Conan O’Brien Reveals Intense Aftereffects of ‘Hot Ones’ Challenge

Conan O'Brien embraces extreme comedy in latest stunt.

by Nouman Rasool
Conan O’Brien Reveals Intense Aftereffects of ‘Hot Ones’ Challenge
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When Conan O'Brien sat down to partake in the fiery challenge of "Hot Ones" - the interview series on YouTube that has celebrities answer questions while eating progressively spicier wings - he managed to give audiences a performance that left them both laughing and genuinely worried.

He recounted the ordeal in detail recently for the "Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend" podcast to show that the aftereffects were intense in turning a funny stunt into a painful experience to remember. During the episode, O'Brien went beyond the typical taste-testing by rubbing hot sauce onto his face and chest, actions that not only captivated viewers but also left him with some significant physical discomfort.

“My eyes were incredibly runny, and my mouth really hurt,” O’Brien explained. The discomfort extended even further with a burning sensation on his skin, particularly troubling under his wedding ring. “I washed my hands right afterward, but some of the sauce got stuck underneath my ring,” he recounted, likening the residue to acid.

Comedy Over Comfort

O'Brien, known for his comedic bravery, admitted he doesn’t usually consume spicy foods—not even mild hot sauces like Tabasco or Tapatio. However, his dedication to delivering a joke knows few bounds.

“If I think something will be funny, I’ll do it and deal with it later,” he declared, illustrating his commitment to comedy over comfort. His recount of the aftermath included a humorous anecdote where he joked about assisting at a construction site: “I found a construction site where they were doing spot welding, and I offered to help.

I told the workers to avert their eyes because I’d be dropping my pants,” he joked, creating a vivid image of him “welding” with fire shooting out, adding to the legend of his "Hot Ones" saga. He admitted to having no particular strategy for the show, other than to embrace the chaos.

"I went in thinking, whatever happens, I just have to eat all the wings and make a fool of myself," he said, acknowledging the show's reputation for putting its guests under culinary duress. The episode also left an impression on O'Brien’s friends, who initially mistook the viral buzz as something far graver.

"I had a bunch of friends who saw my name all over Twitter and the first assumption is, 'He’s dead,'" he shared, reflecting on the dramatic reactions to his spicy ordeal.