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The Cable Guy (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Thriller | 14 June 1996 (USA)
2:33 | Trailer

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



3,866 ( 27)
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 | Thriller

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?


Chip breaking the glass and screaming, when making a slam dunk in the basketball game was a nod to Highlander (1986). After Steven is fired from his job for the screensaver the Cable Guy installed on all the office computers, he goes into the car garage, where all the cars' headlights are flashing due to all their alarms being triggered. This scene is also a homage to the film. See more »


The telephone handset suddenly appears in Chip's hand as he talks to Steven in jail. See more »


Chip Douglas: You know what the trouble about real life is? There's no danger music.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Features Mod Squad (1968) See more »


Satellite of Love
Written by Lou Reed
Produced by Perry Farrell
Performed by Porno For Pyros
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Sorely underrated, and a personal favourite.
6 July 2003 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

This review is not coming from someone whose top ten films consist primarily of Farrelly Bros. films, nor do I have a particular liking for anyone involved in the film.

First of all, hats off to Jim Carrey. I read under the trivia section that his role wasn't originally intended for him, but be honest; can you see anyone else playing the cable guy? He was brilliant. He takes the film from what would have been a run-of-the-mill comedy, to levels of greatness, and anyone that thinks I'm being too kind either doesn't like Carrey (it was the film that made me do a complete turn around), or needs to see the film again.

The overall tone of the film is a bit of a mix, it gets darker as the story goes along, but the jokes never mollify. I mean, it's a stalker story with clever film and television references... It's really hard to pin down the identity of this film.

This ranks as Stiller's best directorial performance to date. Reality Bites and Zoolander are good, but not great. This film expresses a lot more of his prowess. I see him as a very capable film maker, he is just yet to make his mark with something more widely appreciated.

The Cable Guy is by no means a classic film, and admittedly, you wont see it on any AFI lists anytime soon, but there is no denying the quality effort that was put into this film by all of it's contributors. And there are many of them -- check out all of those cameos! Chip Douglas' (Carrey) contrived relationship with his customer Steven (Broderick) ranks as one of the most memorable in recent history. It has set a precedent in black comedies that has scarcely been touched since.

I would have seen this film at least 30 times by now and it still seems fresh, and this has lead me to believe that the film probably needs to be viewed more than once for it to completely appreciated. I only wish that there were more people out there that 'get' this gem.

This concludes our broadcast day. Click.

180 of 202 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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