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I am not a big fan of Conan O’Brien. I watched his shows a couple of times, and never connected to his humour. As I almost compulsively watch Jon Stewart and often see what Craig Ferguson is doing, I guess I just belong to a different world of humour. Still: you can sometimes see in the Conan shows that he could be a rather funny stand-up comedian had he not sold his soul to prime time tv, or at least the prime time fringe in the networks. This documentary follows him on a little tour he prepared while he could not get on tv as a consequence of the deal he struck with NBC after Jay Leno took back his late night spot. The “Contractually forbidden to be funny on tv”tour is hinted at in this film, but you do not see too much of it. What you see is a comedy and tv star who has chosen to go through the treadmill of stand up live comedy again to see whether he still can (similar to that other documentary where Seinfeld does a similar thing to himself) – and we can watch him enjoying it and suffering terribly at the same time. An excessive influx of fan’s sisters and cousins in the dressing room, pictures taken, sponsors’ parties (before and after the shows). It is as if he can already feel the end of his career looking over his shoulder, with car dealership openings and ribbon cutting events at bridal wear shops. This time it’s self-inflicted, Conan, but beware what the future has in store… He is funny during this trip, even under stress, but unfortunately he is most funny when he is not on stage, but when he is hanging out in his wardrobe, or sitting on a bus to the next shitty town. There he can let loose, he forgets what he has heard about audience expectations, and becomes a great impro comedian. He should do more of that.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/conan_obrien_cant_stop_2011/

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