->''"It's his basement! It's his rules! It's his game show!"''
-->--'''Colin Quinn''', introducing host Ken Ober.

GameShow about TV trivia that was Creator/{{MTV}}'s first venture out of music videos (and thus the very beginning of NetworkDecay to some). The premise was that host Ken Ober grew up addicted to game shows and longed to host his own, so he set one up in his basement and bombarded contestants that dared to enter with questions about television, junk food, and threats to their well-being. The supporting cast was shockingly good for a low-budget cable show of the era and featured Creator/AdamSandler and Colin Quinn before they made it to ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''; Creator/DenisLeary before he developed ''RescueMe''; actresses Kari Wuhrer and Alicia Coppola, who have worked consistently in film and TV since then; and future TV writer Rick Rosner.

Contestants played by selecting one of nine channels on the "Big [[ProductPlacement Zenith]]", each of which represented a category; Ober would then ask questions related to that category for increasing amounts of points. Of course, some of the channels were less pleasant than others: "[[SubvertedKidsShow Ranger Bob]]" and "Home Shopping Zone" took away points, and others such as "Wheel of Torture" and "[[DoubleEntendre Beat the Bishop]]" required the contestant to complete (or endure) a challenge to earn the points.

Losers were ceremoniously thrown "Off the Air" and [[EjectTheLoser yanked through the back wall while still in their chairs]]. This part was copied from the 1975 ''[[Series/MusicalChairs1975 Musical Chairs]]'', albeit in [[FamilyUnfriendlyViolence a much more violent manner]].

