Why Does Everyone Hate the Cable Guy?

It’s one of Jim Carrey’s most hated films, but why? Does everyone really hate 1996’s The Cable Guy?

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. CurtTheHistorian

    loved it. this film had a great message about too much technology in your life taking over your identity; we never learned Jim’s character’s name did we? and at the end of the film when he said “someone’s got to kill the babysitter” it was not a metaphor he meant literally the babysitter or as Lindsey called it “uncle television” he redeems himself by trying to free everybody from the techno that took over his life and was starting to do the same to everyone else with their obsession with the murder trial. How many of us were glued to the TV during the OJ Simpson trial the year before this movie came out? and this was before 24 hour news channels and reality TV

    • You’re right and also when he gave his speech twice in the movie about cable and playing Mortal Kombat with a friend in Vietnam, well that’s exactly what we do today. With online gaming, Social Media, and people being connected this movie nailed that back in 1996 it’s amazing how accurate that was.

  2. Before I saw The Truman Show, this was my favorite Jim Carrey movie. Hell my High School Library carried the book they adapted from the movie and I read that too!

  3. “Stop, so that I may brain thee!”

    I loved this movie when it came out… granted, I was about twelve or thirteen at the time so I was definitely the target audience. Hell, one of the few times my family picked up a TV Guide they had an ad for the film that was just a picture of Carry through the peep hole surrounded by his various “Cable Guy, I’m here to…” quotes. I cut it out and hung it in my room. XÞ

    I actually haven’t watched this film in a good many years (since I left behind many a VHS cassette) and it’s not the kind of film you really see on television anymore (and I don’t have any reliable streaming service), so… so I should probably watch this again some time.

  4. Thank you! I really liked Cable Guy. People should focus the hate towards Grinch instead. That was really his worst.

  5. UnlegendaryDynofist

    Weird so many people hate this movie. I’ve liked it since I first saw it in the theater. Seems like a million years ago now, damn I feel old suddenly. I was in college when this film came out…

    I’m a pretty big fan of Carrey and I really only have a few movies his been in that I actively dislike. He is shockingly versatile as an actor. To me he is the anti-Sandler. Yeah I might have really like Sandler’s early work, so much so that I used to quote it and yeah I do an eerie good impression of him but he lost me over time. I’m never excited when I hear he is going to be in something but with Carrey no matter how shitty the production sounds I’m at least interested to see how he’ll behave in it.

    Does anyone else remember Man on the Moon? Cried my eyes out during parts of that one. Maybe it Carrey’s performance, maybe it was the subject matter, or maybe it was just that I’m old enough to have experienced a bit of Andy Kaufman but damn that got to me.

    Does anyone remember him from The Dead Pool? Or Duck Factory? Or In Living Color? Am I just some kind of ancient old mummy from before time or something? Anyhow, long stupid rambling comment over. To sum up; I like the Cable Guy and Jim Carrey.

  6. Wow… I never knew this movie got hate. When first I saw it in theaters, I was pleasantly surprised how Hitchcockian it was.

  7. My youngest sister and I looooooved this movie largely BECAUSE the humor was so dark, and hilarious. One of my personal favorite Jim Carry movies. Bought it on VHS as soon as it came out. And what’s this, people hated Zoolander?! Seriously?!

  8. hey nostalgia critic you mind reviewing drop dead fred

  9. I actually dislike it more now than I did then, but that’s because I’m in a place where I find dark comedies to be depressing. If you hadn’t have brought it up, I would still have gone on thinking this was a pretty good movie since I liked it back then.

  10. So no comment about how you really needed someone to take the “Ask that Guy” slot? Sure, now you have the original “Ask a Ninja,” but you didn’t when you brought “Ask Lovecraft” on board.

  11. I never understood the hate for this movie.

  12. Zartan The Destroyer

    Great analysis, I find people that are either the stalker type or are non-judgemental about the stalker type and downplay how bad it can get that I know, are the ones that don’t like this movie, they also laugh hardest at Jim Carrey’s most hollow obligatory jokes that have no piercing stake to them like the ones in this movie.

    Basically because this was “The Sad Clown” essentially and no the “Happy Clown” they got all confused and couldn’t adjust to it mainly cause he semi-typcast himself as “Happy Clown”, but by this point I was clamoring for him to branch out a little.

    • Zartan The Destroyer

      Sorry tired, I meant to type that this movie HAS the piercing joke with weight to them where as in Pet Detective and Mask they are more improvy fluffier jokes and the difference coming out of Carrey confused certain people with expectations of him

  13. To be frank, the first time I saw this movie was about 5 years ago, well after the whole “too dark” argument had gone out of style, and honestly? I still despise this movie.

    It’s just downright unpleasant, not very funny at all, and I actually found myself sympathizing with Matthew Broderick of all people. I thought Carey was far too annoying instead of being funny, and knowing his talent for comedy, that is inexcusable. And honestly, Broderick’s character is kind of a dick too, which made me feel like a jerk for sympathizing with him.

    Overall, I found very little to enjoy in this film, even from a modern context. Sorry, Critic, but for the first time in quite a while, I disagree with you.

