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?

Get some AWESOME Channel Awesome T-Shirts HERE

About Doug Walker

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


  1. Very very very underrated and wrongfully hated Jim Carrey movie.

    • Great editorial Doug. I had just graduated high school when this came out in 1996 and I admit I didn’t enjoy it at first. A few years later when it came out to DVD, I enjoyed it more and even consider it one of my favorite Jim Carrey movies.

      This movie definitely would have fared much better if it was released in the mid 2000’s, but I’m glad people appreciate it much more now since it’s more relatable.

      I’m sure you have your Cable Guy-like fans, Doug. o_o


    • It was a “you had to be there” type thing.
      The climate of movies and all that.
      also,NC can’t say it,so I will,Jim Carrey fans were stupid,not for disliking this but in general. I was one of them and whenever I rewatch something from his string of 90s movies,I feel shame.

    • I didn’t even know people hated it. Everyone I know loved it.

      • Yes, until now I though that it was considered as good movie (because it is). But I guess because I always was a geek, when in that time people didn’t understand that outside maybe stereotypes considered by them more like humor then reference to real thing. So I sort of understand why it is like that..

      • At the time it came out, my friends and I walked out of the theater kinda scratching our heads. It’s not exactly a movie that makes a great first impression.

    • I despise Jim Carrey. Always have. I only just barely tolerate his presence in Eternal Sunshine, and I don’t like his performance in any other movie he’s done. I am constantly bewildered by his commercial success.

      • But you miss point of this topic. I understand why people dislike his acting style, what is weird here is why people who like his acting style dislike this exact role?

        • Cotterpin Doozer

          It’s not “missing the point” to say that I can’t speak to the point. I don’t think he’s any different in this movie than he is in any other, so I guess I’m more in line with fans of his who love this movie and don’t see what the problem is. The Cable Guy seems like just more of his same old schtick.

      • A lot of the hatred might have come from that. This ‘Jim Carrey’ guy was suddenly everywhere, and not everyone agreed with him being hilarious. Now was a chance to state your opinion of not liking him that much, without being hushed by fans, who already saw Ace Ventura and The Mask as instant classics. I personaly was fine with the first two movies and was absolutely hyped about Batman Forever… well… Joel Schumacher happened and Jim Carrey also didn’t show a lot versatility in his acting. Long story short, Cable guy was the first legitimate chance to speak up against Carrey,
        but I hate Liar Liar so much more. I pity all these other actors, who came to the set everyday and their only direction must have been: ‘Okay, you guys just stay there open mouthed and react to all these Jim Carrey shennanigans…again!’

        • I was a fan of Carrey since his In Living Color days where he played slapstick characters like Fire Marshall Bill. So movies like Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber were more of his In Living Color sketches extended to movie length.

          I assumed that everyone knew him from In Living Color first which contributed to his success in the mainstream.

          • Whereas I always assumed everyone knew him from ONCE BITTEN and EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY… though I’m sure he had some fans from his DUCK SOUP days.

          • Cotterpin Doozer

            Nothing on the topic of Jim Carrey annoys me more than the fact that he was the one member of the cast who’s career really blew up off of In Living Color. Many of the others became household names, but none of them were getting tens of millions of dollars a picture.

    • No Jim Carey movie is wrongfully hated.

    • I love the fact that the Lovecraft has the book “Stripping the Altars” by Eamon Duffy. Okay, super nerdy for me to say, but what can I say…I love me some historical theology. Also he has has “The Story of Christianity Volumes 1 and 2” by Justo Gonzalez……Surprising! I can’t wait to see what he has to say.

  2. While the movie has flaws and problems and isn’t one of Carrey’s best, I wouldn’t say it’s his worst and I like it well enough to watch it once in a while.

  3. I’m pretty sure people are a lot more forgiving of Cable guy nowaday

  4. Even before the internet social media era, I liked this movie. Not only have I known people like the Cable Guy, I’ve wondered sometimes if other people think I’m their Cable Guy, because yeah I can be a bit obsessive about things and crave attention.

  5. Personally , i think this is one of his best films in his career.

  6. So, was this ahead of its time in 1996? Either way, it still seems better than a movie about 23…

    • I liked Number 23, still watch it from time to time, as i do with this movie.
      It’s not perfect but it’s not as bad as people say it is. In all honesty, good comedians make for great actors in thrillers, even if the thriller doesn’t try to go too far.

    • No, it’s by no means original nor visionary. It’s simply a parody of the stalker genre (Criminal Law, Single White Female, The Hands that Rocks the cradle).
      I don’t really see how the eponymous character resembles Youtube commenters in any way. Engaging in swordfight while quoting Star Trek is rather an Internet Critic thing. “Isn’t he a bit like you and me…”

  7. It wasn’t Jim Carrey I hated it was Matthew Broderick.

  8. People hate Cable Guy? I can honestly say it’s probably my fav Jim Carrey movie. I love how it rides the line between comedy and horror/thriller.

