The longest-serving TV game show host in history signed off on Friday after presiding over US primetime hit "Wheel of Fortune" for 41 seasons.

Pat Sajak has been a fixture in American homes since 1981, hosting more than 8,000 editions of a show that has become part of early evenings for millions of households.

"Well, the time has come to say goodbye," he told viewers in a clip from the pre-recorded final show.

"It's been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade."

He described the half-hour show as "a safe place for family fun. No social issues, no politics, nothing embarrassing I hope -- just a game."

"Thank you for allowing me into your lives."

Sajak, 77, was renowned for his low-key, unflappable style, asking contestants to choose a consonant or buy a vowel in the word-guessing game.

With his suit and even tan, he chatted with guests and bantered with co-host Vanna White, who joined the show in 1982 just a year after Sajak.

In 2019, Guinness World Records awarded Sajak the title of the longest career as a game show host for the same show.

"America Idol" host Ryan Seacrest will take over the role, joining the veteran White.