Jan. 26, 2012 at 10:41 AM ET
Veteran game show host Pat Sajak recalls his early days on "Wheel of Fortune" with fondness, but that has nothing to do with the show's wheeling and dealing.
In fact, Sajak recently revealed that he found the show format snooze-worthy in the 1980s. But the margarita-filled dinner breaks he shared with Vanna White made it all worthwhile.
“We had a different show then," he explained during an interview on ESPN2's "Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable." "You didn’t win money. You won fake money with which you could buy cheesy prizes. The turntable would go 'round and housewives from Teaneck (NJ) would say, 'Uh, for $100, I'll have the lamp –- no, I'll have …' It was the most boring two minutes of television. But because we had all of those prizes, we had endless time between shows. Our dinner breaks would be two hours long."
And two hours was all it took for Sajak and his on-screen partner to get tipsy at a nearby restaurant before returning to their TV gig.
"They served great margaritas," he recalled. "So Vanna and I would go across and have two or three or six and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet. They're really good tapes to get a hold of."
Well, as far as he can remember.
"I had a great time," Sajak said. "I have no idea if the shows were any good, but no one said anything, so I guess I did OK."
But that's all in the past now. Now Sajak, and presumably White, stays strictly sober while the big wheel spins.
"Now if I were to inhale the cork on a bottle of wine, I would probably keel over," He joked. "I'm getting a little bit older. So we don't do that. I would be hesitant to have anything to drink now."
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