Sordid Cinema Podcast

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #585: Ben Stiller’s The Cable Guy is One of the Most Underrated Comedies of the ‘90s.

July 9th, 2021

The Cable Guy Review

He came…He saw…He tormented…

There are plenty of overnight success stories in Hollywood, but none quite like Jim Carey’s rise to fame. After a stint on In Living Color, Carey transitioned to the big screen with Ace Ventura, which became a sleeper hit in the spring of 1994, grossing more than $100 million on a $15 million budget. Carrey followed that up with blockbusters like The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever, and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls— all within a span of two years, helping him become the biggest box office draw in Hollywood. From there, the rubber-faced comic was hired to star in the 1996 black comedy The Cable Guy directed by Ben Stiller and co-starring Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann, Jack Black. The film opened to a respectable $20 million but ultimately became a box office bomb, weighed down by toxic word of mouth from critics who called it a complete misfire. The bigger story, however, was how much money Carey was paid— the actor received $20 million from Columbia Pictures, as well as a 15% backend, and critics couldn’t wrap their head around why a studio would pay so much for any actor to star in a comedy. 25 years later, however, The Cable Guy has found a huge cult following and is now considered one of the best dark comedies of its time— a multi-faceted parody built around a multitude of movie and television-inspired set pieces and references along with an incredible performance by Jim Carey. And not only was The Cable Guy slightly ahead of its time, with its prophetic look on the future and the internet at large— but The Cable Guy was arguably the flashpoint for the next big generation of comedy, paving the way for the next generation of comedies. On this episode on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, we dive deep into what makes the film special, even after all these years.

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