Wheel of Fortune, in syndication
IMDb; Retro Junk; Sony Pictures; TV.com; TV Tropes; Wikipedia

I remember watching this when I was a kid. I still see a bit of it now, but not very often. I'm just not so interested in game shows, anymore. Anyway, you know the drill. Contestants spin a big wheel, and a pointer thing can end up on various tiles with different dollar amounts, prizes, or things like "bankrupt" or "lose a turn." If they land on one of the good tiles, they get to guess a consonant, and if that letter is in a puzzle they're trying to solve, they win whatever was on the tile- if it's money, they get the amount shown for every iteration of the letter they guessed, if it appears more than once. Then they spin again. If the puzzle doesn't have the letter, the next player gets to spin. Also, players can spend some of their money to "buy" vowels, but if the letter isn't there... eh, I think they lose their turn, but I forget. Anyway, puzzles come in different categories such as "phrase" or "proper name" or other things. And eventually, someone can guess what the puzzle is spelling out. If they're right, they win the round. Otherwise... next player's turn. Yay. There's a bonus round at the end where the day's final winner gets a puzzle they can try to solve after guessing a few letters without spinning the wheel. But... there have been some minor changes in various things over the years. More importantly, when I watched the show as a kid, players didn't actually keep the money they won. There'd be a showcase at the end where the winner got to "spend" their winnings on whatever prizes there were, which had price tags. I guess I'm glad they don't do that anymore.

Anyway, the show is hosted by Pat Sajak. Funny thing, back in the days before I had cable, I only got CBS... which meant I never got to see any talk shows. (This was years before Letterman moved from NBC to CBS.) So actually, Pat Sajak had the first late night talk show I ever saw. It didn't last long. Anyway, Wheel is sort of co-hosted by Vanna White (who we kinda like). She banters with Pat, though their conversations are kind of lame. Mainly she turns letters on the big board. Well, she used to turn them. Now she just touches them and they digitally display letters contestants have correctly guessed. There is absolutely no need for her on the show anymore, but it would suck to get rid of her, so whatever.

Oh yeah, I also wanted to mention that we used to have a "Wheel of Fortune" game on the original NES. That was fun.

variety index