The Groove Tube is a medley of skits parodying television news, sports and children’s programmes, drama series and cooking shows, intermixed with fake commercials.
As with most comedy ventures, it is inconsistent, but its scatological scattergun approach means that it does occasionally hit some worthwhile targets – and when it does the film is rewardingly funny.
‘Koko the Clown’ is a delicious bit about a kids’ TV show clown who goes to great trouble to get all the ‘big people’ who are watching out of the room for “make-believe time” and then proceeds to tell dirty dittys and read from classic porno novels to the kids who have remained in front of the TV.
Another standout is the takeoff of network news shows with ‘The Channel One Nightly News’ which culminates in a scene in which the anchorman is trapped for minutes, after he has finished reading the news, by a television camera that won’t cut away, and finally has to escape by slithering off his chair onto the floor.
The longest sequence, ‘The Dealers’ (about two luckless pot dealers), is essentially a situation comedy in its own right – albeit one they would never have shown on network television.
Aside from former child actor Ken Shapiro (who?) – who wrote, produced, directed and took most of the parts in the film – The Groove Tube also stars Chevy Chase and Henry Winkler’s cousin Richard Belzer.
The Fingers/Geritan/”Four Leaf Clover”
Koko the Clown/Kramp TV Kitchen/The Dealer/Newscaster/”Just You, Just Me”