  9. I had a friend growing up who mutually liked this movie and it’s bonded us closer since

    I also recall certain (or all?) members of Green Day enjoying this flick, which is why I even checked it out in the first place. Years later and I still enjoy it

    That Medieval Times waitress is the best!

  10. People hate the cable guy? WTF? Okay it hasn’t aged well but still probably one Jim Carey best performances.

  11. I loved “The Cable Guy.” I saw it in 1999, about three years after its release. To me it’s one of the best movies of the decade, along with “The Truman Show” and “Man On the Moon.” All three movies work as some great trilogy having to do the television. These movies are classics.

  12. I don’t know many people who actually hated this movie. Hell, my cousin loves this movie for the damn Medieval Knights scene as Jim Carrey imitates Star Trek in knight armor.

  13. disembodiedvoiceofreason

    Hated this movie as a kid, willing to give it another chance. I do have to say that a lot of Jim’s movies are hit or miss. I seem to be of the minority that found Me, Myself and Irene to be annoying. the idea is a classic but the narration was annoying.

  14. Well I didn’t like the Cable Guy because I found it uncomfortable… but not uncomfortable enough, if it makes sense. It didn’t work as a comedy for me, because at that point watching Jim Carrey doing his Jim Carrey stuff started getting old, and it didn’t work as a psychological thriller because the comedy angle made it hard to relate to the main character (it also didn’t help that it was played by Matthew Broderick). So it was basically just.. a movie which doesn’t provide any emotional impact beyond it being slightly uncomfortable to watch.. but not uncomfortable enough. 🙂

    • So it basically didn’t work for you overall. It was close, if it was focusing on one side or another, but with it being the dark comedy angle, that balance was razor thin that it just didn’t work for you. I gotcha.

      Can’t argue with you on that. It’s definitely a movie I’ll have to try again in full since it’s been so long since I’ve seen it all in one sitting.

    • Yes, this is justified critic. But I guess most people didn’t dig as that deep here. Just “Jim Carrey is slightly different then always! How dare he!”.

  15. Its one of my favourite movies of all time.

  16. I didn’t even know people didn’t like it

  17. I don’t hate it!

  18. As much as I do love Jim Carrey, this movie isn’t really my cup of tea. I watched it when I was younger and feeling very uncomfortable by it. Though to be fair, I was a kid. So perhaps watching it as an adult may change my perspective on it.

    • I also saw the movie first as a kid, being a huge Carrey-fan, and was pretty shocked by its darkness and adult humor as opposed to the lighthearted nature of, say, Liar Liar.
      Then, I watched it again as a grown-up and felt like I understood the movie a lot better, even if it was still at times disturbing.

      So I definitely recommend you give it another try. It’s by no means a bad movie, just very different from what people expect from a Carrey film.

  19. I saw this while I was young and found it pretty boring,but recently iv seen bits of it and actually got a laugh. Guess I was not in the right age group first time I saw it.

  20. “Why does everybody hate the Cable Guy?”

    Well, not really anymore – people do love it for what it says about using media as a babysitter and how media shapes our minds actively. It has even minor moments of McLuhan-esque observations – Chip’s working his ass off trying to figure out what all those forced morals in TV shows mean, since cold media makes you work hard to do a simple analysis. He views the TV as the culmination of morality – the medium is the message.

    I think people see it in the context of Reality Bites and think “oh fuck, it’s a shitty Ben Stiller film.” No, this is prime-of-his-life Ben Stiller.

  21. Whoa. People HATED this movie? This was one of my favorite Jim Carrey films of all time. I like it better than Liar Liar, even. People said this was too dark? Liar Liar was pretty screwed up, too. I always hated the ending to Liar Liar where his ex wife ended up back together with him and she ditched Cary Elwis, who had absolutely nothing wrong with him. Because he was “a little dorky” she had to call it quits, even though he was much better to their son.
    Cable Guy was not only great in its surreal, uncomfortable tone, but it had a way of making that uncomfortable feeling funny. Plus I hate Matthew Broderick, and seeing him play this stuck up yuppie who gets harassed by his stalker buddy and getting his life ruined, it was thumbs up all the way.

    • thatchickwithlonghair

      You’re remembering things wrong. She didn’t “ditch” Cary Elwis’s character; he had to move across the country to Boston and she was going to go with him…but there were so many hints that she didn’t even love him enough to make that commitment; she was going to use him as an excuse to get away from Carrey’s neglectful behavior and that isn’t right either. Plus the son didn’t really bond with Cary’s character whom I found ridiculously annoying. The film’s ending WAS the best option.

