A new comedy special with George Carlin’s name and face has gone live, but the deceased comedian had nothing to do with its production. George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead is a one-hour special, with an AI replica of George Carlin cracking jokes about mass shootings, farts, and the eventual death of stand-up comedy. Carlin’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, took to X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, to denounce the special.
“My dad spent a lifetime perfecting his craft from his very human life, brain, and imagination,” she wrote. “No machine will ever replace his genius.” In another tweet, she clarified that there was “ZERO PERMISSION GRANTED” by the Carlin family.
My statement regarding the AI generated George Carlin special: My dad spent a lifetime perfecting his craft from his very human life, brain and imagination. No machine will ever replace his genius. These AI generated products are clever attempts at trying to recreate a mind…1/3— Kelly Carlin (@kelly_carlin) January 11, 2024
George Carlin was an iconic stand-up comedian who passed away in 2008. He was known for his sardonic delivery and biting commentary on current events, and released 14 stand-up comedy specials throughout his career.
The new special was engineered by Will Sasso, best known from Mad TV, and novelist Chad Kultgen. The two run a podcast called Dudesy, which is written by a “comedy AI” that writes material for the duo’s podcast and YouTube show.
Kelly Carlin added, “If you’d like to support our resistance to this AI bullshit, you can leave a comment on the YouTube video of the special. And also let the podcasters that collaborate w/ this AI bot know how you feel.”
Carlin said that she is exploring her legal options; however, since AI is advancing so rapidly, there’s very little case law establishing boundaries in this venture. Carlin also tagged Zelda Williams and Melissa Rivers, the daughters of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers, respectively, and the Twitter account of deceased comic Garry Shandling, with the message: “We should talk. They’re coming for you next.”