Ken’s Hardwood Barbecue Hosts Watch Party for Pat Sajak’s Farewell on Wheel of Fortune

Tucson, AZ, USA – May 24, 2024 – Wheel of Fortune is bidding farewell to its longtime host, Pat Sajak, and several former contestants, including Tucson’s own Gerren Ard, are joining in the celebration.

Gerren Ard, 42, became a contestant on “America’s Favorite Game Show” in February 2021, during the tail-end of the coronavirus pandemic. With protective protocols in place by Sony Studios, 99% of its contestants hailed from California. Ard, from Tucson, AZ, was the farthest-traveled contestant outside of California in the 38th season of Wheel of Fortune.

“It was crazy!” Ard recalls. “We had an empty audience other than the contestants who sat a couple of chairs apart, and we were given handles to use to prevent us from touching the wheel.”

Ard rose to victory as a memorable contestant, dancing during puzzle solves and revealing his pro-wrestling name, “Black Venom,” to Sajak, who then arm-wrestled Ard during the show’s ending. The lifelong Tucsonan also won a trip to Belize, which had to be postponed due to travel restrictions. He eventually visited the Latin country in late 2022. “It was an experience I’ll never forget,” says Ard.

It was later announced that the 41st season of Wheel of Fortune would be Pat Sajak’s last. “Pat is an icon, and for Wheel of Fortune to invite 70 former contestants back to the studio to witness the 8000th episode,” Ard explains, “I was extremely fortunate to be invited back. It’s one of those historical television moments you wouldn’t want to miss. To witness it in person, though? It’s the honor of a lifetime! I was truly blessed.”

The 8000th episode was taped in early April and will air on May 24th.

To celebrate this historic episode, Ard plans to view it at Ken’s Hardwood Barbecue, the restaurant where he held his first “Wheel of Fortune” watch party. Join him and other fans at 5250 E. 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85749, on Friday from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM PDT. The 8000th episode will air at 6:30 on KGUN-9.

About Ken’s Hardwood Barbecue

Ken’s Hardwood Barbecue is a beloved local restaurant known for its delicious barbecue and warm, welcoming atmosphere. Located at 5250 E. 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85749, it’s the perfect place to gather and celebrate this special television moment.

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