Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (2011) Poster

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A roller-coaster ride
mette_christoffersen24 June 2011
What seems to be a simple documentary following Conan O'Brien on his live tour, is also an exhausting roller-coaster ride of hilarity, melancholy, anger, arrogance, farce and gratefulness. Hilarity in the constant ways Conan tries (and succeeds) to entertain everyone around him. Melancholy and anger in seeing Conan fight with his emotions of having to cope with a broken dream of hosting The Tonight Show, with both morose moments and slapstick jabs to the people that let him down. Arrogance in his "Mean Conan"-persona to the people closest to him, and in trying to cope with the many demands of fans. Farce, in the moments where things boil over and Conan truly can't stop talking, singing, being courteous to everyone around him. Gratefulness, in the fact that he keeps on keeping on, because he knows that people care and want to live up to their expectations. Conan O'Brien Can't Stop is truly the perfect title to this documentary, but you only really understand that after watching it.
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A good behind the scenes documentary.
OrangieTooDope3 April 2019
When Conan did this tour I never even thought about going to see it. Now I really wish I had. This was Conan before all the unfunny Trump jokes and terrible guests. I miss the old Conan.
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My favorite film of the year so far
jmclaughlin9026 June 2011
Ever since middle school, I have been a huge fan of Conan O'Brien. I would only watch his show on Fridays or over school breaks because if I got caught being up so late, I'd get in trouble. But when he started on The Tonight Show, I stayed up late and watched it anyways no matter the day. So I was watching every night as the battle for The Tonight Show unfolded and, like many, I gave all of my support to him. So after leaving the Tonight Show, he planned a 32-city live tour, which is what the film focuses on.

The tour moments are fun, especially the backstage bits. During the Radio City Music Hall show, we see Conan, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert backstage preparing their skit a mere 9 minutes before they go on stage and perform it. We really see the creativity that went into this tour and they pulled it off nicely. There are moments after the shows where he complains about not wanting to meet fans, but he does it anyways. He definitely shows much appreciation for them and all of their support.

We get to see a darker side of Conan in the film. At one point, he teases Jack McBrayer, calling him a hick and even making up a song on the spot that's very dark, yet I found myself laughing. Who wouldn't be able to go into a darker place after losing one of the biggest television shows of all time? Honestly the film made me love Conan even more. Even though he does act somewhat mean at times, his amazing team still sticks with him. He has such a wonderful group of people supporting him. There are some really nice moments of him with long time friend and sidekick, Andy Richter. You can really tell that they will always be there for each other. Also I have to give credit to Sona Movsesian, Conan's assistant, who handles him well at some pretty rough times.

I think documentaries about entertainers are always great to see. You get to see much more of them than you do on TV or on stage. This is one of the best I've ever seen and I'm not just saying this because I'm a Conan fanatic, but this film is very well made. We get to see moments of Conan that we normally don't get to and it's fascinating to watch. The film gets dark at times, but for the most part, it's hilarious. The film is a must see for Conan fans and it's the year's absolute best film. I don't think there will be a more honest, funny and entertaining film this year. Go Team Coco.
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Conan please don't stop
lmelnick-999-26042431 March 2011
I am not a big Conan O'Brien fan, but I love behind-the-scenes type documentaries. This one is excellent. It showcases Conan during a very difficult time in his life when he tries to come to terms with losing the Tonight Show and what to do with his anger. It shows a side of Conan that most people never see, and is hilarious throughout. I have so much more respect for him as a performer after seeing the film even though he comes across as a fairly arrogant jerk during most of the film. He is still very funny, even when you wish he were nicer. The director had over 140 hrs of footage and cut this down perfectly. Great audio and editing which was a huge task. Overall, it is a truly enjoyable movie.
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Cathartic documentary.
fallenaspirinita26 June 2011
This documentary explores the life of Conan O'Brien behind the scenes. His creative mind and how his comedy comes to life. It was refreshing to see a different side of him and seeing him get sometimes bitter and deal with the disappointment of not being able to perform. The tour was cathartic and you can see throughout the movie how we copes with his loss and how he finds clarity and reassurance.It is important to notice that the director focuses solely in Conan's life and most of the other members of the crew are just there to complete the film. You can see a more human sometimes bitter and angry Conan, impatient at some times but always trying to get something funny and meaningful out of the situation.The people he surrounded with provide him with support and play a major role in this cathartic and life changing experience.
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The real Conan O'Brien!
Hellmant4 October 2011
'CONAN O'BRIEN CAN'T STOP': Three Stars (Out of Five)

