Netflix's "The Midnight Gospel" A Deep Look into the Trap of Spiritual Materialism

Episode 1-8 of the Midnight Gospel Song

Midnight Gospel

Welcome to The Midnight Gospel Offical Fan Site!

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Welcome to the official "The Midnight Gospel" Fan Site!  We will explore and discuss every episode of The Midnight Gospel and also talk about Duncan Trussell Family Hour Podcast and everything else related to Duncan Trussell.  

If you are a fan of The Midnight Gospel but are not real familiar with Duncan Trussell, you've come to the right spot!  We'll introduce you to Duncan and his amazing friends, who have recently taken the podcasting world by storm.  One of Duncan's best friends is Joe Rogan, who introduced most of us to Duncan Trussell, so we would be remiss if we didn't also discuss Joe and his take on things.  Thank you for visiting and we hope you take something away from our site that you can use to make your daily life better!  So enough with the introductions, let's get to the real reason we're all here, The Midnight Gospel!


If you are here and don't know what The Midnight Gospel is, don't worry!  We're going to start there; The Midnight Gospel is an animated, adult television series that was created by Pendelton Ward, of Adventure Time Fame and our favorite podcaster, Duncan Trussell.  You can find this amazing series, streaming on Netflix and it's actually the very first animated production from Pendelton Ward, exclusively for Netflix.  


The Midnight Gospel takes an actual podcast between Duncan Trussell and a wide variety of guests and turns them into an amazing adventure.  Duncan has described it many times as the idea coming from, "taking the dialogue from Indiana Jones and replacing it with podcast dialogue".  This is a great way of explaining what their vision was when creating this amazing show.  The show is set in a dimension known as the "Chromatic Ribbon", and our hero is a spacecaster named Clancy Gilroy.  Clancy owns a used unlicensed multiverse simulator, which is falling apart and failing due to years of neglect and Clancy being too busy to maintain or even pay attention to the state of the simulator.  Through this multiverse simulator, Clancy travels through infinite worlds who are about to experience their own apocalypse and Clancy wants to interview a few of these planets, residents, for his spacecast, (can I interview you for my spacecast?).  

The dialogue (interviews) are taken from earlier episodes of Duncan Trussell's podcast, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour and features many special guests including Jason Louv, Drew Pinsky, Stephen Root, Phil Hendrie, Caitlin Doughty, Trudy Goodman, Michael Marconio, Maria Bamford, Deneen Fendig, David Nichtern, and the great Joey Diaz!


This is a quick look at what The Midnight Gospel is about and if you love the show as much as we do, we are truly HOPING we get more seasons!  I think with the timing of the release, combined with everyone being home already because of COVID 19, The Midnight Gospel was able to reach a much broader audience.  It seemed like just a few months ago, Duncan Trussell was just an obscure comic, who has his own podcast and appears on many other podcasts.  Now he's really becoming much more famous and we are so happy for him, if anyone deserves it, it's Duncan Trussell!  He's just an overall great human and this can be verified by any of his fans who have had the honor of meeting him in person after one of his Comedy shows or other events he regularly attends.  We love Duncan and hope Netflix signs him up for many more seasons of the greatest adult cartoon of my lifetime, The Midnight Gospel!


What is The Midnight Gospel

A look at Duncan Trussell and Pendelton Ward's Vision

As a HUGE fan of all things Duncan Trussell, and an avid listener of Duncan Trussell Family Hour, to say I was excited for the release of The Midnight Gospel is an understatement.  I and several of my more spiritual friends have been waiting for this collaboration between Duncan and Pendelton Ward for years.  

When Duncan announced on his podcast that it would be released on April 20, 2020, I knew this meant it would probably be best enjoyed while medicated.  So I took a trip to my local favorite dispensary, came home and settled in for a binge of this amazing, spiritual look at ourselves.  

I wasn't sure if I would be watching a goofy, but binge-worthy comedy or a serious, self-reflecting journey into my psyche.  I would say it was a bit of both.  I don't have Netflix, so my first task was to see where I could watch The Midnight Gospel online for free.  A quick search and I ran across this site,, and found every episode.  So I partook of my medicine, it was a Grand Daddy Purple Pre-roll and settled in for an experience that I didn't even realize I needed.

When you first get started watching The Midnight Gospel, you may think it's just another crazy looking, psychedelic adventure animation that you would most likely find on cable, late some night.  The story follows Clancy Gilroy, he's a spacecaster (this dimensions version of a podcast) and he owns a virtual reality machine that includes an infinite amount of simulated worlds that Clancy visits to interview that dimensions beings and also bring back technology.  

The first episode kicks off with Clancy visiting a world that is being over-run with zombos.  That is what they call Zombies in this dimension and Clancy is interviewing the President of the United States (voiced by Dr. Drew Pinsky), in the middle of this zombie apocalypse.  From the beginning, I realized there was something special about this show.  The conversations do not sound scripted, as they do in most movies, and not every part of the conversation was coherent with the world Clancy was visiting in the show.  It wasn't what you would expect for Clancy to be interviewing the president, having a very relaxed and thoughtful conversation about drug use while they are fighting zombos, but you realize this style of storytelling is very interesting.  What I have found after watching the entire season at least 4 times to date, is that I catch or learn something new every time I rewatch.  

