Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak has made it crystal clear that he doesn’t want contestants vying for his role as the show’s star.
A Wheel of Fortune contestant is speaking out after his appearance on the popular weeknight game show.
The contestant, Michael Colen, claimed that Pat warned him not to overstep his bounds during filming.
Michael appeared on the November 3 episode of Wheel of Fortune when the middle school math teacher won, raking in $38,304 in winnings.
During his appearance, Michael entertained the audience with his jokes and theatrics, essentially “stealing the show” at points throughout the evening.
Following his appearance on the long-running game show, Michael spoke with The Sun and shared details about his backstage interaction with Pat.
Wheel of Fortune contestant claims Pat Sajak warned him not to steal the show
“Wheel of Fortune is my favorite show,” Michael admitted, acknowledging that he enjoyed entertaining the crowd.
“I was focused on winning the game, but comedy and making people laugh was my priority,” Michael told the outlet.
Michael then shared that during a commercial break, Pat approached him and drove home a sober message: Pat is the star of the show.
“In between one of the commercial breaks, Pat came up to me and said, ‘You know, Michael, this is my show, right?’” Michael said of their backstage exchange.
“And I said, ‘Yes sir, this is your show.’ But then, after that moment, he got really friendly. But he did give me that little ‘heads up.’ It was friendly, but it was funny,” Michael continued.
Michael shared that his takeaway from Pat’s comments was that he nearly stepped over the line of what Pat considers a contestant’s role during filming.
“I don’t know what prompted him to say that,” Michael concluded. “I guess I got a little too close to that line, and then he gave me the warning.”
Pat’s comments were ‘friendly banter,’ says Wheel of Fortune contestant
After all was said and done, Michael admitted to The Sun that he didn’t consider Pat’s comments a “warning” but rather “friendly banter.”
Michael is a huge fan of Pat’s and admitted he’ll miss the longtime Wheel of Fortune host when he retires next year following Season 41. He stated that it’s “gonna be weird without him.”
It’s possible that Pat’s comments were made in jest, but interestingly, he told another Wheel of Fortune contestant the opposite.
Pat Sajak jokes with another Wheel of Fortune contestant: ‘I’m not the star of the show’
During another November 2023 episode of Wheel of Fortune, Pat, 77, joked with a contestant named Derrick.
Derrick joked with Pat, telling him that his daughters consider Pat’s co-host, Vanna White, the star of the show, not Pat.
“Yeah, Pat, unfortunately, in my house, you’re not the star of the show,” Derrick teased.
Pat’s response elicited laughter from the crowd as he told Derrick, “Guess what? In my studio, I’m not the star of the show.”
Wheel of Fortune airs weeknights on ABC.