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Former CNN reporter Rick Sanchez may as well be living inside an episode of Rick and Morty because Sanchez says his identity has been swallowed by a cartoon.

Sanchez was riding high at CNN until he was fired from the network. At the time getting fired didn’t rattle Sanchez because he’d built a national brand that would allow him to continue in his career as a reporter – or so he thought. “I thought I’d have visibility and an identity on Google,” he explained to Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “But when I went in there (online), I said, wait a minute. I don’t exist. What’s going on? And then I realized that, over time, my name was diminishing more and more. And Rick Sanchez, the cartoon was was rising more and more.”

Rick Sanchez and ‘Rick and Morty’ creator both worked at Turner

Baffled and frustrated, Sanchez continued with his work, albeit having to battle with a cartoon character that had none of his characteristics except for his name. He often wondered about how co-creator Justin Roiland landed on the name Rick Sanchez, even though he admitted the name is somewhat common.

Rick Sanchez moderates an event
Rick Sanchez |Charley Gallay/WireImage

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But, in the back of his head, Sanchez always wondered if Roiland gleaned the name after they worked for the same company. “I always thought, it’s a Cartoon Network show,” he said. “The network is owned by Turner. Turner owns CNN. So parent company, Turner, Cartoon Network, CNN. I am a personality who worked at CNN and we were in the same building, and all of a sudden they come up with a show, and the lead character on the show was named Rick Sanchez.”

Rick Sanchez has proof Justin Roiland had heard of him before ‘Rick and Morty’

Sanchez always thought the mad scientist character of Rick Sanchez on Rick and Morty was just a coincidence … until recently. “And then one day, my producer and I were working on something, and he came across this video, which was amazing,” he recalled. “You see the creator of Rick and Morty in the video sitting on the couch. They’re doing the spoof show. And the guy who’s doing it was one of the actors in the spoof show is playing Rick Sanchez, the news guy. So that’s too big of a coincidence. I mean, you can say, wow, he just named Rick Sanchez out of nowhere. But now you’re on tape celebrating a guy named Rick Sanchez who is a newsperson.”

Sanchez shared the video on his podcast, which was shot long before Roiland launched Rick and Morty. He added, “By the way, I love these guys. I’m not suing them or anything. But “I’m just saying, please don’t tell me that you’ve never heard of me, because that’s impossible, especially in light of the fact that I got you on camera!”

Roiland and Sanchez spoke about the name and he still insisted the name Rick Sanchez in Rick and Morty was not inspired by the newsman.

He hopes to have a fun conversation about the cartoon creation someday

Sanchez recounted the quick conversation he had with Roiland. “We said, come on the show and we’ll talk and we’ll have this conversation. But he said he was busy. He couldn’t do it,” Sanchez said.

“But I’m going to try and see if I can get him back,” Sanchez insisted. “I mean, look, Justin, if you’re listening, I mean no harm. This can be fun. You want to have me on one of your gigs? I’ll go out with you. You can come on my show. It’s just a conversation.”

“I know in that world, there’s probably lawyers and PR people who are, like, freaking out,” he continued. But said, “I’m cool. I don’t need anything other than maybe somebody to say, yeah, you know, we kind of knew who you were at the time and, you know, so what? But it’s cool. And I’m flattered that my name is one of the biggest names in the world of cartoons. So that’s the only point I was trying to make. I’m not trying to be mean about this or anything.”