The Internet has proven to be both the quickest and cruelest way to disseminate sad news, and such was the case early this morning with the untimely death of comedian and game-show host Ken Ober, who died reportedly from a heart attack Sunday at the age of 52. An official cause of death has not been released formally.
Ober was a comedy champion on the 1980s variety show, Star Search, but many more people knew and grew up with him as the host in the late 1980s of MTV's game show, Remote Control — which in turn helped break the careers of comedians Adam Sandler, Colin Quinn and Denis Leary. Quinn posted this nostalgic photo on Twitter today of him and Ober with Kari Wuhrer on the set of Remote Control.
Friends had become concerned when Ober didn't make it to a show this weekend, and called 911. Authorities found Ober at his home. Ober also worked as a producer and/or writer for New Adventures of Old Christine, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and Mind of Mencia.
News circulated about Ober via Facebook and Twitter, only to be accused of being a hoax, only to find out that the hoax allegations were a hoax. Sad and confusing. All in real-time.
I'll have more news on Ober as it comes in. My condolences to his friends and family.
UPDATED: Ober's manager, Lee Kernis, said that Ober had complained of flu-like symptoms on Saturday night, according to the New York Times. In statements to MTV, Adam Sandler and Denis Leary offered brief remembrances of Ober. Leary said: "Kenny Ober was and always will be the quickest wit in the room. He was fall-down funny from the moment he was born ‚Äî a smart, fast and hilarious human being who made many of us, including myself, laugh until we cried. As the star and host of 'Remote Control,' he was a welcoming ringmaster who helped to kickstart the careers of numerous talents, including Adam Sandler, Colin Quinn and myself. He will be remembered always by each of his friends not only for his massive talent but for his true, deep and enduring friendship."