For decades, game-show fans have religiously tuned in to "Wheel of Fortune," and their devotion is due in no small part to the charisma and rapport between longtime host Pat Sajak and professional letter turner Vanna White. But is all their witty banter just for show?
Sajak is guest starring on Thursday night's "Sullivan & Son," and he has some less-than-loving words to say about the blond hostess (possibly not with the mostest), dissing her skills and work ethic. "She doesn't even turn the letters anymore. All she does is touch them, and they light up. She doesn't even do the ding!" Sajak says to an incredulous Hank (Brian Doyle-Murray). Well, technology is supposed to make our lives easier, right?
Watch a clip of Pat Sajak on "Sullivan & Son":
White doesn't disagree with Sajak's playful accusations that her job is pretty easy. "It's not the most intellectual job in the world, but I do have to know the letters," she once joked, adding, "When I was having that alphabet soup, I never thought that it would pay off."
What does White really think of her relationship with Sajak? "It's great. He's a great guy. He's so funny, and we have just clicked. I think that's what Merv [Griffin] saw 30 years ago. He saw a great relationship between us," White recently told Katie Couric, who referred to Sajak as White's "work husband."
Watch White on "Katie":
In early 2012, Sajak admitted that, back in the day, the duo were tipsy on the air after downing "two or three or six" margaritas during their breaks from filming the game show, adding that he even had "trouble recognizing the alphabet" after their jaunts to a Mexican restaurant. (Sounds like the stuff of real friendship!) Do they still go on similar escapades? "I would hesitate to have anything to drink now," Sajak, 66, said. But White remembers their earlier years differently, telling Couric, "We weren't drunk or anything like that."
Rumors have always swirled that the twosome's relationship was more than platonic, but Sajak and White maintain that there's no funny business. In a 1987 interview, however, Sajak said that they're somewhere between "lovers and feuders." And in 1989, in his final moments on the show before heading off to try his hand at a short-lived late-night talk show, Sajak planted an all-out romantic kiss on his co-host before Griffin (creator of "Wheel of Fortune") broke up the lovefest. That smooch was arguably the most scandalous moment ever on the family-friendly game show. Was it planned? As with most of their onscreen antics, we may never know.
We reached out to Sajak and White for comment, but had not heard back at the time of publication.
"Sullivan & Son" airs on Thursday, 7/25 at 10 PM on TBS.