Ken Ober

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ken Ober
Ken Ober hosting Remote Control
Kenneth Oberding

(1957-07-03)July 3, 1957
DiedNovember 15, 2009(2009-11-15) (aged 52)
Alma materUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst (B.A., 1980)
Occupation(s)Game show host, comedian, actor
Known forHost of Remote Control

Ken Ober (July 3, 1957 – November 15, 2009) was an American game show host, comedian, and actor.

Early life and career[edit]

Born Kenneth Oberding[1] in Brookline, Massachusetts, he was raised in a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut, where his first job was as a bagger at a local Jewish supermarket.[2] 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.[3] He was most widely known for his role on the MTV game show Remote Control,[4] which he hosted for five seasons. That show also helped launch the careers of Adam Sandler, Denis Leary, Kari Wuhrer, Alicia Coppola and Colin Quinn. Ober was known among 1990s and 2000s audiences for his hosting jobs on Make Me Laugh,[5] Smush, and the ESPN game show Perfect Match.

Ober was the frequent color analyst alongside veteran play by play announcer Steve Albert for the MTV Rock N' Jock[6] celebrity sports specials during the 1990s.

In 1995, Ober hosted a Los Angeles talk radio show with former Brady Bunch star Susan Olsen. The show, known as Ober and Olsen, aired on 97.1 KLSX. (Olsen had previously appeared on an episode of Remote Control that featured Brady Bunch cast members competing.)

In 2002, Ober served as supervising producer for Colin Quinn's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.[7] Ober was also a guest on one episode.

Ober starred in the Blues Traveler video for the song "Hook". He also had a smaller role in the same band's videos for "Run-Around" and "The Mountains Win Again".

He served as a producer for the CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine, and is also known for a series of Jenga commercials.

He was a founding member of the Theta Mu chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He graduated in 1980.


Ober died at his home in Santa Monica on November 15, 2009, at the age of 52. According to friends, Ober had been feeling ill and was complaining of headaches, chronic chest pain, and flu-like symptoms the previous afternoon.[8]

After an autopsy, it was confirmed by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner that Ober died of natural causes, chiefly ischemic heart disease, also known as atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.[9]


  1. ^ "Ken Ober, host of 'Remote Control,' dies". The Hollywood Reporter. Associated Press. 2009-11-17. Archived from the original on December 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  2. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (November 16, 2009). "Ken Ober, 'Remote Control' Host, Is Dead at 52". ArtsBeat: New York Times Blog. The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2024.
  3. ^ "Afterword". Los Angeles Times. November 16, 2009.
  4. ^ The Basement: A Salute to "Remote Control"
  5. ^ Game Shows: Ken Ober
  6. ^ Stearns, Alia (May 27, 2016). "Looking Back At The '90s Stars Of MTV's Rock N' Jock, 25 Years Later". uproxx.
  7. ^ Martin, Denise (April 24, 2005). "Comedy net revisits 'Tough' times". Variety.
  8. ^ Ken Ober dies at 52; host of MTV's "Remote Control" game show
  9. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bobby Van
(1979-1980 version)
Host of Make Me Laugh
Succeeded by