• Pat Sajak is retiring
  • His final episode on 'Wheel' is coming
  • It is an emotional time for all involved

In an era-defining moment, Pat Sajak, the beloved host of 'Wheel of Fortune,' says goodbye to the show that became more than just a game under his stewardship. With a heartfelt preview released ahead of his final episode, Sajak thanks his audience, marking the end of an era.

His next adventure? A theatrical role in Honolulu that promises to showcase his versatility beyond the game show realm.

A Heartfelt Goodbye

It's the end of an era, folks! Pat Sajak, the legendary host of "Wheel of Fortune," is stepping down after an astonishing 41 seasons, leaving fans teary-eyed and full of gratitude.

In a poignant preview of his final episode, Sajak, 76, gives a touching tribute to his viewers, reflecting on the incredible journey from a simple game to a cherished family tradition.

"I have a few thanks and acknowledgements before I go. And I want to start with all of you watching out there," Sajak begins in the footage, addressing the camera on the 'Wheel of Fortune' set.

"It’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes, night after night, decade after decade. And I always felt that the privilege came with the responsibility to keep this daily half-hour a safe place for family fun. No social issues. No politics. Nothing embarrassing, I hope. Just a game.

He points out that over time, "it became more than that," and evolved into a place where "kids learned their letters, where people from other countries honed their English skills, where families came together along with friends and neighbors, and entire generations."

"What an honor to play even a small part in all of that," says Sajak. "Thank you for allowing me into your lives."

As Sajak takes his final bow, the wheel is set to spin under new guidance. Ryan Seacrest, a household name in his own right, is poised to take over this fall. Fans are buzzing with anticipation: Will Seacrest fill Sajak's shoes and keep the wheel turning smoothly?

But don't think for a second that retirement means slowing down for Sajak. He's already gearing up for a dramatic shift – quite literally – as he prepares to tread the boards in Honolulu.

Teaming up with Joe Moore, Sajak is set to play a "murderous psychiatrist" in a theater production of the Columbo mystery 'Prescription: Murder.' Talk about a plot twist!

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Sajak's last hurrah on "Wheel of Fortune" airs at 7:30 p.m., and it's a moment you won't want to miss. The preview alone has fans reaching for the tissues, ready to bid farewell to a true television titan.

So, grab your popcorn (and maybe a handkerchief) and join the millions tuning in to witness television history.