People of a certain age (say, between the ages of 35 and 45) will remember MTV’s very first original non-music show “Remote Control.”
Host Ken Ober presided over a Gen X trivia game in which the contestants sat in leather recliners and holding big remote controls, answered questions about pop culture. Losers would get thrust out of the show through breakaway walls with barely a chance to say goodbye. Random junk food were thrust at the mostly college-age student for commercial breaks. Dopey skits would populate the show while Ober would crack sarcastic. Topics included “Inside Ed McMahon” and “Cartoons.”
It helped open up doors for narrator Colin Quinn (later, on “Saturday Night Live” and a standup headliner), Adam Sandler (ditto, with SNL and many many movies) and Denis Leary (”Rescue Me”).
Sadly, Ober died over the weekend, causes yet unknown. While many of his brethren did go on to bigger and better things, I really can’t say I recall anything notable Ober did post “Remote Control.” [Readers here informed me he later worked Comedy Central's "Mind of Mencia" and most recently "The New Adventures of Old Christine."]
In tribute to this fine, fine game show, which aired from 1987 to 1990, here’s an episode a contestant posted on YouTube — with commentary included. Just watch Colin sing a Foreigner song and wince.