wheel of Fortune — taking home the win three times — while Trebek has been nominated 32 times and won seven times for Jeopardy! The winningest game show host at the Daytime Emmys is Bob Barker, who won 14 times out of his 23 nominations for The Price Is Right.
Sajak has hosted Wheel of Fortune since December 1981 after the original host, Chuck Woolery, departed after six years of hosting. While it's unclear when Sajak, 74, plans to retire, he told Good Morning America in 2019 that he'd "rather leave a couple of years too early than a couple of years too late." He said he doesn't have "a date in mind, but you know, two, three [years], something like that." His and Vanna White's contracts were renewed through 2022.
When Sajak underwent emergency surgery in November 2019, USA Today reported that his departure would be "in the single digits" of years from now. "I'd like to leave while the show's still popular, and I'd like to leave before people ask me to leave," he said. "And I'd like to leave before people tune in and see me and go, 'Ooh, what the hell happened to him?'" At the time, he said he "wasn't quite there yet," and added, "When I do leave, it won't be because I'm sick of it or burned out by it; I'll leave because it's time to go."
To see if Trebek takes home the posthumous Emmy, tune into the 2021 Daytime Emmy Awards, hosted by Sheryl Underwood, on June 25 in primetime on CBS and Paramount+.