If you were unfamiliar with this show and just stumbled upon it on Netflix, you may be confused as to what is going on.  Luckily fans of Duncan Trussell, who keep up with his podcast, knew that it was a new idea, where they took the conversations from Duncan's popular podcast Duncan Trussell Family Hour, created an animated story around it and this is what you end up with!  None of the guests are professional voice actors but real doctors, writers, spiritual advisors, and experts in their respective fields.  That is why the conversations sound so natural and flow seamlessly.  

What you get when you mix Duncan Trussell with Pendelton Ward is a new movie experience that can be watched, enjoyed, and understood as either a podcast or an animated adventure story.  Of course, it's full of funny moments (It was co-created by Duncan, an amazing comic) as well as serious insights, depth and it all flows together magically thanks to Duncan's unique outlook on things and Pendelton's amazing vision.

The way Duncan put together the show was to gather clips from his podcast that cover a wide range of different topics, from magic and spirituality to drug use and death.  The common theme from one episode to the next though is addressing the different ways there are to manage and maybe even transcend suffering.


Clancy, which is taken from Trussell's personality or at the very least an aspect of his personality, enjoys this simulation stuff for this exact reason.  It's an escape, where he finds refuge from the material world and suffering he has experienced, but all of this comes as a detriment to his real life, he uses it as a way to escape responsibilities in the real world like owing his sister money and the simulator reminding him about reading the maintenance manual because his simulator is glitching and breaking down.  Clancy, not unlike many of us, just wants to escape and his multi-verse simulator does just that.  

In addition to taking drugs and visiting simulated multi-verses, Clancy uses the spiritual practice of meditation as a kind of escape from the real world too.  In one of the episodes, clancy returns and proclaims, "I'm enlightened now!" this is after a mere 5-minute discussion with a spiritual mentor.  Then he tells his computer to refer to him as "Clancy, the Enlightened One". 

This is a funny moment in the show and shows Clancy's lack of self-awareness.  Like many people trying to figure things out, Clancy believes "enlightenment" is an instant fix for all of his problems: He won't need to work anymore, no need for self-improvement, community, or a higher power.  Clancy just wants to be able to say he's enlightened but doesn't want to put in the work to become enlightened.

Unfortunately, this delusion backfires pretty quick on him.  Once he believes he has completed all of the work he needs to do, he realized he never addressed his underlying problems.  Now all of these bad habits are exacerbated, he is losing his relationship with his sister, and he sinks further into his escapism.  This is when he realizes that the journey to spiritual enlightenment is never a one-and-done experience.  We are human and we are NOT perfect, there is always more work that we can do on ourselves.

Clancy uses this as an excuse and also uses drugs, meditation, and virtual reality as a justification to ignore his sister's calls and ignore the problems his computer is having.  Instead of addressing the real-world problems he chooses to retreat into this virtual world the majority of his waking hours.  The paradox in this is, Clancy's search for immaterial transcendence has now become a form of materialism, as it is grounded in his dissatisfaction with his reality.

Somehow he continues this lifestyle, this is despite every guest on his spacecast advising against it.  This is addressed in The Midnight Gospel, Episode 5, where Clancy meets an avian psychopomp that gives him advice about trying to incorporate spirituality into other scenarios in life.  "Any spiritual practice that's..trying to get something..I'm going to become more spiritual, I'm going to become more loving, and I'm going to make some change, I'm getting points somehow",  "this is comparable to "grinding in God of War, you're adding experience and growing a character that doesn't exist."

What that means is, thinking that the purpose of our spiritual pursuit is to improve our condition in this life, we are wrong.  In Buddhism, there is no separation between self and others, this is just illusory.  But this advice pertains to Christians as well, if we use spiritual practice only in an attempt to make our lives better now, we are distracted from the life that is yet to come.  

Episode 8 of The Midnight Gospel, hit me in a way I wasn't ready for, forcing me to again face something that I've been afraid of since being diagnosed with a critical disease.  This episode features Duncan's real-life late mother, taking dialogue from 2 different episodes of Trussell's podcast, Duncan Trussell Family Hour.  If you would like to listen to the complete audio, you can FIND IT HERE.  Duncan and his mom age and go through the different stages of life in this episode. From birth to life, death, and rebirth.  This gave us a deep look into their real-life relationship and how the two of them approached and dealt with his mom's terminal cancer.  She gave Clancy the best advice I've heard, she said for him to cope with her death, "You cry".  

Luckily by the end of the episode, Clancy appears to have made great progress away from spiritual materialism.  Some viewers may be turned off by the show's sometimes crude dialogue and the animation may be difficult for some to watch.  But when you strip away the monsters, creatures, and characters, there is a very relatable spiritual adventure that is deeply rooted in the hope that we can avoid suffering.  Even though it may appear to be immaturely packaged, The Midnight Gospel ends up delivering a surprisingly mature message, which reflects Clancy's spiritual growth.

Whether you're a season spiritualist or only a beginner, as the title suggests, wait until midnight, have a dose of your favorite mind-altering substance, and take this trippy journey with our great friend Clancy, talking birds, magic and drugs.  Sounds like fun, right?

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