Ken Ober, host of the ’80s game show Remote Control has died at 52, his representative confirmed to MTV News.
While the cause of his death was not available at press time, Lee Kernis of Brillstein Entertainment Partners, who represented Ober, said the cause was unknown.
According to the rep, friends said Ober was not feeling well over the weekend and had a headache and flu-like symptoms and didn’t meet them as planned. An autopsy is planned.
Remote Control debuted in 1987 and Ober hosted for five seasons, which, along with Club MTV and The Week In Rock, was MTV’s first foray into series television.
The show tested kids’ knowledge of pop-culture on a set that bore a strong resemblance to any suburban basement. Ober would stand behind a lectern and next to a giant TV screen, and would ask questions about celebrities, movies, TV shows and music videos.
Remote Control also featured early appearances from Adam Sandler, Denis Leary and Colin Quinn, who acted out sketches doubling as quiz questions.
“Ken Ober was one of the sharpest, quickest, sweetest guys I ever met,” Sandler said in a statement to MTV News. Ober (his given surname was Oberding) grew up in Boston, MA., where his heroes were game-show hosts such as Bob Eubanks and Bob Barker. Portraits of several game-show hosts hung on the walls of the Remote Control set.
Ober is survived by his mother, Claire Freeman of West Hartford, Conn.; his father, Burton, and stepmother, Iris, of Palm Beach, Fla., and a brother, Andrew, of Old Greenwich, Conn.
In other news, MTV has scored the television rights to the concert film This Is It. Variety reports that the network will have the rights to the Michael Jackson film for six years from 2011.
The documentary can be broadcast on any channel under MTV Networks, including MTV and VH1.
The movie, which shows Jackson rehearsing for a series of London concerts, has made over $222 billion worldwide since its release at the end of October.
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