Jason Zinoman, The New York Times:

Since leaving late-night television in 2021, Conan O’Brien, 61, has become more reflective about life (and death), given to philosophical flights of fancy that he compulsively alternates with comic tangents. O’Brien famously champions the intersection between smart and stupid, but in conversation, what stands out is how quickly he moves between light and heavy. In one of several interviews, I asked him if he was happier now than when he was on television and his response was to question happiness itself. “At best it’s a fleeting moment after a rainstorm when the sun’s coming out,” he said. “Being contented comes in little moments, here and there.”

The only thing trickier than being a late-night talk show host is being a former one. Some relapse (Jon Stewart). A few vanish (Johnny Carson, Craig Kilborn). Most enter a more modest era (David Letterman, Jay Leno). Since he started writing for “Saturday Night Live” in the 1980s, Conan O’Brien has built one of the most consequential careers in comedy. And while his late-night tenure is beloved by comedy nerds, helping define a sensibility for a generation of comedians like Bill Hader, Eric André and Nikki Glaser, his postshow work may turn out to be more impressive.

Besides being an influence to me and my sense of humor, especially for whatever comedy “career” I’ve built for myself, it’s funny how much I found myself relating to Conan and how his brain works – the light and the dark.

Heck of a read.