See the Cast of ‘The Cable Guy’ Then and Now
Released in 1996 and directed by Ben Stiller, ‘The Cable Guy’ was a dark comedy that showed audiences a different side of Jim Carrey. The actor played Chip Douglas, a lonely and disturbed cable guy raised on TV, who desperately tries to befriend Steven (Matthew Broderick), but when Steven doesn’t readily accept Chip’s zealous and intrusive overtures, he finds that there are sinister consequences. Produced by Judd Apatow (who didn’t receive credit for the work he did on the script at the time), the film was a moderate success and went on to become a cult classic. Seventeen years later, we’re revisiting the cast of the film to see what they’re up to now.
Matthew Broderick, Steven M. Kovacs
Then: Matthew Broderick played Steven M. Kovacs, a designer who moves into his own apartment after his marriage proposal to his girlfriend fails. When he orders cable, cable guy Chip intrudes on his life, making it increasingly difficult.
Now: Since then, Broderick has appeared in films like ‘Godzilla,’ ‘Election,’ ‘The Stepford Wives’ and ‘Inspector Gadget.’ He appeared in two episodes of ’30 Rock,’ and guest starred on ‘Louie’ and ‘Modern Family.’ His recent film credits include ‘Margaret,’ ‘Tower Heist’ and the upcoming disaster film ‘Pompeii.’ A seasoned theater actor, Broderick is currently starring in the stage production of ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It.’
Jim Carrey, Ernie “Chip” Douglas
Then: Ben Stiller originally meant to play the role of disturbed and lonely cable guy Chip Douglas himself, but felt he didn’t want to juggle both directing and acting after doing both on ‘Reality Bites.’ The part then went to ‘Ace Ventura’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber’ star Jim Carrey, who was typically known for his wacky, physical humor, not for dark and demented roles. Chris Farley was also considered.
Now: Carrey continued to branch out, appearing in ‘The Truman Show,’ ‘Man on the Moon’ (in which he played comedian Andy Kaufman), ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ and ‘I Love You, Phillip Morris’ (in which he and Ewan McGregor played gay lovers). Recently he appeared in ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ and ‘Kick-Ass 2,’ and made a cameo in ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.’ He can be seen next reprising the role of Lloyd Christmas in the ‘Dumb and Dumber’ sequel, ‘Dumb and Dumber To.’
Leslie Mann, Robin Harris
Then: Leslie Mann played Robin, Steven’s girlfriend who turns down his proposal. Mann went in for an open audition for the role and was chosen out of a pool of 500 candidates. It was while she was working on the film that she met her future husband, Judd Apatow.
Now: Mann has appeared in all of her husband’s films, including ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’ ‘Knocked Up’ and more recently ‘This Is 40.’ She reunited with her ‘Cable Guy’ co-stars several times, too — with Owen Wilson for ‘Drillbit Taylor,’ Jack Black for ‘Orange County’ and Jim Carrey for ‘I Love You, Phillip Morris.’ She recently appeared in Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Bling Ring,’ and she can be seen next alongside Cameron Diaz in the female revenge comedy ‘The Other Woman.’
Jack Black, Rick Legatos
Then: Jack Black played Steven’s friend, Rick Legatos, who is immediately suspicious of Chip Douglas and his intrusive, weird behavior. A few years later, Black starred in ‘Heat Vision and Jack,’ an unaired pilot directed by Stiller.
Now: Jack went on to become one half of the music duo Tenacious D, which also developed into a television show and film. He’s starred in movies like ‘School of Rock,’ ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘Tropic Thunder,’ which was also directed by Ben Stiller. He’s the voice of Po in the ‘Kung Fu Panda’ movies, and his other recent credits include ‘Bernie’ and ‘The Muppets.’ He recently supported the “Thank a Million Teachers” program from the L.A.-based Farmers Insurance, which allows everyone to extend thanks to a past educator.
George Segal, Mr. Kovacs
Then: George Segal played Steven’s father. Segal was known to audiences for roles in classic films like ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ and ‘The Owl and the Pussycat.’ He also starred in the 1977 film ‘Fun with Dick and Jane,’ which would be remade in 2005 with Jim Carrey in the Segal role.
Now: Segal went on to star on the long-running sitcom ‘Just Shoot Me,’ and since that show ended its run in 2003, he’s appeared in the films ’2012′ and ‘Love and Other Drugs,’ and made appearances on ‘Entourage’ and ‘Boston Legal.’ Currently he stars on the new ABC sitcom ‘The Goldbergs.’
Diane Baker, Mrs. Kovacs
Then: Diane Baker played Steven’s mother, who gets involved in a very rousing and suggestive game of charades with Chip. Baker made her acting debut as Margot Frank in the 1959 film version of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,’ and had appeared on shows like ‘The Love Boat’ and ‘Fantasy Island.’
Now: Since ‘The Cable Guy,’ Baker has appeared in the films ‘Murder at 1600′ and ‘A Mighty Wind.’ Her television appearances include parts on ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,’ a recurring role on ‘Unscripted,’ and a recent guest stint on ‘Lie to Me.’ She also recently starred in the HBO movie ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn.’
Ben Stiller, Sam/Stan Sweet
Then: Throughout the course of the film, news broadcasts highlight a case in which twin brothers murdered their parents — the brothers, Sam and Stan Sweet, are played by director Ben Stiller, who had previously made his directorial debut with ‘Reality Bites.’
Now: Stiller is known for roles in films like ‘There’s Something About Mary,’ ‘Starsky and Hutch,’ and the ‘Night at the Museum’ and ‘Meet the Parents’ films. But he also continued to direct, and his credits include ‘Zoolander,’ ‘Tropic Thunder’ and the recent release ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,’ all of which he also starred in. He’s recently appeared in ‘The Watch,’ and reprised his role as Tony Wonder for ‘Arrested Development’ season 4.
Owen Wilson, Robin’s Date
Then: Owen Wilson played Robin’s date, a sensitive guy who Chip beats up in an effort to protect Steven. Wilson had previously co-wrote and starred in the Wes Anderson film ‘Bottle Rocket,’ in which Leslie Mann had a small, uncredited role as a sorority girl. ‘The Cable Guy’ was only his second acting gig.
Now: Wilson appeared in more films with Stiller, including ‘Meet the Parents’ (and its sequels), ‘The Royal Tenenbaums,’ ‘Starsky and Hutch,’ ‘Zoolander’ and the ‘Night at the Museum’ films. He recently reunited with his ‘Old School’ and ‘Wedding Crashers’ co-star Vince Vaughn for ‘The Internship,’ and lent his voice to the animated film ‘Free Birds.’ He can be seen next in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ and in Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel.’
Janeane Garofalo, Medieval Times Waitress
Then: Comedienne Janeane Garofalo played the annoyed waitress at Medieval Times during a highly memorable sequence later in the film. Garofalo had also starred in ‘Reality Bites’ and in Stiller’s short-lived Fox project, ‘The Ben Stiller Show.’
Now: Garofalo appeared in the films ‘Now and Then,’ ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,’ and reunited with Stiller for ‘Mystery Men.’ She’s also starred in the David Wain comedies ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ and ‘The Ten,’ and was the voice of Colette Tatou in Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille.’ These days, she’s still performing comedy and recently appeared in the films ‘General Education’ and ‘Satan, Hold My Hand.’