Austin, TX – ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop’ is an intimate look into the comedian’s life during his The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.
The film is kind of like ‘This is It‘ the documentary on Michael Jackson before his untimely passing, only difference is Conan didn’t die. His exhaustive routine however, captured on film over the course of the 42 shows is intense, and it’s easy to see how close O’Brien may been to burning out.
From the very announcement on Twitter of the show, to the casting, development, and rehearsals, the stand-up, rock-concert-variety-show, ‘Can’t Stop’ puts O’Brien front and center as an icon of show business, who uses the anger from his NBC-split to fuel the material for the show, which in turn becomes his personal therapy.
The film directed by Rodman Flender — also a long time friend of O’Brien — was able to have unprecedented access to the entertainer’s life. Viewers get to know the team behind Conan the writers, and friends, and even his family over the course of the documentary. They are as much as part of the Conan machine, as they are a support group. Flender, a one-man camera crew covering the events of the tour, shot over 140 hours of footage, and tried to remain like a fly on the wall to capture O’Brien in the wild.
His intolerance for bad food is amusing when he pokes fun at his personal assistant, and his frustrations with the lack of communication with his executive producer Jeff are poignant.
There are plenty of humorous moments throughout the documentary, but it’s the personal moments of O’Brien that really give the documentary heart. Conan’s personal downtime after the adrenaline of the high energy show is particularly interesting, where he spends some time alone to gather his thoughts. We see O’Brien as an extremely hardworking, and driven entertainer, but who is equally as insecure, seeking only the best from himself all the time.
Indeed Conan can’t stop. His life on stage is his medicine, and without creating this show to vent his frustrations, who knows what might have happened to O’Brien post Tonight Show breakup?