From a video of Conan O'Brien to an elderly tortoise's birthday, here are 3 moments bringing us joy this week

Screenshot of Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen performing to the new acoustic version of "Hold Me Closer."
Screenshot of Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen performing to the new acoustic version of "Hold Me Closer."

Editor's Note: This is a roundup of this week's moments of joy from WBUR's seasonal newsletter, The Pick Me Up. If you want a little bit of good news to help you get through the week and spread cheer this holiday season, sign up here

What do Conan O'Brien, a figure skater and an elderly tortoise have in common?

They're all making us smile this week:

1. A young, wise-crackin' Conan O'Brien.

Even the pros have to start somewhere. And in the most recent episode of the podcast Podcrushed, the Brookline native took a look back at his humble beginnings.

In the episode, the Podcrushed hosts resurfaced a video of the comedian and TV host in middle school practicing a bit with his sister. Conan's working on his back-and-forth patter, building suspense — as all good comedians do — and then he delivers the punch line.

The joke made me laugh. But just as funny (and heartwarming) was listening to present-day Conan roast his younger self: "That guy doesn't know what he's doing."

2. Remixed Elton John — on ice!

Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen recently stepped back onto the rink to perform to the new acoustic version of "Hold Me Closer" by John and Britney Spears.

The duet is itself a treat, and watching Chen skate to the music is downright mesmerizing. Kudos to the camera crew for giving us an up-close look at every turn and spin on the ice, each move as light as freshly fallen snow.

3. Jonathan the tortoise turning 190 years old.

According to the Guinness World Records, that makes him the oldest living land animal known to man. So, he’s something of a celebrity in St. Helena, the British island territory in the South Atlantic where he’s lived for over a century. But he’s done more than just pose for tourist photos (though there is a lot of that); his DNA could also contribute to our understanding of aging and cancer.

If we had to guess, the secret to longevity according to Jonathan may lie in his slow-paced life — or in all the lettuce greens and bananas he’s eaten, including in the form of a salad cake (a salad cake!) that his caretakers got him for his birthday party.

We’ll take that as a reminder to get rest, eat our veggies and mark important milestones with what we love.


Headshot of Vanessa Ochavillo

Vanessa Ochavillo Associate Producer
Vanessa Ochavillo is an associate producer for WBUR focused on digital news.


Headshot of Aimee Moon

Aimee Moon Newsroom Fellow
Aimee Moon was a newsroom fellow at WBUR.



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