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Too Many Plugs at 'Cable Guy' Premiere


The Scene: Months of pre-release hype reached a traffic-snarling crescendo Monday night at Mann's Chinese Theater for the premiere of "The Cable Guy," starring Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick. Hollywood Boulevard was closed to civilian traffic to make way for the convoy of VIP limos as well as a pair of mounted knights in full medieval jousting regalia, while hundreds of screaming, celebrity-ogling fans stood behind barricades across the street. Following the screening, there was a reception at the not-quite-within-walking-distance Hollywood Palladium, resulting in another vehicular logjam. The event also served as a benefit for Comic Relief.

Who Was There: The attendance topped 1,500, well over the capacity of the Chinese Theater, necessitating another screening room to handle the overflow. Celebrities and VIPs abounded, including the film's director, Ben Stiller, and cast members Carrey, Broderick and Leslie Mann. Familiar faces spotted were Tom Arnold, Stephen Baldwin, James Belushi, Rodney Dangerfield, Stephen Dorff, Faye Dunaway, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bonnie Hunt, Sharon Lawrence, Bruno Kirby, Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Principal, Kathy Najimy, Cheryl Tiegs and Sean Young. Also on hand was Comic Relief President Bob Zmuda.

So What? The moment of wretched excess in a premiere with more plugs than a cable station came during the pre-screening speeches. A representative of an actual cable company not only elaborated on his company's roster of services, but tried the audience's patience even further by concluding with, "We have a couple of real cable guys here this evening that I want to introduce."

The Buzz: The industry-heavy crowd was divided on whether the pic was bound for box office glory. One guest opined that, "It doesn't have to be good, it's got Jim Carrey." Another dismissively dubbed the actor "the straight-to-cable guy."

Chow: Open bars offered beverages from around the world including Czech beer, Puerto Rican rum and French champagne. For solid fare, ubiquitous buffets served up a variety of Mediterranean treats including fried calamari rings, stuffed grape leaves and eggplant Parmesan.

Quoted: Of her first premiere, Mann said, "God, getting out of the limo was so frightening. There was so many people, it was scary. I was so nervous. I had this little purse in my hand but I think I broke it, I was squeezing it so tight."

Money Matters: More than $225,000 was raised for Comic Relief's National Health Care for the Homeless program.

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