Are ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek and ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Host Pat Sajak Friends? Kind Of.

Two of the most highly successful game shows of all time on the air right now are Jeopardy!, hosted by Alex Trebek, and Wheel of Fortune, with Pat Sajak at the helm.

Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek
Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek | Jerritt Clark/WireImage

Both men have been at the front of their respective shows for nearly forty years, an astounding length of time.

So, are these contemporaries just industry colleagues, or good friends?

Both hosts had health issues in 2019

Sajak had emergency surgery for a blocked intestine in November 2019. The show issued a statement at that time via Twitter saying, “Our taping on Thursday was canceled because host Pat Sajak underwent successful emergency surgery to correct a blocked intestine. He is resting comfortably and looking forward to getting back to work.”

The 73-year-old Sajak returned to his post earlier this year.

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As for Alex Trebek, as is well known, the Jeopardy! host’s news of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March 2019 shocked and saddened his fans and viewers. As of March 2020, Trebek’s doctors were thrilled to mark his one-year survival. The Canadian-born Trebek issued a statement thanking fans for their steadfast support.

“You know my oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day,” Trebek said. “He said, ‘Alex, even though the two-year survival rate is only 7%,’ he was certain that one year from now, the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival.”

Both have been hosts of their respective shows for almost 4 decades

Both Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak have, incredibly, been hosts of their programs for nearly forty years. Trebek began his hosting duties in 1984, while Sajak became host of Wheel of Fortune a few years earlier in 1981.

Sajak talked to the Television Academy Foundation in a 2007 interview about the appeal of his game show, co-hosted by Vanna White, which millions of viewers have made part of their daily ritual.

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“We became in this strange way part of people’s lives, almost their life cycle,” Sajak said. “It was dinner time, they played ‘Wheel’ – we just became part of the atmosphere.  It’s kind of like the sunset: you might not go out and watch it every night, but it’s nice to know it’s out there.”

Are Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek friends?

As friendly as the two game show hosts are, according to The Week in a 2013 conversation with Sajak, the men aren’t particularly close.

Pat Sajak, Alex Trebek, executive producer Harry Friedman, and Vanna White at the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2018
Pat Sajak, executive producer Harry Friedman, Vanna White, and Alex Trebek at the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2018 | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In the interview, the Chicago-born Sajak briefly opened up about whether he and fellow television personality Alex Trebek are close.

In typical Sajak style, the Wheel host explained their relationship succinctly with a humorous twist.

“We get along fine,” Sajak said of the Jeopardy! icon, “but we’re not in the same bowling league.”

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