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George Carlin Estate Sues Media Company for Unauthorized AI-Generated Comedy Special

The George Carlin estate has filed a lawsuit against the media company Dudesy over their recent AI-generated comedy special "George Carlin: I'm Glad I'm Dead."
George Carlin / aidigitalx
George Carlin / aidigitalx

The estate of the late comedian George Carlin is suing the podcast outlet Dudesy over an AI-generated “George Carlin” comedy special they created without permission.

The lawsuit alleges that Dudesy infringed on Carlin’s copyrights by using his material to train the AI chatbot that generated the special, without seeking permission or licensing.


The special featured an approximation of Carlin’s voice and comedy style, which the lawsuit claims hurts the late comedian’s reputation and constitutes an unauthorized use of his work.

Dudesy podcast hosts Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen are named as defendants, along with creators associated with the AI program and individuals involved in the production and sponsorship of the special.

Carlin’s daughter Kelly Carlin condemned the special, stating that the “George Carlin” portrayed is not her father, but a “poorly-executed facsimile” created to “capitalize on the extraordinary goodwill” her father established.

The lawsuit is seen as one of the first major legal actions against the unauthorized use of celebrity likenesses and copyrights through AI technology, which is a growing concern in the entertainment industry.

The lawsuit argues that AI requires “a great amount of control and restraint” to prevent it from being misused to exploit creators’ work without permission.


The estate of comedian George Carlin later settled the lawsuit against the owners of the Dudesy podcast, who had used artificial intelligence to create a deepfake of Carlin’s voice and likeness for a comedy podcast episode.

The podcast creators agreed to remove all versions of the Carlin episode and permanently refrain from using his voice, likeness or image. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Carlin’s daughter Kelly praised the quick and amicable resolution, saying it serves as a warning about the dangers of AI technologies and the need for safeguards for artists and the public.


The estate’s lawyer argued that using AI to impersonate Carlin was a violation of his rights, even if the podcast creators didn’t use his actual comedy to train the AI. They were concerned clips could be spread online as if they were real Carlin content.

The case highlights the growing tensions in the entertainment industry around the use of AI to create unauthorized imitations of artists, both living and deceased. Some states have passed laws restricting certain deepfake uses.

The settlement raises questions about whether AI-generated impersonations could be considered fair use parodies, like human-performed impersonations on shows like Saturday Night Live. The lawyer argues AI-generated impersonations are fundamentally different.

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Jessica Wong
Jessica Wong

Jessica Wong is a data scientist and author with a flair for demystifying AI concepts. Known for making complex topics accessible. Aiming to bridge the AI knowledge gap.