- George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead is a new stand-up comedy album created by an AI program called Dudesy.
- The AI does an excellent job emulating Carlin’s voice and captures his cultural commentary and political astuteness, but the implications are terrifying.
- The special addresses issues like the American political landscape, class system, reality TV, technology, and even God, with a hint of compassion and kindness that Carlin’s original material ironically may not have had.
It’s a brave new world. Yesterday, a new George Carlin stand-up comedy album was released — despite the comedian having died more than 15 years ago. That’s right, the new special, George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead, is entirely constructed by artificial intelligence, namely a program called Dudesy. The ‘comedy’ AI is created by comedian Will Sasso (MADtv, Young Sheldon) and podcaster and author Chad Kultgen (How to Win The Bachelor). The pair have been co-hosting a podcast with the AI for more than 80 episodes, and it’s a bold experiment. It’s horrifying, ethically problematic, scientifically interesting, and yes, on occasion, pretty funny.
Last year, former NFL quarterback Tom Brady threatened to sue the comedians over an AI version of the Patriots and Buccaneers QB telling jokes. It’s unclear what the estate and family of legendary comedian George Carlin will (or already have) said in private about this new stand-up comedy special, but watch this space for more information. In the meantime, here is how the artificial intelligence program introduced the stand-up special:
“I’m Dudesy, a comedy AI, and I’m excited to share my second hour-long comedy special with you! I’m calling it ‘George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead!’ For the next hour I’ll be doing my best George Carlin impersonation just like a human being would. I tried to capture his iconic style to tackle the topics I think the comedy legend would be talking about today. The chaos of the current American political landscape and class system, the influence of reality TV, and the increasing role of technology in society as AI is poised to change humanity forever are just a few of the subjects I cover. I had so much fun impersonating George Carlin and I hope you have just as much fun watching ‘George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead!'”
Taking a massive trove of data from Carlin’s stand-up comedy, writing, interviews, and more, Dudesy constructs an ‘original’ replica that tackles the 2024 election, battles over transgender rights, mass shootings, homelessness, and, in true Carlin fashion, God. While Kultgen and Sasso have maintained that they have signed an NDA with the company that has created Dudesy, and that they are not literally writing for the AI, some have nonetheless speculated that Dudesy is a hoax. Whatever the case may be, the style, tone, voice, ideology, and rhythm of the content in this stand-up comedy special are undoubtedly emulating George Carlin.
Is A.I. George Carlin Funny? (NSFW)
First of all, if you’re not a fan of George Carlin, then you will obviously hate this stand-up special. If you’ve never listened to Carlin, you should absolutely not start here. Second, it must be said that the A.I. does an excellent job at emulating Carlin’s voice — and not just his sound and cadence. The new stand-up special captures Carlin’s cultural commentary and biting topical criticism, that’s for sure. It contains his cynicism and bitterness, his political astuteness, and his ability to see through bullsh*t. Here are a few examples from the special:
“You know what Americans have to do to get a gun? Have the money to buy it. And that’s why nothing’s ever going to change in America. American politicians care about one thing and one thing only — taking your money. They don’t give a sh*t how many kids get killed in public schools, because their kids all go to the most expensive private schools in the world where they’re safe and sound.
Politicians have one goal — be rich enough to build their walls high enough to keep you out when the sh*t hits the fan. And the sh*t is starting to hit the fan. You know it and they know it too. Things are starting to come apart at the seams, so they’re taking as much of your money as they can while they still can, make no mistake.
“Guns ain’t nothing but a federally sanctioned cash grab. Plain and simple. You give your money to Smith and Wesson. Smith and Wesson gives it to the politicians. The politicians write laws to make guns easier to sell, so you can give even more of your money to Smith and Wesson. And the cycle repeats until your rich white baby boomer assh*le grandparents are standing on their front lawn with assault rifles, unloading full clips into anybody who stops to ask for directions.
“But don’t worry, I’ve given a lot of thought to this subject and I know the solution. Yes that’s right, I George Carlin, or whatever the f*ck I am now, know how to end mass shootings in America. It’s really simple, actually, and I’m surprised nobody has done it yet. You take all of the names of the politicians who are getting paid by gun lobbyists, and you put them in a hat. Every time there’s a mass shooting, you pull two names out and those two politicians have to have a shoot out at high noon right in front of the Capitol. Real Wild West sh*t, pretty f*cking American, right? And to make it even more American, you film the entire thing and turn it into a reality show.”
As disturbing as it is to say, George Carlin: I’m Glad I’m Dead makes a lot of sense and is often very funny. It’s uncanny how much it’s like Carlin, except in one major and horrifying way — it’s a little more compassionate and kind than Carlin’s other material. Especially near the end of his life, Carlin was a master misanthrope, and as much as he hated conservatives and people in power, he was hardly a social justice warrior. So to hear Carlin discussing “toxic white privilege,” saying that “everyone is trans,” and espousing the beauty of 2020 when people went outside to join anti-police protests, well, it’s all a little too nice.
Carlin would likely not be as kind and humane if he had to live through 2008 (his death) to 2024 (his post-death A.I. special). As the title suggests, Carlin would probably be lucky that he’s not alive today, the way the world is now. If he hadn’t died when he did, he probably would have ended it before things got to this point. Things are very strange (something the special specifically addresses, humorously and provocatively discussing A.I. itself), and as funny as this fake Carlin special is, it’s almost more horrifying. We’d beg the world to keep this technology out of the wrong hands, but it’s probably too late.
You can watch Sasso and Kultgen discuss the special and Dudesy on their video podcast below: