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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 115,791 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


Once you're hooked... you're his. 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 has no transmitting or receiving device on the apex. Only another mini-dish. See more »


Chip Douglas: He who hesitates, masturbates.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Features MTV News (1989) See more »


Produced by Mike Denneen
Written and Performed by Expanding Man
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Joker Noir on TeeVee
24 July 2008 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

Humor is a matter of taste, but when it is as dependent on timing and tone as this is, one at least has to admire it.

You might consider this as rooted in a comic story of obsession.

Or you could easily ignore that and get into the posturing of Carey.

But what I see is an attempt at twisting noir: the idea that the viewer perturbs life, usually the life of a random innocent. Its a profound notion this noir idea that the watcher delivers the movie. Here the watcher is in the movie, delivering it via cable. He has the identity of past "movies."

Its amazingly clever.

I watched this because I recently saw Heath Ledger in Dark Night. As widely publicized, Ledger and Nolan drew heavily from "Clockwork Oragne." But Heath had a very hard time finding the voice. I believe this helped him. The similarities are striking.

Next up in this study; "Equus."

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Meaning of 'The silence of the lambs' references? matiluzz
Do you think Chip + Steven became friends at a later date? wcwcommish
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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