Documentary following Conan O'Brien and his six month comedy tour 'The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour', during the time he was banned from appearing on TV by NBC (after his dispute with scheduling). The film appears to be a pretty open and honest examination of all the drama O'Brien was caught up in, showing him often not in the most flattering light. It's funny, due to O'Brien and others usual comedic banter, but at the same time a serious look at that stage in the comedic talk show host's life. It works on some levels and not so much on others due to some mediocre directing and editing in my opinion. It was directed by Rodman Flender, who has a great deal of experience directing television and B horror films (like 'LEPRECHAUN 2'). I think in the hands of another director the film could have been a much more efficient and entertaining documentary.

The movie begins by explaining what happened to Conan and his 'TONIGHT SHOW' gig with NBC and how he got banned from performing on TV for six months. It then gives us behind the scenes footage of Conan and his crew coming up with the tour idea, selling it, coming up with material for it and then doing the tour itself. We get several scenes of Conan interacting with his TV crew, primarily his personal assistant, as well as celebrity friends of his (who continue to drop by his show). The movie leads all the way up to the end of the tour and Conan beginning his new late-night talk show at TBS.

The movie does seem to be very honest and genuine, with Conan appearing as a bit of a self centered dick throughout. He had just lost his dream job (of hosting 'THE TONIGHT SHOW'), so it is understandable, but still this may throw off a lot of his hardcore fans. His personal assistant seems to get the most of his emotional abuse and the film does a good job of allowing the viewer to relate and sympathize with her (as well as Conan himself) at times. The film does drag a little sometimes as well with the general narrative often feeling slow paced and unenthusiastic. Still the film has plenty of laughs and it does give a good look at that time in the popular comedian's life. It also does a good job of presenting him as just an average guy: not always trying to be funny and often getting frustrated and being mean to those around him as a result. It's not a perfect film but it does serve it's purpose well.

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A fascinating look at one of our most interesting voices.
Rockwell_Cronenberg28 June 2011
A surprising powerful and interesting look into the mind of one of the most intelligent, innovative and personally inspiring minds existing in our current culture. Conan O'Brien is a brilliant man who was treated very unfairly by NBC and this picture does a great job of documenting all of the turmoil and conflicting emotions that came as a result of that debacle, along with his concert tour that came afterwards when he was banned from being on television. Conan is brave enough for letting this relatively dark chapter of his life be put on film forever, and the makers of the film used it as an opportunity to showcase the man behind the hilarious hour of television he gives us four nights a week.

The film did a superb job of stripping back the layers and showing every side of this man, from his self-effacing humor to his anger over the pressures of the tour and his unjust treatment by NBC, to his genuine joy for life and performing in front of an audience. This is a man who spent over a decade getting to perform to a crowd and make people laugh several times a week, living his dream only to have it stripped away in one of the most childish and bizarre disasters in late night television history. We get to see what happens when that dream of his came crashing down and he had to build himself back up. There are so many great scenes throughout, ones that had me in stitches like when he laughed at the fact that he would never be caught dead on a network like TBS and ones that had me almost in tears of joy or frustration, like when one of his back-up singers brought in about a dozen people to meet him after an exhausting show he performed that he now had to entertain or when he was forced to schmooze a Hollywood crowd at a party for hours before having to do another insanely exhausting show. They really highlighted the pressure that was put on this guy almost every day and how easily people take for granted someone with a genuinely kind heart who just wants to make people happy.

