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There's something destabilizing about seeing Conan O'Brien — whose image has been familiarized in the collective consciousness wearing a neatly tailored suit in front of a Manhattan backdrop — suddenly laid bare by a jittery handheld camera in the comfort of his kitchen. That sense of fly-on-the-wall wonder, of being privy to the private antics of a public performer, is often enough to carry Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, Rodman Flender's documentary of O'Brien's "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television" tour, during which he plays cheesy rock and roll with a group of dancers called "The Coquettes" and spouts off about Jay Leno and NBC. At its best, Conan's performance exposes a compulsive entertainer. Other times, the improvisation recalls the garish sideshow of "Mr. Sophistication" in John Cassavetes's The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. But the lasting impact is of a restless soul whose showbiz drive is genuine.


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