When I was a kid, I loved Wheel of Fortune.
It was such a simple game—unlike Jeopardy—that it often caught my attention whilst channel surfing after school.
I could spell.
I could scream out words.
I could play Wheel of Fortune like a champ.
Jeopardy required me to actually know things and I wasn’t down with that until, like, well after my college graduation.
Wheel, however, won me over for the longest time.
There was a brief period—something like three weeks or so—where I thought Vanna White was the prettiest lady on the planet. She was always wearing a new dress and smiling so pleasantly. She always knew which letters were hiding behind the blocks. It was hard not to like the gal.
Granted, I also thought she was mute, because Pat Sajak did all the talking. Seriously, he was one chatty mofo.
Today he let out an interesting detail that helps explain why.
Apparently it had a lot to do with how he and Vanna spent their lengthy, two-and-a-half hour lunch breaks:
“At NBC in Burbank we had a place called Los Arcos across the street — which is Spanish, as you know, for ‘The Arcos’ — and they served great margaritas.”
“Vanna and I would go across and have two or three or six and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet.”
There you have it, folks. Good ole Pat Sajak was three sheets to the wind whilst filming a number of episodes. This more than explains why he was such a Chatty Cathy.
I don’t really know how you could get away with something like that, but that was back in the ‘80s and I’m pretty certain the world was a lawless society wherein there were no consequences for any action, no matter how ludicrous.
That’s gotta be why Sajak went on to say that no one ever mentioned the whole “drunk on the job for a nationally-televised program” thing to either White or himself.
It’s that or the producers realized that no one—save for young children and old people—were ever actually watching the show and it probably wasn’t a big deal if the hosts were toasted.
Now if only this explained why Vanna never talked. I can’t think of anyone I know who has ever gone mute after multiple margaritas.
That gal is an enigma.