Ken Ober was a unique talent. As the host of the MTV game show “Remote Control” (which ran on the network from 1987 until 1990), he was given the task of not only driving the show (reading questions, announcing prizes, keeping up the pace) but also providing laughs, pausing for skits and interacting with his wacky team of sidekicks, which included future stars Adam Sandler, Dennis Leary and Colin Quinn. The veteran stand-up comic and television producer passed away over the weekend at age 52.
Quinn weighed in on Ober’s passing yesterday, but the top MTV News archivists resurrected an interview with him from 1999 (which was taped for an episode of “Uncensored” that contained a behind-the-scenes look at “Remote Control”). Ober and Quinn began on the stand-up circuit in New York in the ’80s, so they were old friends who managed to elevate themselves to the strange cable creation that was “Remote Control.” “We knew each other from comedy clubs,” Quinn explained. “When we first started, all we cared about was what 20 comedians thought. We hoped they wouldn’t see the show, because even then the ’Brady Bunch’ jokes were hack. But all the comedians thought it was funny.”
The former “Saturday Night Live” cast member and host of “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” had nothing but praise for Ober, even going so far as identifying himself as an “acolyte” of his. “Kenny was hilarious. He was just very spontaneous,” Quinn said. “And he had a hard thing: Being funny and still reading all those damn questions for 45 minutes.”