  22. Funny thing (and at the same time not funny) is that I can related to the Cable Guy. I used to be like Jim Carrey’s character; a bit obsessive, klingy, not understanding boundaries, etc. I wasn’t EXACTLY like him, but I later realized and learned about personal space and that I’m not the only person in everyone’s life. I am socially awkward and I value my relations with people and connecting with them. I never meant anyone harm and if someone told me straight to my face in a manner that I can understand about how annoying I can be, I would leave them be until the time is right to talk to them again.

    What I’m saying is that I know what it’s like to be that person who just wants someone to be with, have someone to talk to, someone to share moments, and just to make a connection. Someone who does act or do things like the Cable Guy (not necessarily to those extremes though) just simply wants company, but doesn’t know how to be around others due to one reason or another. In a way, they aren’t really to blame if all they want is a friend but can’t socialize properly. It actually makes them sympathetic if you understand them. Everyone values and wants a connection with other people (whether it be platonic or romantic), some just value them more than others and really don’t want to lose them and really want to make one.

    No one likes to be alone.

    • You and me both.

      I have a good life and a great relationship with someone now, but I was also that clingy, overbearing, dependent person in my younger days. Maybe one of the reasons this movie didn’t click with me at first is because Jim Carrey’s character was an overexaggerated version of myself.

      After I started learning how to socialize better, I began to appreciate this movie a lot more.

  23. I it’s been years since I last saw this movie so I don’t remember too much of it so I might watch it again also didn’t know Zoolander got shit I always liked it.

  24. I never thought that Jim Carrey was funny. I can’t stand most movies with him anyway, with one or two exceptions. But those are movies which don’t hinge on his so called humour but tell a really good story.

  25. I’ve always liked this movie. Its not mind blowing or anything, but its solidly entertaining. Its also basically the only movie (outside of The Lion King) where I don’t hate Matthew Broderick.

  26. I get why some people like it, but it never appealed to me because I read Jim Carrey’s character as coded autistic. I’ve met people like him, and none of them have been neurotypical. So, when you get down to it, the punchline is “Jim Carrey acts weird and has poor social skills. Laugh at this weirdo.” Again, this is just my interpretation, but considering the treatment of disabled people in both media and real life, it just hit too close to home.

    • Agreed. You can even see it in Doug’s commentary about laughing at the “social shut-ins.”

      Like, hi, sorry, but those people aren’t just your punching bags, and they’re not just vaguely “weird.” A lot of them have real disorders that make “normal,” “proper” social interaction genuinely difficult, if not nigh impossible.

    • Point is that he didn’t play autistic person, but weirdo obsessed with TV. People now are more aware about autism and such role would be unacceptable, but in that time even if someone know this word he associated it more with Rainman type of characters, not with something less extreme.

  27. ᵗʰᵉNight★Star

    Wait wait, what?? Since when was this movie hated??! Have I been missing something all these years??

    Maybe I wasn’t paying attention at the time this came out and when I saw it, but I thought it was a really good movie, a fantastic role for him, and I remember it being legitimately well liked at the time it came out.

    He’s done FAR worse movies than this. FAR worse. Me, Myself & Irene, Mr. Poppers Penguins, Earth Girls Are Easy, Batman Forever, Ace Ventura 2, The Grinch, A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Fun with Dick And Jane, The Number 23, and A Christmas Carol, Dumb and Dumber To….. all EASILY much worse movies than this.

    Again, is this just one of those things that the perception of it having changed well after the original release, because I honestly can’t remember a single person having a bad thing to say about it at the time.

    • ᵗʰᵉNight★Star

      I dunno though, maybe I just wasn’t paying attention to critics or movie fans at the time.. especially movie fans, because in my circle of friends at the time, we all liked this film AND often quoted it, too. And I never remember anyone else I casually saw talk about it ever say anything bad. Granted I never went out of my way to see reviews of it back then, so that’s probably why…. but people hating this film the most out of all of them? That’s new to me, and was so until I literally read the title of this video.

    • Ace Ventura 2 sucks, but that rhino scene gets me every time.

  28. This is a love it or hate it movie, I hate it. To me, there is nothing that could have saved this movie. Not a change of cast,not the direction and sure as hell not the timing of its release.

  29. OMG I hated The Cable Guy., as well as Liar-Liar., I prefer Jim Carrey in roles such as Ace-Ventura., The Mask., and Dumb & Dumber., I did like Man on the Moon., its was so amazing I actually cried when I walk out of the theater., it really moved me.,,.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.