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Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (2011)

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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.

Director:

1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself - The Legally Prohibited Band
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Himself - The Legally Prohibited Band
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Himself - The Legally Prohibited Band
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Himself - The Legally Prohibited Band
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Himself - The Legally Prohibited Band
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Himself - The Legally Prohibited Band
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Himself - The Legally Prohibited Band
Rachael L. Hollingsworth ...
Herself - The Coquettes
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Herself - The Coquettes
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 August 2011 (Denmark)  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$97,043 (USA) (24 June 2011)

Gross:

$267,473 (USA) (2 September 2011)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Stereo)

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Conan O'Brien said he approved of the film capturing darker aspects of his personality because he wanted an honest portrayal of show business and to remind the audience that "there is a yin and a yang to every person." See more »

Quotes

Sona Movsesian: You have forty thousand people in the palm of your hand. It's like watching Hitler... but a nicer Hitler.
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Soundtracks

Baba O'Riley
Written by Pete Townshend
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User Reviews

 
A hard workingman keep working, no great mystery here
13 July 2011 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

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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