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Wheel of Fortune Parodies are a variety of custom-made riddles typically presented on an exploitable template of the famous puzzle board from the American TV game show Wheel of Fortune. While the vast majority of the collection consist of parodies created by the fans using image-editing applications, like Photoshop, or online mock-up generators, some of these may include still shots of unintentionally funny or dubious puzzles from the actual show.
Wheel of Fortune premiered on January 6th, 1975, on NBC.
The earliest known online parody of the puzzle board game was submitted in text form, rather than as an image, to the Pokecommunity forum by user Shana on July 7th, 2004. In the thread, the OP (original poster) laid out the Pokemon themed puzzle game by explaining:
“This game is easy to understand. It is like the Wheel Of Fortune. What you do is one person says a Pokemon name, but they just fill in a few of the letters. For example, C _ A _ _ E Y for Chansey. What the next person has to do is try to guess what Pokemon it is.
The game continued to be played within the thread for almost one month.
On March 25th, 2005, Something Awful columnist Zack “Geist Editor” Parsons wrote a Wheel of Fortune fan fiction titled “The Big Wheel Keeps on Turnin’.” It imagines the show was run by the devil. A creature called Gorgoroth solves the puzzle by making a noise that sounds like “Nngnnnngnnnng.”
On February 5th, 2007, Atom.smasher.org launched a word puzzle generator which allows users to enter an up to four line puzzle and a clue that will apear within an image of the Wheel of Fortune puzzle board flanked by the show’s hostess Vanna White.
On March 7th, 2007, an episode of the animated comedy show South Park titled “With Apologies to Jesse Jackson” aired. The episode features one of the main characters, Stan, appearing on Wheel of Fortune and presented with a puzzle board that read “N_GGERS” with the category reading “people who annoy you.” After an awkward pause Stan’s dad Randy solves the puzzle by saying “n*ggers” rather than the correct answer “naggers.”
On March 19th, 2008, an image of the puzzle board spelling out “SH_T THE F_UCK _P” was uploaded to Ebaums World. As of April 2014, the photo has gained over 4,000 views.
In 2013, numerous parodies of the Wheel of Fortune began to surface on Tumblr, including kdweez’s “Versace” post (shown below, left), which has over 2,000 notes as of April 2014, and relaximhilarious’“SEND N_DES” post (below, right) with over 600 notes.