Remote Control (partially lost MTV game show; 1987-1990)
Remote Control was a game show that was created by Joe Davola (who would later work on the Sketch comedy show In Living Color) and Michael Dugan. It aired on MTV (as the channel's first non-musical program and first game show) from December 7th, 1987 to March 16th, 1990. A syndicated version premiered in 1989 and was syndicated by MTV's owner Viacom until it ceased production around the same time the MTV version ended production.
The show has three contestants compete by answering questions posed to them by choosing a channel (category with three questions) and the host Ken Ober asks them a question that relates to that channel. The first contestant to buzz in with the correct answer will earn 5 points. The second question in the chosen channel earns the contestant with the correct answers 10 points and the third question in the chosen channel will earn the contestant with the correct answer 15 points. Each channel has their own style either by an reenactment or cleverly written questions. Round Two is the same as the previous round only the points are doubled, question one earns 10 points, question two earns 20 and question three earns 30 points. After round two is played the player with the lowest score is out of the game in a really sketchy way. After the lowest scoring contestant is eliminated, a 30 second speed round is played where correct answers awards the contestant who buzzes in with the correct answer 10 points. Once 30 seconds expires, another contestant with the lowest score is eliminated and the contestant with the highest score goes on to the bonus round. The winning contestant is strapped to a bed and face 9 monitors (a few of them are rotated or upside down). He or she has 30 seconds to name the artists that are being played on the monitors. Naming all of them in 30 seconds or less wins the contestant a grand prize (a car or trip). Failure to name all of them in 30 seconds or less wins the contestant a prize for each they managed to get successfully.
After the show ended on March 16th, 1990, the show was only reran briefly from April to December 1991 and only bootleg copies of some episodes have circulated heavily. Only one episode of the show was only reran in 2009 on both MTV and MTV2 as a tribute to the then recent passing of the show's host Ken Ober. After that the show was never reran again.
Various episodes have surfaced on YouTube (accounting nearly 80% of the show's run), but there are some episodes that have not been seen since their original airings and are not know to be in circulation. Information on these missing episodes are really scarce and names of the contestants who participated are not known. Photos from the missing episodes have made the rounds online and footage from the missing episodes have been seen in several promos for the show. The Remote Control fandom has a section on it's guide of the show's episodes that covers what's known about the episodes and what visuals from the missing episodes are left behind.
- MTV Remote Control Wiki episode guide of the series. Retrieved 07 Feb '21
- A fansite with information on how the game show was played. Retrieved 07 Feb '21
- An archived webpage with clips from the show. Retrieved 07 Feb '21