Replacing original host Chuck Woolery in 1982, Sajak brought a refreshing irreverence and self-mocking sparkle to his dreary duties as host of this inexplicably popular word game. His obvious charm even landed him a late-night talk-show gig on CBS in 1989. But it fizzled after 15 months, and Pat was back sharing the spotlight with letter-turner Vanna White and helping to keep Wheel spinning along well into the next millennium.
By Richard Zoglin
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