Matthew Broderick Shares Sad Reflection on Jim Carrey's Panned Performance in The Cable Guy


  • The Cable Guy
    , despite featuring notable stars, was a critical failure compared to Jim Carrey’s previous hits.
  • Matthew Broderick and Judd Apatow defend Carrey’s performance in the film, noting the pressure he faced due to his hefty salary.
  • Carrey unexpectedly reprised his role in 2022 for a Super Bowl ad.

The Cable Guy was released in 1996 on the back of three huge Jim Carrey hits that seemed to suggest he could do no wrong. However, unlike Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb & Dumber, The Cable Guy was a critical failure and only a borderline box office success in comparison, and marked one of the first real low-points in the actor’s career since he came to the attention of Hollywood. During a recent appearance at the Tribeca Film Festival, Carrey’s co-star Matthew Broderick and the movie’s producer Judd Apatow shared their memories of the film and its original status as a failure.

The Cable Guy featured an array of notable stars, including Jack Black, Leslie Mann, David Cross, Owen Wilson, Kathy Griffin, Bob Odenkirk, George Segal, Diane Baker, and Eric Roberts. Ben Stiller, who directed the film, also made an appearance, playing twin characters in TV clips. Despite that star power, critics slammed the film as the worst of Carrey’s career at that point. The film’s original gross of $102 million was not a bomb by any means, but the hefty budget – in part down to Carrey’s $20 million fee – meant that its profitability was greatly reduced when directly compared to Carrey’s previous movies.


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Broderick and Apatow reunited to discuss The Cable Guy at the Tribeca Film Festival, and reflected on the legacy of the film. As per Deadline, Broderick was quick to defend Carrey, who took the brunt of the bad reviews, noting that the actor’s huge $20 million salary for the film put a lot of pressure on him to deliver. Broderick said:

“Nice as it is to make all that, it put a lot of pressure on him in a way. It hadn’t been that long since he was relatively unknown and suddenly he’s the highest paid, you gotta be the greatest genius ever, every minute. So I was sympathetic to the pressure he must have put on himself.”

Broderick then responded to Apatow’s observation that he has never seen anyone get “that big, in that way, that fast” as Carrey. He added:

It’s a double-edged sword when you have that kind of success, I was sympathetic to that.

Jim Carrey Reprised His Divisive Cable Guy Role in 2022

Although it seemed that there was never a chance of The Cable Guy getting any kind of sequel, it did success in getting a surprise follow-up of sorts in 2022, when Carrey returned to the role of Ernie “Chip” Douglas in a Super Bowl ad for Verizon’s 5G internet. While the return was possibly one of the most unexpected, even with The Cable Guy having a dedicated following now, Carrey’s return to one of his more manic and over-exaggerated roles was perhaps down to his inclusion in a movie about a speedy blue hedgehog as much as anything else.

While Carrey began his career as a wildly over the top, rubber-faced comic, he played diverse roles in movies such as The Number 23, Mr Popper’s Penguins, and 2016 thriller Dark Crimes. However, in 2021 the actor recaptured some of his wild visual comedy best when taking on the role of Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog. The success of his role may not have inspired the actor to plunge back into dozens of new comedy roles, but it did seem to pull him back into the public’s attention enough to star in the Super Bowl ad and get to play one of his less popular characters again.


Major Roles Jim Carrey Didn’t Get or Turned Down

Jim Carrey is undeniably one of Hollywood’s most gifted and prolific entertainers, charming audiences with his lively slapstick performances.

The Cable Guy
is currently available to stream on Starz. Jim Carrey will return to cinemas this December in
Sonic the Hedgehog 3


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