George Carlin’s Daughter Slams AI Standup Special Featuring Late Comedian
Artificial intelligence has made an attempt to resurrect legendary comedian George Carlin more than 15 years after his death. But the late comedian’s daughter has harsh words for the AI standup special, saying that “no machine will ever replace his genius.”
The hour-long special, titled George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead!, comes from the AI podcast Dudesy, which is described as a “first of its kind media experiment” hosted by real-life comedian Will Sasso and podcaster Chad Kultgen.
“I just want to let you know very clearly that what you’re about to hear is not George Carlin,” the bot explains at the beginning of the special. “It’s my impersonation of George Carlin that I developed in the exact same way a human impressionist would. I 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.”
“So think of it like Andy Kaufman impersonating Elvis or like Will Ferrell impersonating George W. Bush,” it added.
Over the course of the hour, the AI tackles subjects that it surmised Carlin, who died at the age of 71 in 2008, would be talking about today, such as “the chaos of the current American political landscape and class system, the influence of reality TV, and the increasing role of technology in society.”
At one point the special even gets meta, taking specifically about the impact of AI on standup comedy.
“There’s one line of work that is most threatened by AI—one job that is most likely to be completely erased because of artificial intelligence: stand-up comedy,” quips the AI Carlin. “I know what all the stand-up comics across the globe are saying right now: ‘I’m an artist and my art form is too creative, too nuanced, too subtle to be replicated by a machine. No computer program can tell a fart joke as good as me.'”
Be that as it may, not everyone was impressed with the jokes. Shortly after the special dropped, Kelly Carlin, 60, the late comedian’s only child with his first wife Brenda Hosbrook, released a statement rebuking the AI impression of her father.
“My dad spent a lifetime perfecting his craft from his very human life, brain and imagination,” Carlin posted to X, formerly Twitter. “No machine will ever replace his genius. These AI generated products are clever attempts at trying to recreate a mind that will never exist again. Let’s let the artist’s work speak for itself. Humans are so afraid of the void that we can’t let what has fallen into it stay there.”
“Here’s an idea, how about we give some actual living human comedians a listen to? But if you want to listen to the genuine George Carlin, he has 14 specials that you can find anywhere,” she added.
Indeed, most of Carlin’s specials can be found streaming online across a variety of free or subscription platforms such as Max, Hulu, Pluto TV, and Tubi.