Hot Docs: Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop [2011, Rodman Flender]

Toronto – The title of this documentary is the perfect description of it’s subject.  Conan O’Brien really can not stop.  This guy is always on.  Sure, that could be a reflection on the fact that a camera crew was following him around during the duration of his “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television” tour, but after watching this, you get the impression that he’s just incapable of not being funny.  Even in his quieter, more pensive moments, even when he’s actually being a bit mean to others, he’s still always hilarious.

Director Rodman Flender offers us a glimpse of Conan as a performer and as an individual.    “I’m like Tinkerbell.  Without applause, I die,” he says.  As I said, Conan is pretty much always on.  He’s also incredibly smart and often endearingly goofy, such as when he makes a joke about the “Wang showers” at Boston’s Wang Theatre or his repeated statement that “I introduced Damien Marley and Nas” after his appearance at the Bonnaroo Festival. 

Not only is Conan funny, he also comes across as a really nice guy, albeit one with a biting, sarcastic sense of humour.  He’s too nice of a guy not to spend a long time meeting with fans after his often exhausting performances, but he’ll happily complain about it afterwards.  It’s of course understandable.  He loves the attention, but would also like to go home to his family.  Conan O’Brien can’t stop, sure, but he realizes the need for a break sometimes. 

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Posted on by Paul in Hot Docs

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