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Wheel Of Fortune Host Pat Sajak Once Had An Incredible Encounter With Jimmy Stewart

It is no big secret that "Wheel of Fortune" is kind of a big deal. Over the years, a vast array of fans from all walks of life have tuned in to see Pat Sajak give competitors a chance to take home amazing prizes, and there were so many memorable champions that got Vanna White to turn all those letters over victoriously.

The show has been called a "top-rated syndicated series" by TV Guide, also recognizing the program as one of the best game shows ever made. Overall they have 39 syndicated seasons as of 2022, which has resulted in over 7,000 episodes, with Sajak hosting the vast majority of the extensive catalog. For his efforts, Sajak has even received a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

It's safe to say the game show legend has had a very rewarding career hosting "Wheel of Fortune," with viewers at home attempting to solve the puzzle before the contestants. The very popular game show has been watched by so many viewers, and along the way, Sajak has met a multitude of intriguing personalities. One fascinating encounter came well before the "Wheel of Fortune" host solidified his game show legacy, when he met a legendary actor named Jimmy Stewart in a way that went much differently than Sajak would have expected.

Pat Sajak was blown away by his encounter with Jimmy Stewart

In an interview with Dan Le Batard on ESPN's "Highly Questionable," Pat Sajak talked about going to one of Merv Griffin's famous parties, which would have several celebrities in attendance. He recalled seeing an elderly Jimmy Stewart sitting in the corner. The iconic star of "Vertigo" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" intimidated the game show host, who had only been on the air a few years at this point. He didn't think the famous actor was one of the many viewers that were tuning in to watch "Wheel of Fortune" each time it aired. He said, "I approach him, you know, rather meekly, and I get about two steps, and he stands up and he goes, 'you know Gloria always solves the puzzles before I do.'" It turns out Stewart and his wife Gloria Hatrick McClean enjoyed watching the show.

It's no surprise Sajak was nervous about meeting the Oscar winner. Stewart starred in many motion pictures, fought in World War II, and upon his return to acting, became arguably one of the biggest stars of the 1950s. Stewart also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985 (via Los Angeles Times). Despite having accomplished all that, his "Wheel of Fortune" skills were subpar compared to his better half, but he was still a fan of the game show and its host. Of Sajak's many achievements, having a legend like Stewart as a fan is a pretty notable victory.