That being said, they didn't make Conan ever seem like this martyr for amusement all the time, they definitely didn't shy away from showing some unlikable characteristics of his. They let him have his moments where he was just being a frustrated jerk, which made the whole thing very human and authentic. I love Conan to death and he will always inspire me and the film would have rang very false if there hadn't been moments where he as kind of a prick. In his situation I feel like it would be pretty impossible not to have a ton of moments where the pressure and frustration become too much and you just want to lash out. But his honest craving for making people happy shines through almost all of the time, even in his darkest moments of depression and confusion over what he was supposed to do at that time.

It's a fantastic documentary and it really exceeded my expectations. It made me laugh even more than I was expecting it to, which was a ton, and provided a surprising level of insight into his psyche at that time and who he really is behind everything. His relationships with those around him were heartwarming, especially the comradery between him and his assistant Sona; I thought their sarcastic back-and-forth and constant support of one another was really beautiful. Their relationship alone is enough to merit watching the film. In the end, it's a film that had me laughing frequently and thinking quite often about the levels of who Conan is and, ultimately, the levels of who I am as well. He will always be a huge inspiration to me and this exploration just further solidifies that.
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A hard workingman keep working, no great mystery here
MalcolmJTaylor13 July 2011
I found this film useful viewing for one reason only: it captures the energy necessary to perform and the momentum that's required to sustain that energy. Had Conan not mounted a stage show, perhaps his need to perform may have itself atrophied. Watching this energy propel Conan is in itself contagious and inspiring.

Beyond this achievement, however, there is a lack of any greater investigation into the nature of performance or putting it into a greater context. It exists more or less as a loving video postcard, whose brief tension has been sapped out by the fact that Conan now has his own show back on TBS.

This film suffers from a lack of a strong antagonist. It also suffers from not providing any detracting views or opinions on Conan himself. We never get the sense that there will be any real failure here: a high level, well-oiled, show business machine, with a large staff, sells out some 40 odd huge A-level theatres in major markets in a matter of days and then proceeds to play them by flying to and fro in a private Leer jet plane. Not exactly the same tension created by an artist battling for public acclaim in his salad days. Riding a gravy train is not as exciting as walking along the edge of a cliff.

As a loving video postcard, it is at times frustrating in it's selection of events. The film chooses to show a lengthy clip of Eddie Veder covering "The Who", yet deprives us of Jim Carrey's impromptu performance with Conan. As a fan of comedy, I would much rather have seen the Jim Carry act than watch Eddie Veder, as awesome as he is, who seems to have nothing to do with Conan. And yet musically, I would have liked to see more of Jack White, since Conan was instrumental in launching his career and genuinely loves his music.

There is also not much here on tracing Conan's history. He's not put under the microscope as much as I was led to expect from the promotional campaign. He's basically just doing his thing, being charming and entertaining. As a documentary subject he lacks having a darker side and/or strong opposition.

The tour was cathartic for Conan. But the film for the audience lacks surprise and tension. There is no great question explored here, such as "Did Conan hit the road to fill some great void within himself?" Please, that is some serious marketing BS. He's simply a hard workingman who loves his job, his staff, his family and kids and wants to keep working, because he knows not working leads to the death of the performance muscle.

An endurance runner wouldn't take six months off if someone told them they couldn't run a prestigious race. They'd keep running in the back woods if they were passionate about running. Mystery solved. Conan is passionate about performing. He needs to keep entertaining audiences if he's going to stay in peak shape. Can't go on TV, well hey then, lets do theatre!

The problem with this film is it provides neither tragedy nor comedy. As funny as Conan is, he's not hilarious. He's simply a very sweet funny guy that everyone wishes was his best friend. After all, he's the straight man to every one of his guests, so that they can shine and be funny. So herein lies a film about an entertaining straight man, an MC if you will. Which is fine. It's just irksome that it's pretending to be more than what it really is.

You don't go to the show to see the MC, you go to see the featured acts. Conan becomes his own featured act by filling time with his music performances. Something no one would pay money to see under normal circumstances. Now that those "abnormal" circumstances have passed, the exercise of documenting it seems pointless except as a record for those involved, which is exactly what this film is.
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Exploring the Missing Months of Conan...
gavin694228 June 2012
A documentary on Conan O'Brien's comedy tour of the U.S. and Canada after leaving his post at "The Tonight Show" and severing his relationship with NBC.

