Ever wonder why Pat Sajak used to be so enthusiastic in the early days of Wheel of Fortune? Turns out it’s because he and Vanna White often had a margarita (or six) before taking the stage for the popular game show.
The 65-year-old game-show host came clean about his boozy hosting escapades when Dan Le Batard of ESPN 2′s Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable asked if he had ever performed his Wheel duties while intoxicated.
“Yes,” Sajak said with a laugh. “When I first started and was much younger and could tolerate those things. We had a different show then.” (Watch the interview below.)
According to Sajak, it was the two-and-a-half hour dinner break during the show’s early format that really did him in. He and cohost White, now 54, would go to nearby Mexican restaurant Los Arcos and have margaritas before returning to the set. Apparently no one had any clue — or, at least, no one cared.
“(We’d) have two or three or six and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet,” he said in the interview. “I had a great time. I have no idea if the shows were any good, but no one said anything, so I guess I did okay.”
Although Sajak insists he’s always sober on set now — all that constant enthusiasm for vowels is 100 percent authentic! — he says wouldn’t mind watching those old shows because he thinks they’d be a hoot.