It’s become very easy to assume that celebrities will be different people when they’re not performing, as the act they give on screen could be a complete 180 from what they display when they’re on their own time. Pat Sajak however is for all intents and purposes not all that different when he’s on Wheel of Fortune versus when he’s not. In real life he seems to be quite a nice guy, though there are a few differences here and there. With anyone that works in front of the camera there are going to be a few things they do differently and a few behaviors that are seen in person that won’t make it to the show, and vice versa.
He’s much more observant while on the show.
In truth he kind of needs to be. He spends a lot of time reading the contestants in order to see how they’ll react and what they might be thinking. Some folks might be under the impression that Sajak is JUST a game show host, but the truth is that the host of the show has a bigger responsibility than reading off of the cards and announcing prizes. They have to run the show and be its face at the same time. There are times when they have to guide the contestants along even while getting to know a little bit about them to make the show flow a littler easier. On the show Sajak is always watching people in order to keep the flow of the show where it needs to be and to make the contestants a bit more confident in themselves. There are obviously times in which Sajak might be a little short with the guests or possibly flabbergasted at their responses, but the truth is he’s simply trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Being a host of any kind is typically not a very rewarding job when you think about it since you have to talk to people, listen to them, and watch for hidden cues now and again in order to decide just when to goad them into a reaction and when to back off.
Off screen Sajak is still an attentive person but he’s not quite as hawk-eyed as he has to be during the show. One can only imagine that it would be a relief to not have to pay as much attention to others when the show is over and be able instead to focus on other things.
When off the set he’s a much looser personality.
Sajak was DJ for the armed forces in Vietnam and much like Robin Williams would entertain the troops with his antics. In fact he even once cut off President Nixon’s address to the troops, on accident of course, and had to ride it out. He’s also been seen to pal around with his hostess Vanna White and have a drink or two before the show started. Obviously they could drink too much as they needed to be able to function, and Pat even admitted that after a few too many it became too difficult to remember the alphabet, which is a must in Wheel of Fortune. Thankfully he and Vanna have never gotten completely trashed before doing a show. He does run a tight ship on the show but he also tends to like to have fun every now and again, but within the bounds that the network will allow.
There is a respectful rivalry with other game show hosts.
One in particular is Alex Trebek from the Jeopardy. The two have hosted each others shows in the past as a gag, but even with that in common they still aren’t counted as friends even off screen. Sajak has admitted that there just isn’t enough commonality between them, and has let it lie. Still, there’s been a rather interesting and respectful rivalry between the two shows for some time and it’s been fun to watch. You might think that one show has nothing to do with the other, and that would be smart thinking, but the fact remains that they are both loved shows that have to do with winning prizes and hosts that are able to read their contestants quite easily.
Whatever people might say about Pat Sajak he’s more or less the same person off screen as he is on. There are a few differences here and there, such as the level of focus he has to give to the contestants and the attention he has to play to the game, but overall he’s not much different between the show and his real life. While it’s typical for a lot of celebrities to hide who they really are from the public when they’re out and about, Sajak has been pretty open with who he is and what he’s like.