Speed Reads

another feather in your map?!

Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak urges viewers to 'have a little heart' after struggling contestants mocked online

After a painfully hilarious bit from Tuesday night's episode blew up online, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak on Wednesday channeled 2003 Howie Day to kindly remind viewers that even the best fall down sometimes.

In a now widely-shared clip, three contestents, for one reason or another, comically struggle to solve for the phrase "another feather in your cap," despite the answer appearing obvious to those watching. Unfortunately, some mocking later ensued.

"I have never wanted to scream this loudly in my life," HuffPost's Phil Lewis tweeted. "God help us all," added actor Josh Gad.

Sajak, however, knows how intense the filming environment can be, and took to Twitter to remind viewers that it's not as easy as it seems in there.

"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," Sajak wrote. "Last night's 'Feather in your cap' puzzle was a case in point."

"Imagine you're on national TV, and you're suddenly thrown a curve and you begin getting worried about looking stupid," he continued, after making a point to flag that "feather in your hat," which was one of the guesses is, in fact, a common phrase. "You start flailing away looking for alternatives rather than synonyms for 'hat.'"

These things happen to "very bright people," Sajak went on, people who don't deserve to be the subject of online ridicule. "Good-natured laughter is one thing," he said, but "cut them slack" and "have a little heart." 

"After all, you may be there one day. And no one wants to be trending on Twitter."