George Carlin Estate Sues Creators of AI-Generated Comedy Special: ‘Computer-Generated Click-Bait’

George Carlin‘s estate filed a lawsuit against Dudesy, the company behind the AI-generated special George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead, for unauthorized use of the comedian’s copyrighted works.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California federal court Thursday and obtained by Rolling Stone, denounced the special as “a piece of computer-generated click-bait which detracts from the value of Carlin’s comedic works and harms his reputation,” adding, “It is a casual theft of a great American artist’s work.”

Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen, who host the Dudesy podcast and YouTube show, are named as defendants. 20 John Does are also named, with five listed as creators of the AI program and 15 as individuals or entities who “contributed to the creation, production and sponsorship” of the AI-generated special.

At the beginning of the special, an AI-generated version of Carlin’s voice states that it “listened to all of George Carlin’s material and did my best to imitate his voice, cadence and attitude as well as the subject matter I think would have interested him today.” The suit alleges that the defendants’ “unauthorized” use of his works resulted in copyright infringement and violation of the comedian’s right of publicity, accusing the “hour-long fake comedy show” of purporting to be “in George Carlin’s voice and reflect how Carlin would have commented on current events since his death in 2008.”

The complaint is seeking a court order for immediate removal of the special, as well as an unspecified amount in damages.

“AI may be the most important technology invented in generations, and therefore requires a great amount of control and restraint to ensure that it is not misused,” the plaintiff’s attorney, Josh Schiller, said in statement. “Otherwise, like with prior revolutionary technologies, we risk it becoming a tool that allows bad-faith actors to replace creative expression, to exploit the already existing work of creators, and to get rich at the expense of others.”

The comic’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, previously commented on the special upon its release in early January. When one X/Twitter user asked her if “this clown had permission,” Kelly reposted the question and wrote, “ZERO PERMISSION GRANTED.”


In a separate statement announcing the lawsuit Thursday, Kelly wrote: “My father was a legendary comedian and a once-in-a-lifetime talent whose legacy is the body of work that he left behind—his actual performances, albums and books. I understand and share the desire for more George Carlin. I, too, want more time with my father. But it is ridiculous to proclaim he has been ‘resurrected’ with AI.”

She continued, “The ‘George Carlin’ in that video is not the beautiful human who defined his generation and raised me with love. It is a poorly-executed facsimile cobbled together by unscrupulous individuals to capitalize on the extraordinary goodwill my father established with his adoring fanbase.”