Ken Ober, American game show host, Died at 52

  Dead Famous

Dead, Ken Ober on November 15, 2009 at the age of 52, he was an American game show host, comedian, and actor.

Born Kenneth Oberding in Brookline, Massachusetts on July 3, 1957, he was raised in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ober hosted four game shows over the course of his career.

He received his break after appearing as a contestant on Star Search in 1984.

He was most widely known for his role on the MTV game show Remote Control, which he hosted for three seasons, spanning 1987 to 1990, then in reruns for an additional two years.

He grew up idolizing game show hosts like Bob Barker and Bob Eubanks, and went on to host four game shows of his own, including a revived version of “Make Me Laugh” in 1997.

But his breakthrough came a decade earlier when Mr. Ober, a contestant on the televised talent show “Star Search,” became the host of the MTV series “Remote Control” in 1987.

That show, which was the network’s first original series to focus on non-musical content, tested participants on their knowledge of television, music-video and pop-culture trivia.

The show, which also provided a launching pad for the careers of comedians like Adam Sandler and Colin Quinn, drew much of its sarcastic, self-mocking spirit from the culturally obsessive Mr. Ober, who ran the program like a late-night talk show (or frat party) and gleefully teased players who gave wrong answers.

“Ken Ober was one of the sharpest, quickest, sweetest guys I ever met,” Sandler said in a statement to MTV News.

“He was always a great friend and I will miss him very much.” Leary said in a statement: “Kenny Ober was and always will be the quickest wit in the room.

He was fall-down funny from the moment he was born — a smart, fast and hilarious human being who made many of us, including myself, laugh until we cried.

As the star and host of ’Remote Control,’ he was a welcoming ringmaster who helped to kick-start the careers of numerous talents, including
Adam Sandler, Colin Quinn and myself.

He will be remembered always by each of his friends not only for his massive talent but for his true, deep and enduring friendship.”

To legions of Gen-X’ers, though — people like me — he’ll be remembered as the host of “Remote Control,” the TV-obsessed game show that aired on MTV from 1987-89 and featured such categories as “Brady Physics” and “Dead or Canadian.”

It also helped introduce Adam Sandler to the world; he worked as a writer on the show (so did Denis Leary) and played the recurring on-screen characters Trivia Delinquent and Stud Boy.

Ober had worked as writer and producer on Comedy Central’s “Mind of Mencia” in recent years and also did a stint as a consulting producer on “The New Adventures of Old Christine” in 2006.

He also worked behind the camera (and occasionally in front of it) on his friend and “Remote Control” announcer Colin Quinn’s show “Tough Crowd” earlier in the decade.