Early on, we see some good humor with the mock fight at the protests (although this is more a reflection on Conan's fans than the man himself). But then, it goes wild...

I have mixed feelings on this. I love Conan, and the clips from the tour (on stage) are pretty good. But the behind the scenes moments are strange -- he sometimes comes off as angry (at the wrong people) and childish. He was wrongfully removed from NBC, but he is far more bitter than probably necessary... though this improves as the tour continues.

(Roger Ebert actually sums up the negativity nicely: "Everyone around him pays a price. He relentlessly nibbles away at his support system, picks on his personal assistant, needles his sidekick Andy Richter and dominates his "writers" so compulsively that I can hardly recall one of them being allowed to say anything at meetings. He seems to consider them more of an audience.")

Some people have commented on the anti-Semitic comment made by a fan. I do not really wish to get into it, but I will say Conan deserves a little credit for putting the kid in his place without being too harsh... it was a bad word to say, but was clearly not meant as hatred.
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Unflinching Behind-the-Scenes Docu That Sees Conan at His Most Uncertain
drqshadow-reviews18 April 2012
I've heard from several people that his attitude in this documentary has damaged their perception of Conan as a person. In some ways, I can understand where they're coming from; his humor on a person-to-person basis is much more biting and acidic than it is on television, and the film's approach of basically lining up every joke told behind the scenes, back-to-back-to-back, does give the impression that he's constantly picking on anyone who dares to enter the dressing room. That it also cuts away so quickly after every punchline doesn't give us a chance to understand the context of the conversation or the target's response to his barbs. The japes are constantly funny, but that uncertainty about their reception ultimately keeps the laughs from flowing freely. There's also an impression that he's always on, telling jokes without taking a breath - even during quiet moments at home with his wife and kids. To some, that might make him seem imposing and attention-seeking, but I took it as his way of dealing with the stress of an overloaded schedule, uncertain future and relentless media attention that he was working through at the time, just weeks after his public blowup with NBC. Conan runs with a very funny group of guys, and their puns combined with the glimpses both on the stage and behind the curtains at his "Prohibited Tour" make for some great material. It's just not an entirely friendly atmosphere for unbridled comedy.
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An absent-minded character study that is a must watch for Conan's fans
canine9924 June 2011
The farewell speech given by Conan O'Brien on his last day at Tonight show was quite possibly one of the most thoughtful monologue of his entire his entire career. Conan told his fans (of which I was one) that cynicism is not a quality worth having. Things did not went according to his plan but there were plenty of good moments during his employment at NBC, moments that he would cherish his entire life. Conan's entire shtick has always been about being a funny man without any adding any extraneous variables like politics, social commentary, and the like. But that speech made me feel like behind all this physical comedy was a thoughtful and reflective human being who has a good grasp of what it means to have lived a good life.

And then this documentary came out.

The movie opens with Conan being surrounded by writers and other co workers from now defunct tonight show with Conan O'Brien and everyone planning about doing a tour around the country. Conan comes off as gloomy and confused, and rightfully so. Partially what it means to not be cynical is to simply move on, and according to Conan doing a tour around the country was meant help him do just that.

Usually documentaries of this nature try to reveal other sides of a personality that viewers might not be familiar with, and this one is no exception. Aside from physical comedy Conan there is snarky Conan, self-aggrandizing Conan, passive aggressive Conan, politician Conan, and a permutation of these temperaments. Near the beginning of the movie Conan does his typical "mocking others around him" type of jokes where he for example forces his assistant to hold a banana and act as if it were a microphone and other people in the room laugh. The scene made me smile as well because everyone appeared to be in on the joke. But this mocking behavior never stops.

There is a scene towards the middle of the movie where a flight attendant is doing her job and informing all the passengers about routine emergency related procedures. During attendant's speech Conan proceeds to make faces, be snarky, and treat her as a worthless human being. Throughout this scene Conan's assistant (who over the course of the movie is either eating something or playing around with her cell phone) laughs at this emotional maltreatment of a fellow human being. In her mind this was just Conan being Conan but in reality this kind of behavior wasn't any different from typical K-12 classroom scenario where the teacher talks about something important while the class clown continues to make jokes so that she/he can be the center of attention.