  14. At the time this movie came out I really liked the funny Jim Carrey but after seeing this I actually thought that this was a good movie and it showed that there are actors out there that can be more then only goofy. So I think that Jim Carrey actually showed us what he was capable of when he made this film

  15. There is coming out Zoolander 2? O.o

    And yep, H.P.Lovecraft is awesome. 😀

  16. I can’t say I hate it, but I definitely don’t like it.

    It’s not “too dark”, I just think it’s not FUNNY enough. Specially at the time, we were used to Carrey’s movies being hilarious and playful and we expected well.. that, from this. It didn’t deliver. I don’t think it should have been less dark comedy – more slapstick, I just think it should’ve had much more comedy ALONG with the dark in it.

  17. Debashish Mahapatra

    i LOVE IT!!!

  18. You have to remember that before Cable Guy, Carrey did Ace Ventura, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber. That’s what we all thought he was. A goofball comedian. Even on In Living Color, where he got his start, people loved him for Fire Marshall Bill. This was a major change. People don’t like change. They went into this movie with preconceived notions, they weren’t met, and there was a backlash.

    “He’s obsessed over TV from the past, he thinks life is one big show, he has a problem with boundaries…”

    So…he’s the Nostalgia Critic!

  19. As a kid I actually liked this movie. I loved Jim Carrey I just thought it was goofy guy who loved movies like i did but took it too the extreme.

  20. It’s rediculous that this movie got bad reviews both now and when it came out. This movie is way, way better then ace ventura and his other comedies by a long shot. I saw it in the theater when it was new I must have been 15, anyway it’s super funny. The last 1/4 of the movie isn’t as good as the first 75 percent but it’s still good. Just insane that this get’s such bad reviews.

  21. I did like The Cable Guy, but not nearly as much as almost all of my friends did. I like the consept, but I think some parts of it are totally hit or miss (and in my case they were miss). Some parts are truely exceptional and I like them a lot. The ending is really good.
    So I can clearly see why some people might not like it. Or hate it. Didn’t know though that it was so popular (probably only in USA).
    Also.. When speaking of Ben Stiller’s movies. There’s Something about Mary is not Stiller’s. It’s by the Farrelly brothers.

  22. I’m sure I can’t be the 1st one to suggest: how about a “jim carrey month?”

    Pick 4 movies and surprise us Doug!!! 😀

    Except if you ve already done it and I just missed it!

    Great editorial by the way!

  23. Oh yes, I know a guy like that on the internet….He’s called Little Jimmy…and he too is driving me bat shit insane…I blocked his psycho ass from my deviantart page 4 to 5 years ago and has been stalking me every single week for the past 4 to 5 years, obsessing me to un-block him, creating hate threads about me, trying to build a flash mob against me….ALL I DID WAS BLOCK HIM!…He took it that fucking seriously, and I barely even know anything about the guy to be his friend, we were just BARELY acquaintances and he acts like we were best buddies since childhood…Bull fucking crap…the main reason why I blocked his ass is he committed death threats against friends I DID know because they don’t like Family Guy and Family Guy is like his only reason for living at this point….Yes, he is pathetic, he is an asshole, and I have also contacted his father, I have gotten his account taken down, but NONE OF THAT STOPPED HIM….He got his account back up, he didn’t learn fucking shit from his dad, if this asshole died, I would DANCE ON HIS GRAVE!

  24. Wait, people hate this movie? But…how? Why? This movie is funny as hell. Lol how can you not love the medieval times bit? Or the phone call, or the karaoke party or…god there is so much.

  25. It is a good movie in my opinion 😛

  26. I liked it when I was 12 when it came out and I like it now. I think a lot of the backlash stemmed from Carrey making $20 million for doing the role in what was essentially going to be a cult movie. Ben Stiller was coming off of reality bites which had a budget of about half of what Carrey was going to make. Overall it features a ridiculously good comedic cast, Matthew Broderick torture and Owen Wilson getting the shit beat out of him. Plus Judd Apatow involvement before that meant “enjoyable but overly long comedy”

  27. This is such a fun movie
    The best part is the nightmare
    Seriously people hated this movie i like this one more then Liar Liar

  28. Wow, I just realized….. You should Review Batman Forever!!

  29. I wish you guys did a NC video review with you guys acting the scenes out. Bum could play the cable guy.

  30. I think the film overall isn’t good because of how dark it tries to go. I mean, hear me out, if you like the movie that’s fine, it does have some good moments and jokes in it, but overall while it doesn’t do anything drastic, the entire film is just kind-of mean spirited and awkward to sit through, in my opinion. The guy Jim Carrey is tormenting does nothing at all to deserve what he gets while Jim Carrey just goes out of his way to be horrible to him and ruin his life. Which makes it kind-of painful to sit through because, at times, it goes past being comedic and falls into just that specific category of uncomfortable creepiness that just leaves you feeling weirded out. This COULD be me, this MIGHT be something someone I know has to deal with, there really might be no way to stop someone this obsessive on your own. Stuff like that just bugs me to no end.

    I mean, compare this setup to something like South Park with Cartman. We don’t find Cartman suffering to be funny because we’re all evil douches who hate fat kids, we find it funny because he gets what he deserves and, in episodes where he’s picked on by someone worse, we enjoy them getting what they deserve. That’s why the episodes where Cartman suffers the most tend to be the ones where he does or says the worst stuff, to establish a reason that he deserves the comedic punishment he gets. But in The Cable Guy, we really don’t get that. The main character should have been written to be much more of an asshole for us to root for him getting this punishment with his own personal tormentor until the end, where Jim Carrey gets screwed over in his own way.

    But that’s just my thoughts on the movie.

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