If you paid attention to the news at all in January 2010, you know the story. Conan O’Brien took over as host of “The Tonight Show” during the summer of 2009 when NBC decided to give former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno his own show airing nightly at 10 p.m., a move that turned out to be a ratings failure. NBC decided to to axe Leno’s 10 p.m. show and give him a new show at 11:35 p.m., pushing “The Tonight Show” into tomorrow at 12:05 a.m. for the first time in the show’s history.
O’Brien opposed the move, issuing a statement sating that “delaying ‘The Tonight Show’ into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting.” O’Brien and NBC struck a deal, and he left “The Tonight Show” after only seven months with a $33 million payout and an agreement that he would not pursue a new show on another network until September 2010. So while Leno resumed his old hosting duties on “The Tonight Show,” O’Brien hit the road and embarked on his “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television” tour before his new show, “Conan,” premiered on TBS in November 2010.
Director Rodman Flender captured O’Brien’s experiences on the road in the documentary “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop,” which was met with positive reviews when it debuted at South By Southwest in March. A trailer for the documentary was unveiled this week, and it promises to be more than just a glimpse at the funniest bits from the 30-city tour.
The documentary goes behind the scenes of the tour at a time when O’Brien was still full of anger, frustration and disappointment about the “Tonight Show” debacle. His typical goofy, good-natured, self-deprecating humor is consistently present in the trailer, but it also hints at a glimpse of a side of O’Brien fans aren’t as familiar with.
Check out the trailer below. “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” opens in limited release June 24.
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