Created by Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time) and Duncan Trussell (Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast), The Midnight Gospel follows Clancy, a space-caster with a malfunctioning multiverse simulator, who leaves the comfort of his home to interview beings from apocalyptic alternate-Earths.
The show plays like a podcast episode juxtaposed with animation, the two narratives blending and diverging sporadically. This unusual concept could only work due to Ward’s experience with psychedelic narratives and Trussell’s laid-back style of comedy.
“My intention was to mix cartoony ultra-violence with conversations on compassion,” Ward said in an interview. “I wanted to make something that calloused people could bite into and maybe get something out of it.”
“‘Gospel’ means good news, and I was hoping that we convey the message that even through the most catastrophic situations, when everything is falling part, there is opportunity to grow as a person,” he continued. “You can meet whatever particular end of the world you are going through with an open heart. That there’s this tiny little beam of light shining through the darkness of living through an apocalypse.”
The Midnight Gospel is a show I wasn’t expecting to like but wound up falling in love with. The episodes explore the ethical use of psychedelic drugs, magical beliefs, and higher consciousness. It’s the sort of esoteric material that I look for in comic creators like Grant Morrison and Alejandro Jodorowsky.
I’m truly grateful that a show that encourages deep and positive thoughts exists and could become a phenomenon. The world needs more enlightening thinkers if we are to overcome our own apocalyptic obstacles. But who’s to say that enlightenment can’t be fun?