Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Former MTV Host Ken Ober Dies at 52

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.


The rumors floating around the interent this morning were sadly true. Former host of MTV's Remote Control died suddenly over the weekend. The cause of the 52-year-old Santa Monica resident's death is still unknown, but on Saturday evening he "complained of a headache and flu-like symptoms" to a friend, saying "he was going to take something and would see a doctor as soon as possible," according to the New York Times. The next day he was found dead.

Remote Control was MTV's first show that was not strictly musical (reminisce with a clip below). The pop-culture quiz show can also be credited with breaking out Adam Sandler and others. Most recently, Ober worked as a producer on “Mind of Mencia” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

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.