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The Cable Guy (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  14 June 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 115,796 users  
Reviews: 339 user | 70 critic

A lonely and disturbed cable guy raised on television just wants a new friend, but his target, a designer, rejects him, with bad consequences.



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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Medieval Times Host
Harry O'Reilly ...
Amy Stiller ...
Keith Gibbs ...


Steven Kovak has been kicked out of his apartment by his girlfriend. Steven has a new apartment, and decides to slip the cable guy (Chip) $50 for free cable. Steven then fakes an interest in Chip's line of work. However Chip takes this to heart trying to become Steven's best bud. When Steven no longer wants to be Chips friend the man who can do it all goes on an all out assault to ruin Steven's life. In the backdrop is the delicate sub-plot of the trial of a former kid star for murdering his brother. Written by Wayne Jamieson <jamtin@OntheNet.com.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He came...He saw...He tormented... See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for dark thematic elements and crude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

14 June 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cable Guy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$47,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,806,226 (USA) (14 June 1996)


$60,154,431 (USA) (30 August 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Steven is telling Rick about how Robin kicked him out of the apartment, he says "I feel like Felix Unger." Matthew Broderick later played this character on stage alongside Nathan Lane as Oscar in the 2005 Broadway revival of The Odd Couple. See more »


The satellite dish Chip falls into is pointing straight up. Satellite dishes track satellites in geosynchronous orbit, which must orbit at the equator. For the satellite dish to be pointing straight up, it must be on the equator. See more »


The Cable Guy: Women are a labyrinth, my friend. Can I be frank? I don't think you listen to her. I think you tell her what she wants to hear. She wants you to thirst for knowledge about who she is, all the complicated splendor that is women. When your love is truly giving, it will come back to you ten fold.
Steven Kovacs: You're right. That's incredibly insightful.
The Cable Guy: I know. It was Jerry Springer's final thought on Friday's show.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Columbia logo at the beginning of the movie segues into static from Steven's cable TV. See more »


Garota De Ipanema
Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes (as Vinicius De Moraes)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of Carrey's Best Performances
29 August 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

When first released, Cable Guy was such an unusual departure for Jim Carrey and his usual slapstick, manic, goofy comedies that people just didn't understand it or like it. When word of Carrey's enormous $20 million paycheck for this film spread, hopes were high that Cable Guy would be smothered in Carrey's slice of hilarious dementia to the extreme.

Carrey certainly brought an air of craziness to Chip Douglas, a lonely, TV-addicted, and creepy cable installer who befriends the unwilling Matthew Broderick (here, looking just nervous and bewildered for the entire film). But something was missing from this Carrey vehicle from the others: he was not all fun and games. In fact, he was downright funny weird, not funny haha.

So here lies one of the major problems people have with this film: it veers from dark comedy into darkness, period. Carrey isn't making an ass of himself in every scene. No. Instead, Carrey's Chip Douglas is an obsessive, extreme, two-faced sociopath. The result? What would be Jim Carrey's best performance to date, surpassed only by his Truman Burbank in The Truman Show.

Sure, it's got a story that's been done to death: normal guy meets psycho and is stalked. But oh, what fun it is to see Jim drag Matthew Broderick into such uncomfortable situations as playing Porno Password with his parents (Carrey whispering "Nipple" into Broderick's ear is absolute brilliance).

Cable Guy is definitely not for fans who want to see Jim Carrey do what created his career; that is, silly, goofy, and flailing comedy. However, avid fans of black comedies will love seeing Carrey's first step in his evolution as a gifted, serious, and undeniably interesting actor.

8 out of 10.

89 of 104 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Meaning of 'The silence of the lambs' references? matiluzz
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Talk about prophetic yankee242B
Ben Stiller in the Matthew Broderick role blessyouforustwo
How come Chip didn't stalk his other clients? pilarp-1
If you don't like it, set it aside and re-watch it in a few years... wlwlwlwl
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