Skip to main content

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia stars and writers, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, and Charlie Day reveal the backstory behind Charlie Kelly’s infamous character, ‘The Nightman’. The Gang reveals the true (and hilarious) lore of ‘The Nightman’.

Charlie Day dressed as 'Dayman' and Danny DeVito dressed up during Comic Con for 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'.
Charlie Day and Danny Devito, ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ | Joe Scarmnici/Getty Images

Charlie Day reveals the original ‘Nightman’ song lyrics

In episode 30, ‘Sweet Dee’s Dating a [Redacted] Person’ of The Always Sunny Podcast, Charlie talks about how ‘The Nightman’ came to be. Check out the video below:

Charlie said, “I remember, so Rob Rosell and Scott Marder wrote that episode. And they came up with those lyrics for the song. And it was: ‘Dayman fighter of the Nightman, champion of the sun, master of karate and friendship for everyone.”

Charlie revealed that they had Casio keyboard in their office, where they wrote episodes for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He revealed, “And I started singing the melody and [Glenn] started singing the ‘ah-ahs’, and then there it was.”

Rob McElhenny gives the origins of Charlie’s ‘The Nightman’ character

The creator of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rob said Charlie “being Bob Dylan and singing those lyrics” was completely made up on the spot.

Rob, who also plays Mac on the FX show, says, “The whole idea of ‘The Nightman’ creeping into your house, coming inside of you and you becoming ‘The Nightman.’ Not only were you making all of those lyrics up at the time, but just the concept of that happening.”

Rob continues, “That was not done in the writers’ room. That happened live. There was a camera pointed at you. And you were just riffing. Not only was that really funny and incredible to come up with in the moment like that, but we took the lore that you created in that song and made a whole musical about it.”

“It was so funny in the way that you’re free-flowing and rhyming it all the way through. There’s no way you had thought about that before you stepped up on that stage,” Rob says.

‘The Nightman’ song evolves into ‘The Nightman Cometh’ musical

In the final episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 4, ‘The Nightman’ song effortlessly transforms into ‘The Nightman Cometh’ musical. Charlie’s character, Charlie Kelly, writes, directs, and stars in the musical with the purpose of proposing to the Waitress.


‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The 5 Missing Episodes (and Why Hulu Removed Them)

In the musical, Dennis plays the little boy at the beginning of the play, who gets his innocence stolen by the Nightman. After that, Dennis transforms into the Dayman and successfully fights off the Nightman. At the end of the hilarious episode, Charlie gets on stage to propose to the Waitress.

The Nightman song and musical were based on Charlie’s character’s childhood. Throughout the seasons, it’s heavily implied that Charlie was molested by his uncle, Jack Kelly. In fact, in the fourth episode of season 13, “Time’s Up for the Gang,” Mac calls out Charlie outright for writing a musical about being molested by his uncle.

Charlie definitely brought the Nightman character to life — both as himself and as his character in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

New episodes of The Always Sunny Podcast air Mondays.