Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Remote Control's goofy glory days

Recently,a sad footnote in pop culture history was made with the passing of Ken Ober,best known as the host of the first non-music related show on MTV back in the 1980s. Remote Control was a game show that catered to the couch potato crowd of college kids,with emphasis on pop culture trivia.

Contestants had to click thru channels in their easy chairs to select categories such as "Dead or Canadian" and "Babes and Assassins" and midway in the opening round,were treated to a "Snack Break" that had food rain down upon them. Silly,yes,but vast entertaining indeed:

A number of comedians made a few entries on their resumes from this show-Colin Quinn was the co-host(the Ed McMahon to Ken's Johnny Carson)and Kari Wuhrer launched a B movie career from her hostess stint for the first three seasons.

Some of the category questions were presented in skits,such as Denis Leary playing Andy Warhol in "Andy's Diary" and Adam Sandler as "Stud Boy",who would describe his pursuit of sexy celebrities for the contestants to guess who was the object of his dubious affection:

The laid back approach to the proceedings and the wacky interaction on stage made Remote Control a must-see show in my house. It was fun to watch low scoring players get yanked off midway in the second round,with the audience cheerfully singing the infamous "Goodbye" song and the final lightning round played in bed,plus Colin Quinn's singing was welcome at any time:

Remote Control lasted five seasons,longer than most of the other offbeat trivia game shows that came along after it. Comedy Central tried out the format at least twice with Win Ben Stein's Money and Beat The Geeks,which had regular folks go up against self professed "geeks" in such specialized categories as music,TV and film but also had "guest geeks" who narrowed their focus in certain areas like The Simpsons,South Park,James Bond and yes,even Michael Jackson. I really liked that show and wish they would bring it back:

Ken was only 52,very young to have left the world stage and he will be missed by those who knew him personally and those of us who fondly remember those glory days of Remote Control. Fare thee well,Ken:

No comments: