Host of MTV's "Remote Control" Ken Ober Dead at 52

By Olsen Ebright
|  Monday, Nov 16, 2009  |  Updated 7:14 PM CDT
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2008 Year in Review: In Memoriam

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Nov. 2, 2004: Ken Ober attends the Comedy Central Election Night Party.

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Host of the MTV game show "Remote Control," Ken Ober, died this weekend, it was reported Monday. He was 52.

A cause of death has not been released, the New York Times reported:

Lee Kernis, a manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners who represented Mr. Ober for more than 20 years, said that Mr. Ober was found dead on Sunday. He said that Mr. Ober was last heard from on Saturday night, when he spoke to a friend and complained of a headache and flu-like symptoms. Mr. Ober told the friend that he was going to take something and would see a doctor as soon as possible.
Mr. Ober, who was born in Brookline, Mass. and raised in Hartford, Conn., grew up idolizing game show hosts like Bob Barker and Bob Eubanks, 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.

The show, set in Ober's fictional basement, featured armchair-bound contestants answering pop culture trivia.

"Ken was a great guy. His personality really brought 'Remote Control' to life, as well as a new style of programming for MTV. We were really flying by the seat of our pants then, and Ken was the reason it worked," Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks, told the Times.

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