'Movies on TV and Videocassette' state that this film "started out life in an off-Broadway showcase where the sketches were seen on TV screens". Further, according to Wikipedia, "the film was originally produced to be shown at the Channel One Theater on East 60th St. in New York, a venue that featured R-rated video recordings shown on three television sets, which was a novelty to the audiences of the time". Moreover, according to the 'Virgin Film Guide', "The Groove Tube was an outgrowth of 'Channel One', a comedy troupe [in an off-Broadway experimental multimedia theatre] formed in 1967, by [Ken] Shapiro, Lane Sarasohn, and Chevy Chase. Instead of performing live, they videotaped parodies of TV and showed them in a ratty theater in Greenwich village. (Chase left early on and was replaced by Richard Belzer). After touring a collection of Channel One's best bits to colleges, Shapiro transferred them to film and assembled this movie".
The Groove Tube (1974)'s "Channel One Evening News" skit and its tagline, 'Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow,' was the direct inspiration for "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live (1975). Chevy Chase, the original Weekend Update anchorman, was featured in The Groove Tube (1974), although Ken Shapiro played the Channel One anchorman in the movie.
Though Chevy Chase only appears in just a few segments, all of them short sketches, none of them long sequences, and one of them with just his fingers, due to Chase's massive later stardom, Chase has frequently been top first billed for this film on DVD and home video covers.
Allmovie reports that "The Groove Tube (1974) was originally rated X" in the USA. Film critic Leonard Maltin concurs that the film was "originally X-rated, later trimmed" for a toned-down modified version.