The singer was described by Byrne as "a revelation" after the episode. Keating spoke of his disagreements with his manager Louis Walsh, the death of his mother from cancer and the Marie Keating Foundation which resulted.
The musician spoke of her views about the deity of her belief system and how this affects her artistic output. She later said she an Byrne had had "a lovely morning together". The interview was filmed in January 2009 at O'Connor's house. Byrne referenced the interview in an article he wrote for the Sunday Independent later that day.
The actor spoke for the first time about sexual abuse he had received from the Christian Brothers when he was a boy and also said he had left the priesthood after he "walked up the stairs behind two girls in miniskirts" while on a bus in London.
The actor spoke of his pro-life views and said his wife was conceived through a rape and he says had her mother aborted her, or dumped her in the Ohio River as she had considered, his wife would not exist. He also talked about three of his grandchildren who were conceived out of wedlock, saying his sons "were not happy at the time but they came to love these children. We have three grown grandchildren, two of them are married, they're some of the greatest source of joy in our lives."
The musician talked about his humanitarian work, his religious faith, and also his parents' marriage and father's death. He granted the interview on the understanding that it would be a purely personal one and insisted his episode be aired separately from the rest of the series. Uncle Gaybo and RTÉ obliged.
John Boland of the Irish Independent claimed the series became "more religious in thrust and tone as it progressed". He described the episode featuring Neil Jordan as a "bizarre encounter", in which the writer and filmmaker "grew more and more bemused" as Byrne questioned him in great detail about his religious faith. Jordan answered such questions as "Do you think your religion might return to you on your deathbed?" and "Do you think there's a day of reckoning?" with "I really haven't got a clue" and "I don't know, Gay" but when he commented that "every time I'm in a plane and it's hit by lightning I bless myself", Byrne replied "Hah!", as if, according to Boland, Jordan had "just revealed a basic faith in the Catholic Almighty rather than a reflex reaction to imminent catastrophe".
The Irish Times's Kevin Courtney said of The Meaning of Life: "The title is a bit grandiose – you could just as easily call it Tell Uncle Gaybo All About It.
Byrne prefers not to discuss his own faith:
I am not going to say, because it would compromise me in terms of the show if people knew I had a position. What you find is that they are all searching. No one has the truth.
An average of 247,000 viewers tuned into the first four episodes of the series, featuring interviews with Farrell, Adams, Binchy and Keating. The episode featuring Keating attracted the most viewers, with a total of 258,000 reported. Next was the Adams interview, with 251,000 viewers. This was followed by the interview with Binchy which had 231,000 viewers.
^Dubliner's Diary (9 February 2010). "Dunphy goes on a Haunted date night". Evening Herald. Independent News & Media. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2010. Gay interviewed Edna O'Brien for his current RTÉ series, The Meaning of Life. "Edna will appear on the series in the next few weeks, so naturally I had to be here to offer my support. "He's on it the week after Mary Robinson and I must say I really enjoyed our conversation," said Gay.