The show originally aired from December 7, 1987 until December 13, 1991, with a concurrent syndicated version running for the 1989-90 season. Two episodes (one each from the first and last seasons) were aired by MTV[[note]](2 in the wee hours of the morning)[[/note]] in tribute after Ober's death in late 2009.
!!GameShowTropes in use:
* BigWinSirens: Alternating burglar alarm sirens were used whenever the BonusRound was won. Inverted if it was lost, as one of the two sirens was used as the time-up buzzer instead.
* BonusRound: Two were done:
** On the MTV version, players had to identify artists in music videos while strapped onto a [[ProductPlacement Craftmatic Adjustable Bed]].
** On the syndicated version, players had to answer TV questions while being spun around on the "[[Series/WheelOfFortune Wheel of]] Series/{{Jeopardy}}".
* CarriedByTheHost: The show's entire premise revolved around [[PromotedFanboy Ober and his obsession with TV]].
* ConfettiDrop: Bonus round winners were showered with confetti and streamers while still strapped to the bed or wheel.
* ConsolationPrize: Losers got a "Television's Greatest Hits" CD and a [[ProductPlacement Zenith remote control]].
* [[DoubleTheDollars Double the Points]]
* EjectTheLoser: While not the first to use it, this is the show that made an art form of it. While losing contestants were originally just sent back through the breakaway wall, this soon expanded to different walls that reacted in various ways as well as one chair that flipped the contestant upwards and backwards out of the studio. The first contestant to go (via "Off the Air") was additionally taunted by Ober and Quinn while the audience sang a CrowdSong.
** Turned UpToEleven with computer and video game adaptations of the game, which showed the contestants being ''[[MadeOfExplodium blown up]] or [[ShockAndAwe struck by lightning]]'' (although this may be more due to the limitations of the software at that time, which might not have been capable of animating the actual ejections as seen on the show).
* HomeGame: A board game, a PC version, and a video game for the NintendoEntertainmentSystem.
* MysteryBox: Integrated into the "Snack Break" in Season 1; "[[Series/LetsMakeADeal Let's Pick a Fridge]]" thereafter.
* Personnel:
** TheAnnouncer: Colin Quinn.
** GameShowHost: Ken Ober.
** LovelyAssistant: Marisol Massey, Kari Wührer, Alicia Coppola, and Susan Ashley.
** StudioAudience: Interacted with parts of gameplay, most notably during "Off the Air" segments.
* ProductPlacement: Zenith, Craftmatic, and PEZ, just to name a few.
* PromotionalConsideration
* SpeedRound: "Think Real Fast" (also called the "Lightning Round"), with 10-point questions asked for 30 seconds. Changed in the final season to "This, That, or the Other Thing" and shortened to 20 seconds.
* {{Whammy}}: "Ranger Bob" and "Home Shopping Zone".
* {{Zonk}}: The product you were forced to "buy" with your points if you hit "Home Shopping Zone".
** In the first season, the contents of the two fridges that did not contain the Snack Break's bonus prize.
!!! "It's his basement, it's his tropes, it's his game show":
* TheBully: Colin Quinn, if you were unfortunate enough to select the "Wheel of Torture" channel. You could either lose 10 points or have a wheel spun which dictated what method of schoolyard mischief Quinn would deal to you ("Purple Nurple", "Noogies", and "The Tape Arm", to name a few) and gain 10 points.
* CameraAbuse: Employed for "Off the Air" during Season 1. The camera would shake and "snow" would appear on the screen as the contestant was being ejected.
* CatchPhrase: Many.
* ColdOpen: Used before some notable episodes.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: The contestants' recliners.
* CrowdSong: "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", "Hit the Road, Jack", or one of several others whenever someone went Off the Air.
* DeadpanSnarker: Both Ober and Quinn.
* DoubleEntendre: "Beat the Bishop", anyone?
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** In the pilot episode only, a penalty space marked "Off The Air" eliminated the contestant landing on that category from further play. From the second episode onward, all contestants played two standard rounds, with the lowest-performing contestant eliminated thereafter.
** One early episode had all three contestants eliminated at the first commercial break due to "[[EpicFail being completely clueless]]." (Although it's not clear if the three contestants were actors or if they legitimately performed poorly.)
* [[ExpositoryThemeTune Expository]] [[TitleThemeTune Title]] ThemeTune: "Kenny wasn't like the other kids... ''Remote Control''!"
* MsFanservice: Kari. The other hostesses, to an extent.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar
* HalfHourComedy
* LongRunner: It ran for four years, but the show claimed it had been around for ''much'' longer.
* ObviousBeta: The [[{{Pilot}} two "test" episodes]], recorded on a different set than the series. The first "test" show had Off the Air as a ''category'', eliminating whoever picked it right then and there.
* PartsUnknown: 72 Whoopingkof Lane (the spelling was indicated by a street sign laying around on the set).
* PointAndLaughShow
* PungeonMaster / SoUnfunnyItsFunny: PlayedForLaughs with "Mr. Baggy Pants".
** PlayedForLaughs several seasons later with the Christmas episode, where three joke contestants impersonating the "Wise Men" were kicked out and replaced with real contestants after Round 1.
* ResetButton: Employed in an early episode in which all three contestants were completely clueless; at the end of Round 1, Ober and his "mother" had all three of them yanked Off the Air simultaneously, and they were replaced with new players picked from the audience after the commercial break.
* RuleOfThree: Three contestants.
* ScareChord: Used in Season 1 (and shortly into the second), when at the beginning of Round 2 Ober said "The points are doubled...and so is the ''danger''!"
* ShoutOut: '''Constantly''', to {{Game Show Host}}s, other shows, etc. Parodied on some episodes which were themed "salutes" to random objects.
** The Bob Eubanks head PEZ Dispenser.
* SignatureSoundEffect: The "come and get it" signaling the Snack Break, and the bizarre air raid sirens signaling Off the Air.
* SpecialGuest: ''Series/TheNewlywedGame'' and ''CardSharks'' host Bob Eubanks paid a visit to the show in Season 2, ostensibly to give Ken some pointers on how to host. The episode is especially hilarious for when one of the contestants began heckling Bob ("You got your own show - let Ken do his business here!"), and [[WhatTheHellPlayer Bob responds in kind]] ("Don't let your mouth write a check your butt can't cash!") The SpeedRound then consisted of one word from a TV show's title being replaced with "Whoopie", and the contestants having to supply the correct word.
* StylisticSuck: The entire show, arguably, as the premise was that it was thrown together in Ober's basement. Especially played for laughs with "Sing Along with Colin" and the aforementioned Mr. Baggy Pants.
* TakeThat: A skit during a "best of" marathon shown the weekend before Season 4 began featured the incoming hostess thinking, upon hearing the show's description, that she was coming onto ''Series/CouchPotatoes''. Ober proceeded to ''tear into'' said show, accusing them (perhaps rightly so) of ripping his show off.
* TakingYouWithMe: The TV does this to the losing contestant when it goes Off the Air. Ober explained it this way on more than one occasion.
* TimedMission: Here's a wall of nine TV sets, haphazardly oriented. Now identify the artists in the music videos. You have 30 seconds...
* {{Troperrific}}: It's only natural that a show about TV trivia with the world's biggest fanboy as host and parodies of nearly every game show in the book is going to fall under this category.
* UnexpectedlyObscureAnswer: Played with in the "Public Television" category. When a player actually answered one of these questions correctly, he got a high-five from Ken and a round of wild cheering from the audience.