A lot of the documentary is about showing Conan as a hard working human being who cares about his craft. Conan is depicted as always going the extra mile shaking his fans hands, kissing babies, signing autographs, and taking pictures. After every instance of fan interaction Conan complains to his handlers about this being meaningless, and it is. He notes how this level of interaction is only superficial and he doesn't really know any of his fans more so than before. But after that he goes back to signing autographs and taking pictures like a career politician. Why?

As the tour ends, the movie also just sort of ends. Did the tour help Conan get over his job loss? If so then how? Conan describes his insistence to be in front of an audience as a sickness, and in the end he still appears to have that condition. The guy comes off as an egomaniac who is tolerated by people around him because he brings in cash and the audience loves him because they never get to see this side.

Maybe Conan did learn something from this experience. Maybe he learned to appreciate genuine relationship with those close to him. But even that seems doubtful because Conan barely talks about any of his friends and family in that manner. It's all about him and how he loves to have fun, loves to be on the road, and so on. It's always I (X) and I (Y) and never I's relationship to X or Y. Conan seems to be lacking in perspective taking department.

This movie was a disappointing experience. Disappointing not only in the sense that the documentary never tried to explore any of Conan's internal struggles, assuming there were any, but disappointing in the revelation of Conan being a pathetic human being. The documentary is not that great but I would recommend it to any and all individuals who purport to be fans of Conan. Perhaps after watching this documentary you would like to change your mind.
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No TV show? Now what do I do?
chaz-2826 June 2011
To continuously get up in front of a large number of people and try over and over again to make them laugh must take a tremendous amount of self confidence and a healthy ego. In Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, Conan's ego is displayed warts and all. After not accepting a move back to his old midnight time slot when his Tonight Show ratings and Jay Leno's Primetime Show ratings were not producing good numbers, Conan O'Brien abruptly left TV after being a staple on it for years. Contractually, he could not go on TV for another six months; therefore, he created a live variety show and traveled around the country to perform for live audiences.

Conan O'Brien Can't Stop is the documentary footage of the show's early ideas, its logistics, and finally its execution and reception. There are musical numbers referencing how he wants to get back on TV, comedic gags about how he left it, and rare direct digs at NBC executives and personally at Jay Leno. Whenever Conan is in the room, the conversation stops and focuses directly on the star. Conan is allowed to punch you and mock you, but you (the staff) are not allowed to project any of that in return, unless your name is Andy Richter. Conan's personal assistant, Sona, endures many of his sour moods and poor Jack McBrayer gets verbally annihilated during a very uncomfortable scene at his expense.

The documentary produces some effective one-on-one interview situations with Conan about how angry he was at NBC and concerning his psychological need to be on a television screen. The footage of the variety shows are compelling and the backstage rants about after parties and uninvited guests are open and direct. However, Conan appears contradictory when he complains about the endless interviews, photos, autographs, and hangers-on, but if there aren't any around, he wonders where they are and why aren't they pushing to see him.

This documentary is first and foremost about Conan O'Brien's ego and insatiable need to be in front of an audience making them laugh. It works for most of the time but Conan's relentless snark aimed at his staff and others can wear thin after an hour and a half.
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Bridging the gap
c-glive18 August 2019
For those who were around during that special time, 2010, when Conan was handed the keys to the kingdom, only to have the powers at NBC rescind on their deal 7 months later, you remember. Those great few weeks where Conan gave the audience some of the best shows we've ever seen, before being banished from the airwaves for several months as part of his obligation to his agreement and settlement for leaving The Tonight Show. What do you do when you're not allowed on the air? You go to the stage. From the moment Conan signed off after his star-filled rendition of Free Bird, until the hilarious cold-open of his new TBS show "Conan", this docimentary stylistically, but truthfully, follows Conan on his tour before finally heading to TBS.
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I always liked Conan so it was a real pleasure to see "the raw him"
vithiet30 December 2018
I always liked Conan so it was a real pleasure to see "the raw him".
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Conan the Survivor
kz917-129 January 2018
How to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep on trucking!

