‘Wheel of Fortune’ Shocks Viewers by Unexpectedly Switching out Pat Sajak as Host

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'Wheel of Fortune' Pulls Host Swap PrankChristopher Willard - Getty Images

Wheel of Fortune always has something up its sleeve, but even the biggest fans were caught off guard when one well-known Hollywood star showed up in the most unexpected manner.

The hit game show's April 1 episode featured a shocking host switch-up... and no, it wasn't the previously-announced replacement, Ryan Seacrest. As viewers geared up to see Pat Sajak walk into the studio with his co-star Vanna White as usual, they got a massive surprise. Instead of seeing Pat greet the audience, folks saw Vanna walk onto the soundstage with her arm around 30 Seconds to Mars frontman and Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto.

"Ladies and gentlemen, here are the stars of our show — Jared Leto and Vanna White!" the announcer declared at the top of the episode.

It seems the stunt was pulled in honor of April Fools' Day, with the hit game show deciding to celebrate by pranking the audience and viewers at home. Pat soon came back and the episode resumed its regularly scheduled programming. But as People reported, there was no further mention of or explanation for the unexpected swap. Understandably, folks took to social media to share their reactions to the surprising move.

"This is the best April Fool's prank I've seen this year! 😂😍🔥," one person wrote on Instagram. "It took a minute to realize it was an April Fool’s prank. Wasn’t thinking April 1," another said. "They got me good! I thought Pat was out sick. Then remembered it's April Fools 😂," a different viewer added.

While the thrill of seeing Jared replace Pat for a few minutes had Wheel of Fortune fans excited in the moment, it also reminded folks how Pat's time as host is ending very soon.

Back in June 2023, the longtime TV personality announced he would be retiring as host after more than four decades on the job. What's more, the show revealed Ryan Seacrest will take over Pat's role starting in September 2024, with Pat becoming a consultant for Wheel of Fortune for three years.

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