Behind the Scenes of Wheel of Fortune
It's time I come clean, allow it to be public record. Fess up. This is full disclosure --
I have always secretly longed to be a game show host!
Yes, a prize package pushing deal or no deal come on down put it in the form of a question broker! For some reason until now I have been unable to come to grips with my shameful secret. I am not sure why.
They are cool. They are funny. They are articulate. They move at the speed of sound. And... they work 2 days a week. (You see where I am going?)
Oh, and in the case of Pat Sajak, they make it look incredibly easy. He is an artist, a composer, and a venerable lyricist in the field of game show communiqué. I'm not kidding. (Well maybe the last part)
What is so awesome about them (and you can go back to the days of Bill Cullen, early Bob Barker, and Bobby Rivers. Yes, Bobby Rivers. Remember
?) is how they navigate 22 minutes and you never feel the boat move.
When lights blow, a contestant is paralyzed with debilitating terror, or worse, the players are boring, Pat saves the day and indeed the show. There's no team of well-paid over-fed scriptwriters. Heck, there's not even a teleprompter. Just Pat, Vanna, and a wheel of dreams.
I could go on about the virtues of the 60-year-old host (holy crap, he looks amazing) and his hostess (whose Southern charm hasn't grown faint) but instead I will give you hints on how to play... WHEEL - OF - FORTUNE!
From what we learned speaking with Harry Friedman (Executive Producer) and Gary O'Brien (Contestant Executive), being the smartest person in the room is less important than being the most enthusiastic. And more important than fervor is focus. Here's why. Hang with me a second.
When you watch
Wheel of Fortune
on TV your eyes are fixated on the spinning wheel and where it lands. You only see what the director wants you to see. Follow me? OK.
Then you spout off expletives (am I alone?) at the contestants who can't get the puzzle right. Like Category: Fictional Dr. Seuss Characters
C___T IN THE H___T
Should be a no brainer, right? Well sure, but here's the thing. When you are a contestant on the show and there is a live audience, several cameras, a flurry of production notes to remember, grips, production coordinators and whatnot, top that off with the booming familiar voice of announcer Charlie O'Donnell and what you've got is a heaping helping of yikes and oh lordy. Stage fright! And since you are used to staring at the wheel, you look at the board less, hence LESS PUZZLE SOLVING TIME. Ah ha!
My tip to you, look at the board, not the wheel.
Tip number two: Buy a vowel. Stop being so cheap and do it. These words of advice come directly from Vanna, not me. And she knows. Once you got a couple of spins and a bit of cash, light up those monitors with all the A's, E's, I's, O's and U's you can afford. You'll be happy you did.
And tip number three: strength training. Working out is a good idea for overall health and fitness for sure, but more importantly the wheel weighs two thousand pounds. (No, you don't have to lift it, but you do have to spin it.)
You've been warned. Show your prowess, make America proud and if anyone knows a producer or game show development executive in a position of power, remember who gave you the heads up!
on TV Guide Channel Monday @ 9PM.