Conan O'Brien Comedy Tour May Spawn Documentary

When Conan O'Brien parted ways with NBC not long ago, he became bound by a clause that says he can't host a new television show until September. There's nothing in his exit contract about a comedy tour, however, so last week Coco announced a string of dates for live shows across the country.

Fortunately for him, the clause also doesn't prohibit appearing in a film, and 'The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour,' as his outing is being called, may now be documented as the basis for a feature film.

Deadline talks about the early talks that would turn Coco's 30-city tour into a documentary feature, which currently has TV director Rodman Flender in talks to direct. We don't know much more, because we don't know what O'Brien has planned for the tour. We're not likely to know much more for a while, unless Coco spills a detail or two via his Twitter account. In the meantime you can get more info from

The site explains that part of O'Brien's reason for mounting the comedy tour was to keep his staff working until he can create a new show. That's a noble cause; hopefully that aspect of the report is accurate and the tour will suffice.

I also wonder if this feature plan might not be a method of keeping O'Brien in business past September. Will he really have a new show mounted by then? We don't know, but there hasn't yet been any public word of a deal with a new network. But he could have the documentary together by the fall, and get that out to keep his public presence going. It would also be a good way to bring the tour to audiences that couldn't get tickets in time or those that were put off by the relatively high ticket price of the show.

UPDATE: The LA Times reports that O'Brien and Fox are inching closer to a deal for a new late-night show. The sticking point, unsurprisingly, is price. Conan's version of The Tonight Show was a $90m per year operation. Fox wants a show that costs $60m. There's a lot of detail at the LAT you should check out if this is of interest, but the basics are, yes, something is happening. Slowly.