Ken Ober, host of “Remote Control” is dead at the age of 52. “Ken Ober dies” headlines have saddened many people that look back at MTV’s game show that aired during the 1980’s with a sense of nostalgia. Younger individuals may know shows produced by Ken Ober better. He helped produce “Mind of Mencia” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” According to the Associated Press, Ober was found dead in his home in Santa Monica on Sunday. The cause of death is uncertain, although he had complained of headaches and flu-like symptoms Saturday night.
Five seasons of “Remote Control” were hosted by the late producer. They aired between 1987 until 1990. Although I did not have cable while growing up, I remember watching re-runs of the show at my grandmother’s house when I was a little older.
The game show was nothing more than an irreverent quiz show. It was MTV’s first non-musical program. Three contestants answered questions posed by Ober in the areas of movies, music, and television. Many questions were posed in skit format.
According to Wikipedia, the idea of the show was that Ober played an aspiring game show host that set up a television studio in his basement. Every once in a while, a female voice – which was supposed to be Kenny’s mother – would interrupt the show.
The theme song went like this:
Kenny wasn’t like the other kids (Remote Control)
TV mattered, nothing else did (Remote Control)
Girls said yes, but he said no (Remote Control)
Now he’s got his own game show (Remote Control!)
Among the more famous “Remote Control” participants were Adam Sandler and Denis Leary. Famous guests of the show included “Weird Al” Yankovic, LL Cool J, Jerry Mathers, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Like many other shows from the 1980’s, what made “Remote Control” so addicting is how cheesy it was. When contestants were eliminated, they were removed – chair and all. This is why contestants wore seat belts in their chairs.
The most notable thing about Ken Ober was that he played such a large role in MTV’s first non-musical program. Nowadays, MTV has much more to offer than just music videos. He was a pioneer in an area that shaped entertainment on one of the most popular cable TV networks.
Ken Ober is survived by his parents and a brother. Although the cause of his death is not certain at this point and time, authorities do not believe that the death was a cause of foul play.
Associated Press: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j8FAeys9oPbSBFi1nWTKFPZ42XVgD9C1CC202