Ryan Seacrest Praises Pat Sajak for Setting 'Standard for Hosts Everywhere'
Instagram/ABC/Ricky Middlesworth

The 'American Idol' host pays heartfelt tribute to Pat Sajak as the legendary host steps down after 41 years and Seacrest prepares to take the reins of one of America's most beloved game shows.

AceShowbiz - The transition of power is underway on one of America's favorite game shows, "Wheel of Fortune", as Ryan Seacrest is set to take over from the venerable Pat Sajak. Sajak, who hosted the show for a remarkable 41 seasons, bid farewell to viewers in a heartfelt final episode. In the wake of this monumental change, Ryan Seacrest paid tribute to his predecessor on social media, acknowledging Sajak's incredible contribution to television.

"Pat, congratulations on an incredible run with Wheel of Fortune!" Seacrest expressed in an Instagram post following Sajak's final episode. "Your dedication, charm, and wit have made the show a beloved part of American television for decades."

"Your partnership with Vanna [White] has been nothing short of iconic, and together, you've created countless wonderful memories for viewers," he continued. "You've set the standard for hosts everywhere, and this marks the end of an era. Best wishes for all your future endeavors!"

Ryan Seacrest also shared a snapshot with Sajak and White, which resonated with fans who have watched the trio on screen for years.

Ryan Seacrest shares a pic with Pat Sajak and Vanna White

Ryan Seacrest shares a pic with Pat Sajak and Vanna White

Sajak, who started hosting the tile-turning game in 1981, expressed his gratitude to viewers at the end of his final show, thanking them for their loyalties "night after night, year after year, decade after decade." He also praised his long-time co-host Vanna White, highlighting their strong professional bond and personal friendship.

Seacrest's takeover is slated for the fall of 2024, and as he reflects on the opportunity, he feels both excitement and a sense of responsibility. "I have so much adrenaline rushing through my body," he shared with PEOPLE. "Excitement is the word because it's such a phenomenal show. I grew up watching the show, and I can't wait to take over after the legendary Pat Sajak."

While Sajak is moving on to new pursuits, including a limited-run production of "Prescription: Murder" in Honolulu, Hawaii, Seacrest is gearing up to infuse the beloved game show with his own flavor. Known for his roles on "American Idol" and "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve", he brings a wealth of experience and charisma to the role.

Fans of "Wheel of Fortune" need not worry about the show's continuity, as Vanna White will remain a staple on the show, extending her contract through the 2025-2026 season. Her presence ensures a familiar face and a sense of continuity as viewers adjust to Seacrest's new role.

The baton is being passed, and while the era of Pat Sajak comes to a close, the anticipation for Ryan Seacrest's inaugural season builds. Both hosts have shown immense respect for each other, ensuring that the legacy of "Wheel of Fortune" remains in good hands for years to come.

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