“Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop”, a documentary shot during the Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour, is now showing in theaters in limited release. The story takes place when O’Brien left “The Tonight Show” early last year and he went to perform live for his fans in 45 cities to bide his time until he could go back to hosting a late night show and overcome the heartbreak of his job loss. Director, Rodman Flender, was given full access to the comedy giant’s immense highs and lows. The result is a movie astounding in its truth of how one moves forward from severe depression to create humor in a constant and pure form that makes his fans giddily happy and helps him heal from the devastation.
While its difficult for Conan to watch this raw portrait of himself depicting the aftermath of one of the most difficult times of his life, he is supporting the film wholeheartedly. On Saturday, O’Brien and Flender made an only advertised last-minute appearance for a Q & A after a screening in Westwood, California. It is true, as it can be seen in the movie, that he gives and gives and gives to his fans, sometimes to the detriment of his own relaxation time and privacy. Conan has acknowledged that he is eternally grateful for all of the support that the fans (Team Coco) have given him, especially during the NBC debacle. He was very generous during the Q & A session, going well past the alloted time. Not only were the answers of Rodman and Conan thoughtful and funny, he even hugged several audience members and talked to an attendee’s girlfriend on speaker-phone.
The screening was attended by many of Conan’s real-life support system. He took the time to introduce those key players who received their own applause from the crowd. Liza O’Brien (Conan’s wife), producer Jeff Ross, and his thoughful assistant, Sona Movsesian, were all featured prominently in the film.
“Conan O’Brien” is indeed a warts and all portrait of a true talent. As a true comedian is wont to do, Conan can make light even at difficult times. He just has an open wit that endears him even when he himself is being difficult. From the opening scene on, the laughs are steady and hearty throughout.