Wheel of Fortune History Wiki

On occasion, the regular Wheel of Fortune announcer has been unavailable and guest announcers have filled in.

Substitutes for Jack Clark

The first known instance of a substitute announcer came in August 1980, when original announcer Charlie O'Donnell left in wake of the show's cancellation (subsequently overturned). Don Morrow filled in for the week of August 4, with Jack succeeding him as the official announcer one week later.

Charlie filled in for Jack on the nighttime show for the weeks of October 21 and 28, 1985 due to a scheduling conflict with The $25,000 Pyramid. Jack soon left that show to avoid any further scheduling conflicts with Wheel.

Clark remained with the show until shortly before his death on July 21, 1988. His last full episodes on daytime and nighttime were both May 6, with Charlie and Johnny Gilbert filling in for him until M.G. Kelly took over around August 8. Although Jack briefly returned to nighttime to record new fee plugs for Summer reruns, he soon became too ill to continue, so Pat Sajak and Vanna White read the fee plugs for the rest of the Summer.

Substitutes for M. G. Kelly

Don Pardo filled in for the nighttime weeks of November 14 and 21, 1988, which were taped at Radio City Music Hall. This is the only game show Pardo is known to have done between the original Jackpot's demise on September 26, 1975 and his death on August 18, 2014.

Substitutes for Charlie O'Donnell

Kelly remained through February 17, 1989, with Charlie returning to both versions on the 20th (although no mention was made on-air of his return). Charlie is known to have missed only two weeks of nighttime due to illness: November 27 and December 4, 1995; Johnny filled in for him on these episodes.

Charlie stayed with the show until just before his death on November 1, 2010. He had fallen ill at least a few weeks prior, as Gilbert was brought in to substitute for the weeks of November 1 and 15.

Season 28

Asterisks indicate weeks where the guest announcer was dubbed over Charlie. On every week with a dubbed-in announcer except March 28, Vanna read the SPIN IDs; she also handled the Jackpot and Mystery plugs for the week of January 10, even though Lora was not announcing in post-production.

For the Summer 2011 repeats, Jim was dubbed over all other guest announcers (indicated by daggers). While Charlie was retained on repeats from the first two months of Season 28, the newly-recorded promotional plugs and SPIN IDs were read by two different females (believed to be Kelly Miyahara and Sarah Whitcomb {Foss} of Jeopardy!'s Clue Crew).

  • November 1†: Johnny Gilbert
  • November 8*†: Johnny Gilbert
  • November 15: Johnny Gilbert
  • November 22*: Rich Fields
  • November 29*†: Rich Fields
  • December 6: Rich Fields
  • December 13†: Rich Fields
  • December 20*: Jim Thornton
  • December 27*: Jim Thornton
  • January 3*: Jim Thornton
  • January 10: Lora Cain
  • January 17: Jim Thornton
  • January 24: Jim Thornton
  • January 31: Rich Fields
  • February 7*: Jim Thornton
  • February 14: Lora Cain
  • February 21: Jim Thornton
  • February 28: Jim Thornton
  • March 7†: Joe Cipriano
  • March 14^: John Cramer
  • March 21: Jim Thornton
  • March 28*: Jim Thornton
  • April 4: John Cramer
  • April 11†: Joe Cipriano

^ On February 27, 2013, the retro clip in the opening was an outtake from the March 14, 2011 intro involving Tillman the skateboarding bulldog. Despite not airing in Summer 2011, Cramer was dubbed over by Thornton.

Substitutes for Jim Thornton

As of yet, Jim has not had anyone fill in for him.