This is a hit-or-miss parody of '70s television, much in the spirit of KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE--only not so good. A series of skits poking fun of cooking shows, public service announcments, bad cop shows, etc., etc., etc., it is, like most movies of this type, only sporadically funny, and it hasn't held up well.Some of the allusions the film toys with have become rather obscure over the last quarter-century or so; just about anyone under 35 will be mystified by many of the references to TV shows and commercials that have been lost to history. THE GROOVE TUBE also betrays a juvenile fascination with T&A. When the film was produced in the early '70s, the naughty thrill of actually seeing and hearing this stuff on the big screen hadn't yet worn off--but nowadays it all smacks of fraternity humor. Still, the film gets off some decent gags, like the running bit about a corporation called Uranus ("You can put your faith in Uranus") and the one about a TV kiddie show hosted by a clown who reads aloud from Sade after asking the adults watching at home to leave the room.
But a lot of the skits just run on too long, partly out of a misguided attempt to wring humor out of redundancy. In a couple segments, the humor depends on your finding it hilarious that events keep going on and on well after you've gotten the point. The strategy doesn't pay off. A movie that lasts barely 72 minutes shouldn't have this many soft spots.
It was Chevy Chase's feature film debut. His most notable bit is one where he sings "Four Leaf Clover" while a guy stands behind him playing drums on his, Chevy's, head. Which is the level of humor that the film operates on for most of its running time.If it sounds like fun, go for it. But you wouldn't be missing much if you didn't.