This Week in the Mercury

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meet "Mean Conan"

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 10:44 AM

The new documentary Conan O'Brien Can't Stop—based on the post-Tonight Show debacle, and his cross-country comedy tour—debuted at SXSW this weekend, and at least one critic liked it. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Sublimated via humor or not, the performer is clearly working through some anger. O'Brien comes clean in informal interviews, admitting how furious he is about NBC's rejection. But angry or not, the nonstop improvisations we see here — as he brainstorms material for the tour, tries to survive meet-and-greets and frets about his performances backstage — are clearly fueled by a kind of manic near-desperation, a sink-or-swim career moment.

It definitely shows a side of Conan—though still funny—we haven't seen before. Here's a clip from the doc:

After the jump, Conan talks about "Mean Conan." (BTW, did you know there is also a "mean Wm. Steven Humphrey"? Her name is Andrea Watkins, and she's currently a business major at Brown. WOTTA BITCH!!)

From the NYT:

It’s funny, because my staff, they saw this and they said, “Oh, we get to see a little bit of Mean Conan.” And they said, “Mean Conan, he’s our favorite, he’s the funniest Conan.”
I’m really hard on myself, I get very dark. I tease people constantly. I physically fight my writers, and they fight me back.

Here's Coco in a post screening Q&A further discussing the specter of "Mean Conan."

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