Conan at his most vulnerable and raw.

Fantastic peek behind the curtain.

Kudos to Conan for baring it all.
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good documentary for Conan fans and people who are interested in comedy
matt-the-hippie1 August 2017
I liked the movie, it has an honest feeling, and it's just what it is, it just shows you what you want to see, what happened after he lost his job on CNBC and how they putted on a show, I enjoyed watching it. it's also nice to see Conan in his everyday life. I think every Conan fan should watch this. it might be boring if you don't watch Conan but if you like Conan and interested the inside of comedy like how does it work, the atmosphere...etc. you will love it
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Coco lives!
SnoopyStyle21 January 2016
In 2009, Conan O'Brien replaces Jay Leno as the host of the Tonight Show. Seven months later, he is let go and Leno returns. NBC pays him a large payout but he is forbidden from TV, radio and the internet for 6 months. He decides to put on a live variety show across US and Canada, The Legally Prohibited Tour, with his TV cohorts. This is mostly behind-the-scene footage. In that way, this is not really a concert film. This is a slice of his work life. One gets to see his work process. It's fascinating for fans but also an insight into the comedy process for non-fans. I'm a big fan and this is lots of fun. His bit with Jack McBrayer is hilarious and also ends with something interesting. It also shows Conan to be human with anger, doubts and working it all out.
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The Common in Uncommon
ashishagg1311 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The documentary doesn't aim to glorify the popular late night host, but it does show the feelings of a common man within the celebrity.

There are times, where he is so vulnerable and angry, out of fatigue or just annoyed by someone else's slacking.

The best part for me was that it focuses mainly on the backstage moments disconnected from the audience. It gives the insight into the hardwork and stress which goes into the comic buffoonery on stage.

You can feel that he is a grateful person but at the same time, insensitivity pisses him off towards the same people. He wishes to acknowledge everyone but his fatigue and stress takes over at times. He just wants peace and solace at times instead of the love from fans and friends. One can easily relate to his feelings and emotions even though circumstances are as different as they can get.

The documentary displays how the man never stops working. His relentless hard work is inspiring at times.

In all, a brilliant insight into the common man within the celebrity.
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Behind the Scenes with Conan
Michael_Elliott23 May 2012
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (2011)

*** (out of 4)

Good documentary taking a look at the tour Conan O'Brien went on after being fired from The Tonight Show and part of his agreement with the company was that he didn't appear on television for six months. So, unable to be on the air, O'Brien set out for a forty-four show tour and we see some of the act but most of the documentary shows the star behind-the-scenes. Fans of O'Brien should be entertained by this documentary and especially if you weren't able to catch any of the actual shows. There are sequences of the concerts that are shown here including his eight stages after losing a talk show as well as some musical numbers that are shown in their complete form. I think the most interesting thing about the documentary is getting to see O'Brien off the stage and just going from city to city trying to find the energy to bring it each night and then having other commitments on his days off. It was really interesting seeing how O'Brien had to bring it each night, try to keep that energy going and the entire time you can tell that he's just getting worn down by everything. There aren't any graphic outbursts where he just cracks and goes crazy but it's still interesting to see the toll that the road has on him. It was also fun seeing how the star would adjust to the various demands that were put on him and just seeing how part of his life was working during this period of his life. Those expecting some ambush on NBC are going to be disappointed as that's not here. I think the behind-the-scenes look at the tour were the most fascinating parts and those interested in that type of thing should enjoy the film.
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Conan Can't Stop His Genius
felipethisischris10 October 2011
First off, I haven't finished this yet. It isn't quite what I expected, I understand this is a documentary and there is language, but it almost seemed they were going out of their way to cuss up a storm.

I was surprised at the depression that Conan went through. His sadness was almost overwhelming, but his persistence and drive to keep going definitely blew this out of the water. I highly recommend watching Conan's last NBC show and his heart-felt thanks and humility are a nice balancing act.

