It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since that drama between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien went down over the Tonight Show. NBC eventually bought O’Brien out to the tune of nearly $45 million and prohibited him from being funny on TV for six months. So what did he and his production and writing staffs do in the meantime? Hatch a 45-date musical/comedy tour aptly named ‘The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour’. So while Conan and his crew went radio silent, they shot a documentary about the whole thing.
This isn’t merely a show about the tour, this is Conan – personally. While we see the genesis of their production with his staff at hand, he does interviews at home with his wife and kids around. Despite a lucrative payout to walk away from the whole thing, he is fuming mad. This tour will be his escape. Songs written, backup singers hired, and tweets launched, his shows sell out quickly. On the road, we witness the finely-tuned performances of an incredibly funny and talented comedian who’s just had the rug pulled out from under him. Their first stop? The seemingly abandoned town of Eugene, Oregon.
As the tour wears on, we see the stress begin to affect him, but these moments seem misleading. He rags on one of his backup singers for bringing in her family for a meet and greet, then expresses his frustration that he has to tend to an army of fans he doesn’t know. Uh, duh. That’s what you’re supposed to do. You can’t stop. When he’s obligated by his EP to open various acts at Bonnaroo, he complains about how wiped out he is, but on his days off later in the tour, he plays secret shows. There’s no struggle here, no moment of crisis, this is a man performing, enjoying himself before he gets his show on TBS several months later. Be warned: this is fan service. If you weren’t on the Coco train before, this is all going to go right over your head.