I think he’s taking this Tonight Show thing a bit too hard.

Theatrical Release Date: 06/24/2011
Director: Rodman Flender
Featuring: Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter
Rated: R for language.
Runtime: 1 hour, 29 minutes


Hey! Check this out, Conan!

There must be truth in advertising, because director Rodman Flender’s documentary, “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop”, couldn’t be better titled.

Late night talk show host Conan O’Brien really can’t stop performing in public. He’s like some combination of shark and comedian, needing a constant stream of laughs and public approval in order to survive.

The film follows O’Brien and his cohorts (Andy Richter, writing partners, etc.) as they prepare for a 32-city comedy tour to fill the gap left by a contractual stipulation in his exit papers from The Tonight Show; requiring his absence on TV, radio and the internet for six months.

It’s a fairly run-of-the-mill documentary, flittering back and forth between stops on the tour, performances at each stop, and the process of creating the road show itself. The best moments come as O’Brien and his team try to come up with the bits and when he speaks candidly about his departure from NBC. It’s too bad that there aren’t more of them, however, as Flender seems content to include an inordinate amount of musical numbers from the show that pad time more than they entertain.

Being a longtime fan of O’Brien’s, the odd mix of self-deprecating humor and bravado is nothing new and tends to be enjoyable. However, if unfamiliar with Conan, the documentary might seem to paint him in an arrogant, and at times desperate, light. And Flender, in what mostly seems like a puff piece, doesn’t do his subject any favors when he includes footage of O’Brien complaining about the effort it takes out of him to interact with fans after each performance.

The end result of it all is a documentary that fans will likely enjoy but anyone really looking to get a glimpse behind the scenes of what happened between O’Brien, NBC, and Jay Leno won’t learn much. A 3 out of 5, “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” has some fun moments, and even includes brief cameos from celebrity friends who take part in the show when it’s in their town, but the filmmaking is average and there doesn’t seem to be a real point to it all aside from fulfilling more of Conan’s seemingly pathological need to be in the spotlight.

3 out of 5