This was fun to watch (minus the language), and I plan on finishing it soon. Thanks for the memories, laughter and companionship for the journey of Conan.
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We see a very fascinating side of Conan O'Brien in this documentary.
Ryan_MYeah7 October 2011
Today's review is for Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, Rodman Flender's chronological documentation of late night talk show host Conan O'Brien. The film explains his controversial, and highly publicized departure from NBC in 2009, and then leads into him hitting the road, and staging a comedy tour called the "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour".

Conan O'Brien is a witty, fast paced comic. We're all too familiar with his comical side, but I doubt we've ever seen anything from him in the vein of this movie. What we see of Conan is raw and unfiltered. The comedic side has a certain levity to it, but there's also a balance with dramatic heft, and trying to show us what he's going through. We see a man who loves doing what he does, and how he does it just as much for himself as he does for his audience. Sure, there's a couple moments of pure cringe rather than laughs, but this is a serious recommendation.

*** out of ****
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Can't Stop Watching
Minus_The_Beer26 September 2011
The battle for "The Tonight Show" was the sort of TV drama you couldn't possibly have scripted nor predicted. In June of 2009, late night talk show host Conan O'Brien took over the reins of "The Tonight Show" from its long-time host and Johnny Carson successor, Jay Leno. By the time 2010 rolled around, he was out of a job, replaced by Leno, bought off by NBC, and legally prohibited from television for nine months. Left with few options to bide his time, Conan hit the road with his staff to bring a new variety show to stages across North America. "The Legally Prohibited From Television Tour" made 44 stops and was mostly a success. This documentary, "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" focuses on the entertainer's NBC drama and the ensuing experimental odyssey that came as a result of his lack of employment.

How much you will enjoy this documentary hinges solely on how likable you find Conan O'Brien. If you never stayed up past 12:30 to see what "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" was all about or are one of the milquetoast types who preferred Leno to the creepy ginger on "The Tonight Show," then "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" will either go over your head or bore you to tears. Director Rodman Flender (who has such titles as "Idle Hands" and "Leprechaun 2" to this name) focuses as much on the subject's road show as he does the subject himself. All of the warts and imperfections of Coco's road trip are ruthlessly committed to film, for better or worse. For the first time, we see O'Brien as a perfectionist who literally can't stop. He can't stop talking, he can't stop joking and he absolutely can't stop even if it makes him look like a jerk in the process. There's a moment deep into the documentary where O'Brien himself acknowledges that he uses his jokes to subtly insult those around him and such moments of honesty (coupled with the fact that O'Brien himself approved the release of the film) find the host/writer/comedian coming out on top as a complex but utterly fascinating character. Even as he's ruthlessly ripping into longtime friend Jack McBrayer (of "30 Rock" fame) for absolutely no reason, you just can't help but root for him in the end.

While the film may not always paint its subject in the most flattering light, "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" is still a fascinating and engrossing experience. Although it's obvious that Flender is only scratching at the surface of Conan O'Brien's madness, he reveals something that virtually nobody outside of the man's circle has seen: Conan O'Brien is a flawed, funny and often complicated human being who will stop at nothing to get laughs. Like a car accident, don't be surprised if you can't stop watching.
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A Profane Portrait That Is "Post-Conan"
polyesterfastfilm25 September 2011
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop falls short of calling itself a movie. The man is brilliantly hilarious, but as a documentary film it fails miserably to deliver the intended message that he so eloquently stated to the camera: that no one has any idea what the true side of him is like, and that this documentary aims to develop the true Conan.

We follow a moody man who can best be described as "post-Conan." His crazy sense of humor still remains, but a dark sided, profanity wielding, beard wearing man now inhabits the body of a once innocent, clean shaved, late night talk show host. He takes us behind the stage of his tour across the country, invites us to listen to his music, and shows us the deep connection he has with his fans. This can all be understood in the first few minutes of the movie, and what follows is a wash, rinse, and repeat cycle.

