(NEXSTAR) – Beloved “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak announced Monday that he will be retiring as host of the game show.
A four-decade run will come to a close at the end of the upcoming season.
“Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last,” Sajak said in a statement. “It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all.”
Sajak, who is 76, made the announcement on social media, joking, “If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!”
A statement from the show’s account replied:
“Thank you to the best host in the biz. Wheel of Fortune would not be what it is today without you, Pat. Looking forward to Season 41 being better than ever!”
Wishes of congratulations and thanks poured in from viewers, including from multiple people who recounted their own experiences as a contestant.
Sajak, who took over hosting duties in 1981, was joined a year later by Vanna White. The two have been mainstays in American living rooms ever since.
Before hosting “Wheel of Fortune,” Sajak joined Los Angeles’ KNBC as a weatherman in 1977. Four years later he was tapped by the game show’s creator, Merv Griffin, to take over hosting duties.
“The nice thing about working in local TV in LA,” Sajak once said, “is that decision makers are watching you every night.”