Can't Stop Again
Last night, my wife and I watched Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (2011) on Hulu the night after seeing an especially funny Clueless Gamer segment on Conan on TBS with Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage. I think there was a joke about NBC or the Tonight Show in the segment and my wife wasn't sure what exactly happened that Conan only had the Tonight Show for a short period of time. This inspired us to take a look at the documentary that followed Conan during the sixth month period he was contracted to no be on TV due to his settlement releasing him from The Tonight Show.
I first saw this documentary when it was first available for rental and my biggest impression was that it was odd and uncomfortable at times how Conan acts with his co-workers, mostly that he play fights with some of them. However, in this viewing it comes across way more playful and as an attempt to reassure the people that work for him that everything will be okay and that they won't be out of jobs when the tour is over.
Andy Richter refers to the tour as "the best summer camp ever" at the end of the film, and it really was just that for them. After a rough school year of seven months with the Tonight Show, Conan had a two week break before starting his show on TBS after the tour. The tour was a release of anger and a thank you to fans. It was also, clearly, his way to keep his team working. It is fun to see all the behind the scenes people from his show touring with him, from Richter, to the band, to Sona and Aaron Bleyaert (from Clueless Gamer), to his producer Jeff and many of the writers that can be seen in Scraps episodes online and other behind the scenes videos like the trip to Armenia.
It seems as though Conan has made his TBS show highlight the behind the scenes people more than NBC incarnations because of this same loyalty that made him go on tour to keep his team working, and from influences from Letterman's use of his crew as characters. This is still a fun documentary, although it might not be the best thing to try to fall asleep to because the music is so energetic we had trouble stopping and relaxing.