This excuse for a documentary is made for die hard fans who are willing to put up with a cynical man in the midst of his catharsis in order to get laughs from his degrading wise cracks. I cannot help but empathize with the idea of the comedian who night in and night out purges himself with a smile plastered on his face that no one can see through. It is clear that what we know of Conan is just the tip of the iceberg, and underneath the surface lurks a wounded monster.
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Go Coco!
george.schmidt16 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
CONAN O'BRIEN CAN'T STOP (2011) *** TV talk-show comic host Conan O'Brien's inspired Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television" stand-up concert tour – in response to his being unceremoniously bounced from NBC's "The Tonight Show"/Jay Leno fiasco allows documentarian Rodman Flender full access to the comedian's attempts to adapt to the ongoing frustrations of performing, maintaining his sanity and daily odds-on battles with his personae – nice guy comic or misanthropic egotistical jerk (more so the former, frankly) – with his sidekick Andy Richter, special guests Jack White, Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Jim Carrey, Stephen Colbert & Jon Stewart and Jack McBrayer – that manages to keep tabs with the pent up anger at his mistreatment and his personal goals of being funny (sounds harder than it is). Funny, glib, witty, snarky and clever by a mile – the film, like its subject – can be pricky and sweet at the same time and trust me edgy comedy is always the best in the long run. Go Coco!!
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He really does need an audience!
alan-just-7-1456278 July 2011
Conan O' Brien Can't stop is a really funny documentary that invites you on tour with Conan, Andy Richter, the Band and all of his staff during his 44 show "Legally Prohibited from being on TV Tour". It's incredibly engaging and a movie that has it all. This film has everything thing. It is a comedy with great jokes created right before your eyes, a behind the scenes inside Hollywood piece and an emotional in depth look at a popular TV icon we're all used to making us laugh.

I was very excited when I found out that this documentary was being made. I was one of a few thousand lucky fans that got to go to his show when he came to Minneapolis and enjoyed his show more than most that I see! It was a fast paced blend of music and comedy, sketches and video clips that fulfilled everything I was hoping for and much more.

The documentary begins with some reflection from the former Tonight Show Host of 7 months while driving down the freeway in Los Angeles. His new home after relocating from New York for the short lived run on the #1 late night show. He mentions as he is thinking out loud to the director and camera that he "can't just stop" he doesn't even know what that means.

He also says that he has always felt more comfortable with an audience.

I think that is the sentiment that I found throughout the movie to ring most true. He was lost after they took his show away and banned him from TV, Radio and the Internet. He could not have an audience come and watch him. He had no idea what to do, he needed an audience, so he decided that he would go to the audience. He put together a team of writers and producers and they decided to write a touring show.

The movie is an incredible in depth look at the project from the ground up. A really interesting scene came when they "leaked" the word on the internet that tickets were on sale for some select cities. Thousands of tickets sold immediately, whole cities were sold out in minutes. They finally realized the monster they created and realized they better write a great show fast! The film shows you the creative process that Conan and the writers went through in the beginning meetings trying to figure out what the show would be. This is another area where I felt that Conan was always most comfortable when surrounded by an audience, because even in the meetings with his staff, there is no doubt who the leading character always is. These scenes and most throughout are always hilarious.

As the film and tour go on, we see the grind of a tour really breaking Conan down in certain scenes and cities. He grows frustrated because he is being spread so many meet and greets, so many photos and autograph sessions. There are spots when it really frustrates him and I am glad that he allowed those scenes to be put in the movie because they do show a darker side of him that most of us haven't seen, and some probably don't like. I personally thought that he always handled himself and the frustrating moments with professionalism, and no matter how hard it was to turn up that charm, he always found it and shined. Even if it was a situation where he would slam the door after signing 200 autographs after a show and muttered an expletive under his breath, he certainly was better behaved than the majority of celebrities throughout the years.

I believe it's because he knows, he always needs an audience. If he is rude, doesn't go out and sign that autograph or take that picture, he knows they may not come back.

Conan O' Brian Can't Stop is a very bold project for Conan and is a great view inside of him and his tour that he made for his fans. It is engaging, usually hilarious, and I definitely recommend it for anyone who is a fan of his, a fan of music, a fan of late night talk shows, Hollywood, or anyone that enjoys a great documentary.

Large Popcorn!
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