"If there was a fire in my house," O'Brien told Time magazine, "I'd get my wife and child out, and then I'd run back in and get a Lincoln signature that I own -- a pardon that he signed. I think I look at it every day."
Time interviewed O'Brien, among others, for its new special issue, "Uncovering the Real Abe Lincoln." O'Brien, the host of NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," said he's been a Lincoln fan since he was very young.
"He's become such an otherworldly figure, such an iconic figure. But the fact is, he's a person," said O'Brien. "I guess it's inspiring to me that people are capable of being that cool."
O'Brien, who has also written comedy for "Saturday Night Live" and "The Simpsons," said the main reason he admires Lincoln is that the 16th U.S. president was funny.
"He chose the right words and kept things short," said O'Brien, "and those are two secrets to being timelessly funny."