Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, which screened this weekend at SXSW, puts the late night host's backstage behavior on display—warts and all
It might seem counterintuitive, but If you're a big Conan O'Brien fan, you may want to skip Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, the new tour documentary about Coco's Legally Prohibited from Being on Television Tour last summer.
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The story of O'Brien's ouster from NBC is well known, and is fortunately given only a short recounting in the film. "I didn't want to be a the first Tonight Show host who took the Tonight Show into the next day," he says for a laugh at the beginning. "There's fire there because I'm angry, I'm really angry." He's looking paler than usual, but instead of spending his six months away from television working on a tan, he decides to go on tour, and essentially bring his TV show to the stage. The tour was his way of dealing with the NBC mess and getting over it. "It's like a gall stone," he says. "It just had to work its way through my urethra."
What follows is 88 minutes of Coco as he creates, performs, and nearly collapses during his tour. It's not a concert film, although several short segments from his show are included (including some musical numbers that drag), and it's not a sycophantic account of his martyrdom. It's basically Conan backstage, and Conan backstage is very funny.