“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak is back doing what he does best these days — stoking the red-hot flames of viral controversy.
Contestant Scott Ingwersen was telling a story during his introduction interview when Sajak made his snarky feelings known about it.
It all started when the beloved — but suddenly divisive — game-show guru glanced down at his handy flash card, noted Ingwersen’s survival story and couldn’t help but ask the contestant about it.
“Why am I mentioning this?” Sajak asked. “It’s on your card. You had your big toe chopped off. Why are you telling this?”
Ingwersen, 47, then explained his tragic tale to the Chicago native.
“It’s important to know that when I was 12 years old, I was riding a 10-speed bike with flip-flops, and I fell and completely cut off the top of my toe,” Ingwersen said.
He continued, “The next car that came by were two paramedics that were on their way to their job, and they said, ‘It’s just a laceration.’ But I didn’t know what that was, so it freaked me out even more. And my toe is reattached, and I just wanna say ‘thank you’ to them 30 years later.”
The audience applauded — but Sajak quickly shut them down. “That may have been the most pointless story ever told. And you told it, Scott. Congratulations to you,” an unimpressed Sajak said as he shook his head.
The viral response made viewers roll their eyes from behind their phone screens, and they tweeted their thoughts about Sajak’s apathetic moment. “Poor Scott just wanted to tell his story. Pat just throwing the shade,” a fan noted.
“A contestant on #WheelOfFortune was telling a story. When he finished. Pat said to him… That may have been the most pointless story ever told. 😲 When did #Patsajak get so cold-blooded? 😁😁,” joked another user.
Several wrote that Sajak needed to apologize to the contestant, while others deemed him a hypocrite.
“So @patsajak got on his @WheelofFortune high horse a week ago & lectured everyone to be nice to contestants who couldn’t solve an easy puzzle, but tonight he had no problem belittling and insulting a contestant who told their intro story. Scott needs an apology. #WheelOfFortune,” said one person.
Earlier this month, another “Wheel of Fortune” snafu aired, with some contestants having trouble solving a seemingly easy puzzle: “Another feather in your cap.”
After fans bashed the players on social media, Sajak defended them. “It always pains me when nice people come on our show to play a game and win some money and maybe fulfill a lifelong dream, and are then subject to online ridicule when they make a mistake or something goes awry,” he said at the time .
He added, “I’ve been praised online for ‘keeping it together’ and not making fun of the players. Truth is, all I want to do is help to get them through it and convince them that those things happen even to very bright people.”