I'm pretty sure I never had a TV remote until I got cable, which was some time in the 1980s.
That's not that unusual. According to one of today's guests, the percentage of television-owning households with remote controls did not break 50 until right around then.
The remote was a specialty item, and it was frequently satirized as the ultimate symbol of a person whose attention and indeed consciousness had been completely conquered by the TV set.
For the majority of Americans, during the first 30 years of the Age of TV, a remote control was a luxury device -- a maybe even a symbol of a place they weren't ready to go.
Now we all have them. And we get bitter about needing three of them to do more or less one thing. And we hate their complexity and the number of buttons that don't seem connected to anything. This is probably their twilight, anyway, as you'll see after the news.