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Vanna White takes the Wheel after Pat Sajak safely undergoes emergency surgery

Photo: David Becker (Getty Images)

Fulfilling a prophecy that went into motion long before Vanna Gray fell, wrapped in mortal combat with a balrog, into the Pit Of Khazad-dûm—and then emerged, many days later, as the far more powerful Vanna White—the long-time Wheel Of Fortune hostess has seized the wheel at last, hosting her own episode of the syndicated game show. The reason for this final ascent to power is a bit alarming, but happily non-tragic: The show was forced to go on a brief hiatus this week when regular host Pat Sajak had to undergo emergency surgery for a blocked intestine, and White filled in for him on hosting duties earlier today. (According to a tweet from the show, the surgery was successful, and Sajak is now resting comfortably.)

In their respective positions, Sajak and White have had one of the most consistent tenures in all of game show history; Sajak has the world record for longest game-show hosting stint, period, and since the syndicated version of Wheel was created in 1983 (out-lasting its original daytime network version by 28 years and counting), he’s hosted every single episode save one. (Alex Trebek stepped in for that one, although White did once host a bonus round when Sajak had lost his voice.) White has been slightly less omnipresent, which is to say she’s missed three weeks of work over the last 37 years, one of which was to process and recover from the sudden death of her husband in a plane crash in 1986. (Vanna White: Fairly hardcore.)

Anyway, we’re looking forward to seeing the episode—Mickey Mouse apparently shows up, according to CNN—and also to seeing Sajak return to his glibly smiling podium, thanking White for a pinch-hit well done. America’s game show hosts have been giving us too many damn scares of late, and nobody wants to see a vasectomy-crazed Chuck Woolery stepping back into Wheel’s pivotal role.

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