On Feb. 27, Wheel of Fortune airs its 5,000th show. Still averaging more than 34 million viewers a week in its 26th year, the game show truly is a part of Americana. It’s what families watch during dinner when they want to avoid having to talk to each other (Mike Bruno: “How was YOUR day, Mike?” “SHHHH, she’s buying a vowel!”), what adult siblings watch in their parent’s hospital room when they want to determine who’s smarter but know that neither of them is intelligent enough for Jeopardy! (Mandi Bierly: “I wasn’t looking at the TV. That doesn’t count!”).
Join PopWatch in saluting Wheel of Fortune, which has seen more than 200 other game shows come and go since its debut in syndication in 1983. And please, watch the clip below of James Brown and Little Richard. Little Richard is so happy when Brown gets an ‘R’. (And you’ll be so angry when Brown buys an ‘I’ when he really should’ve been able to solve the puzzle without it.)