The three longtime friends recorded this material during Chappelle’s 2020 Summer Camp series of socially-distanced comedy shows in Ohio. They spent hundreds of hours in front of microphones at the converted mechanic’s garage The Shack, which resulted in enough material to release new episodes through the end of the year, with a summer hiatus.
Episode 1 is titled “How to Inspire”, and it opens with a prayer in Arabic that Chappelle then translates into English: “We all come from God, and to God we will all return.” The Midnight Miracle combines music, sketch, and unstructured conversations, and this first release seeks to answer the question that Chappelle asks about 80 seconds in. “You know,” he said, “How do you keep a despondent person alive? Like, how do you make somebody want to live?”
“How to Inspire” features audio clips of Robin Williams and Richard Pryor, as well as music from Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, Robert Glasper, The Roots, and Stevie Wonder. Guests include Radio Rahim, Mo Amer, Chris Rock, Donnell Rawlings, Jarobi White, and Questlove.
The second episode, “Gladiator Circus World”, features the premeire of an original song by Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s Blackstar — their first new release under that name in over 20 years. This politically-charged pod features audio from Alex Jones, Donald Trump, and Rush Limbaugh, as well as guests such as Jon Hamm and Lamorne Morris.
“Making a podcast isn’t the obvious next move for me, but it’s the right one,” Chappelle said in a statement. “The Midnight Miracle gives you a look into how me and my friends process the world around us, and I think it will change the way listeners think of what a podcast can be.”
The first part of “How to Inspire” is available to stream on YouTube below. If you like what you hear, you can check out the rest with a subscription to the Luminary Podcast Network.
All three podcast hosts can be viewed on Chappelle’s Show on Netflix — with Chappelle’s blessing — after it was yanked last year at his request. The comedian is in the process of turning a former fire station into a comedy club. Earlier this year, he tested positive for COVID-19.