The Midnight Gospel creator has “no hard feelings” over Netflix cancellation
Duncan Trussell on why his trippy animated series wasn’t picked up for a second season and working with Dan Harmon.
In an endless sea of Netflix content, The Midnight Gospel stood out like an anglerfish or a peacock mantis shrimp. Featuring far-out philosophical discussions pulled directly from popular podcast The Duncan Trussell Family Hour and animated with images seemingly poured straight from the brilliant brain of Aventure Time co-creator Pendleton Ward, the short-lived series was philosphical, funny, emotional, confusing, trippy, and weird — sometimes all at once.
So it’s no surprise The Midnight Gospel was canceled after one short season.
Trussell himself seems nonplussed when I ask about the fate of his Netflix series. We’re smack in the middle of San Diego Comic-Con 2022, and the podcaster-comedian-writer-actor is here to promote Dan Harmon’s new animated series Krapopolis, set in ancient Greece and featuring a mix of gods, monsters, and humans.
“If I had to guess it would just be a simple business decision,” Trussell tells Inverse about the Midnight Gospel’s quiet cancellation. “Animation is expensive, and that's why they did it. I have no hard feelings, by the way, because they let us make the thing.”
Below, Trussell goes into more detail on what happened to The Midnight Gospel, whether he’ll work with Pendleton Ward again, and what it’s like teaming up with Dan Harmon.
On The Midnight Gospel and Netflix’s streaming strategy
“Well, you know, it's Netflix,” Trussell says. “I think that they're like fishing, right? So they're throwing out a lot of lines. They want to catch a Stranger Things and that's how they do it. So with The Midnight Gospel, even though it has a wonderful big fan base, it's not like the mega fan base of Stranger Things. So if I had to guess it would just be a simple business decision. Animation is expensive, and that's why they did it. I have no hard feelings, by the way, because they let us make the thing. It's cheesy to say, but they were the coolest executives I've ever dealt with. They were so collaborative in the best way possible.”
On whether he’d like to collaborate with Aventure Time creator Pendleton Ward again?
“Yeah, we're friends, and I sure hope so,” Trussell says. “I would follow him into the sea. You know how with your heroes, you hope they're cool? He's the coolest, like just a true wizard. He’s the most wonderful person. So yeah, I would always want to make something with him.”
On working with Dan Harmon on Krapopolis.
“Oh, man. It's the best. Especially when he's there to direct and stuff. He knows how to get stuff out of me? We're friends. So there's something wonderful about that. But also, as opposed to making a show like Midnight Gospel, it's really nice just to get to read lines written by the funniest people ever. It’s such a luxury. You’ve got Harmon and this incredible team of writers giving you super funny things to say. It's just fun.”
Krapopolis Episode 1 will preview November 27 on FOX. The show officially premieres in 2023.