The Cable Guy

It seemed that most of the stories on the CBS Early Show were going to be about Joplin, Missouri, so I didn’t stick around to see all of it.  Both Chris Wragge and Rebecca Jarvis were out covering storm stories.  I went to the office and checked a few messages.  One student sent me a thank-you note.  I checked the blog and the downturn in the statistics.  I went over to the grocery store for a few items.  The idea was to get something to eat, take a nap, and get to the grading of papers.  When I got home, I watched “The Cable Guy.”  The director was Ben Stiller, and the movie seemed like a preparation for “Zoolander “and “Tropic Thunder.”  In fact, we see Jack Black and Owen Wilson in supporting roles.  Jack Black was a smaller guy than in “Nacho Libre,” and Owen Wilson looked very young, but the right side of his nose still looked strange.  Ben Stiller must have liked working with Jack Black enough to invite him back for “Tropic Thunder” years later.  Matthew Broderick played the Ben Stiller role, or so I thought in my mind.  Maybe it was really a Matthew Broderick role.  He’s just an innocent guy named Steven Kovacs, who wants his cable TV when the cable guy comes in, acts weird, and stalks him and worms his way into his life, nearly destroying it.  Jim Carrey is the Cable Guy, and he’s let loose through the whole movie.  He takes Steve out for some medieval jousting, karaoke singing, and playing “Porno Password.”  I had the feeling that I was watching a demented version of “I Love You, Man,” and sure enough, when I checked the credits on the DVD cover, there is Judd Apatow’s name as one of the producers.  “I Love You, Man” showed the Apatow influence, even though his name wasn’t in the credits.  A couple of other people in the cast are George Segal, who was in some good movie during the 1970s, and Eric Roberts, who was the bad guy in “Star 80.”  The jousting bit took place in a place called Medieval Times, which sort of reminded me of the role-playing game in “Role Models.”  The karaoke party starting with an old guy singing “American Woman,” which had shades of Kevin Spacey in “American Beauty,” and then continued with “Rock the Boat” and Jim Carrey giving his interpretation of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love.”  He had to mention Altamont before the song.  He also made references to “Star Trek,” “Midnight Express,” “The Mod Squad,” and “Waterworld.”  He gave himself his own soundtrack music at times, and he had a lisp.  He acted progressively crazier as the movie went on, and what was disturbing was that I knew someone like him during the 90s, someone who would use his job to get people to become his captive audience and his “friends.”  This guy invited me for lunch and proceeded to waste eight hours of my time driving me around and complaining about his problems.  I still fear his stalking intentions to this day.  People wonder about my secretive nature, and this people is one of the key reasons I never tell anyone too much about myself.  Another movie that had some similarities to “The Cable Guy” was “What About Bob?”  Bill Murray was a disturbed person who won over a family, too, making the normal guy seem angry and unlikable, but Murray was a gentle guy.  Jim Carrey was a guy you got tired of.  I did, at least.  He did go on to do other, interesting things, like “Man on the Moon,” “The Truman Show” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”  As far as your uncomfortable comedies go, I liked “Neighbors” more than “The Cable Guy.”  If you put the original version of “The In-Laws” in this category, then it is my favorite.  This movie seems like a warm-up exercise for “Zoolander” and “Tropic Thunder.”  The DVD cover doesn’t have any quotes from any recognizable movie critics, which is an indication of how people felt about the movie.  I didn’t find it a bad movie.  I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it, although it did make me laugh a few times.  I would only recommend it to people I dislike.  I fell asleep for a while and awoke to see that it had rained.  “The View” was on television, but I couldn’t stand watching it, with Sharon Osbourne’s rambling comments about Oprah Winfrey driving me away.  I watched the first part of “The Fellowship of the Ring” again.  I got to the part where Froddo was about to leave.  The Blu-ray player just stopped in its tracks without warning, and so I got the disc out of there.  Why is it that specific discs give me problems?  It seems that one practically invisible speck of dust can throw the whole machinery out of whack?  I turned to my Seinfeld DVDs and watched some of Season 3.  I liked “The Limo,” although none of it would happen in an era of a cell phone.  The idea of throwing the neo-Nazis in the episode was a great one.  Why don’t they write television sitcom episodes like this anymore?  “The Good Samaritan” showed Kramer having seizures from hearing Mary Hart’s voice.  It’s a good thing that she retired last week.  In “The Letter,” Jerry’s girlfriend Nina was Catherine Keener, who did a painting of Kramer and plagiarized Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two.”  I think a lot of people haven’t seen that movie because it hasn’t been issued on DVD.  While I was watching the five o’clock, they showed video of Joplin, Missouri.  At first glance, I thought the caption said “Killer Tomatoes,” but after a moment I realized that it said “Killer Tornadoes.”  Elizabeth Cook seemed to stumble quite a few times in reading the news.  On the national broadcast, Rebecca Jarvis reported on tornado damage in Oklahoma.  John Edwards was under investigation for possibly using campaign money to hide his mistress, and Sarah Palin might be ready to announce her candidacy for president.  I can’t imagine how she can win over voters.  I’m tired of the term “game changer.”  The last segment Harry Smith gave us was about Oprah Winfrey.  Her popularity peak was in 1991, and her audience has been fading.  People are tiring of her.  She became too much of a celebrity, and too rich.

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