I was never a big late night fan for the longest time. It’s only been in the past couple of years that I really started watching any of it regularly and even at that the only one I watch regularly is Ferguson. I missed the Late Night Wars in that I didn’t really care since I wasn’t watching either of them regularly. So for some Conan Can’t Stop may hit home a little more since some people got very caught up in the whole thing.
Conan is a dick. That’s the biggest thing that people seem to take away from this movie, which is horrible. Let me step back and explain. The movie is primarily backstage stuff of Conan’s tour and most of it is of Conan, not interviews of other people. It’s very much a guy with a camera just filming things with the odd interview here and their. The film is not set up to boost the view of Conan and Conan is pretty frank the entire film.
So back to Conan being a dick. Throughout the film he’s a bi of an ass. He berates his staff, especially his assistant. You see him hitting one of his writers frequently and he even bitches about having to do meet and greets. Part of this is Conan being Conan. The interactions with his staff are done in good nature. They take it in stride and play along, however there are times when it isn’t and you can usually tell. It’s not like Conan isn’t aware of this either. He constantly questions why he hits people or is being a dick. He even tells a costume dude to not just take, to stand up for himself after Conan takes a verbal jab at him. He’s pretty open and wants to achieve a certain level of perfection. Conan is also nearly always performing, even when no one is around. He can’t stop as the film title rightly suggests.
The film doesn’t paint a pretty picture of Conan, but that’s the point. This tour killed him. Look at Conan at the beginning of the film or elsewhere and then look at the shots at the end. Look how thin he got. He always looks to worn out as well, which is the point. It’s not supposed to show some glamorous aspect of this tour. You see how draining it really is, especially if you are constantly trying to do better.
I thought it was interesting watching Conan. Watching the ups and downs was enjoyable and once I was aware that this is what the movie was going to be I just sat back and watched. The movie isn’t great as far as trying to construct a larger story. Some of the cuts are even a bit odd and some of what they show of the tour is a bit odd. There isn’t much of an attempt to try to have Conan explain his thoughts on the whole Late Night War or even about the tour. It’s simply a backstage pass to some of the tour and how it effected him.
The movie is feeding off of the Late Night War and the whole Team Coco vs Leno thing. Fans of Conan are probably the ones who went and saw it right away as well. That’s the market. I was able to enjoy it though, but it defiantly isn’t for everyone.
PS: If you find this interesting or like Conan I suggest listening to his appearance on Marc Maron’s Podcast.