Entertainment

Q INTERVIEW: Why Conan O'Brien Can't Stop

Documentary-maker Rodman Flender followed a very angry Conan O'Brien on his 2010 comedy tour and found a man who needs an audience.
Conan O'Brien is shown performing during the filming of Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, a documentary by Rodman Flender. ((Rodman Flender/A Pariah Production/Associated Press)

Conan O'Brien was still angry and upset over losing The Tonight Show to Jay Leno when he set out on his 32-city Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour in 2010.

Yet, the comedian agreed to let his old college friend Rodman Flender follow him with a camera throughout the tour, which included stops in Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton.

Flender intended to capture the hard work that goes into the making of comedy when he proposed the documentary to O'Brien, he told Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC's Q cultural affairs show. Flender, once head of production for horror master Roger Corman, also has a background in directing for television.

On the tour, he discovered O'Brien's constant need for an audience. The comedian is always playing, whether to a comedy club, to his staff or to the doorman at the hotel where he is staying, Flender says.

The result is Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, which debuts in cinemas in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver on Friday.