SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob SquarePants is an popular American animated television series shown on Nickelodeon, YTV, and Nicktoons Network created by marine biologist and animator, Stephen Hillenburg. SpongeBob SquarePants is a comedy set under the Pacific Ocean that uses puns (including the names of certain characters), non sequiturs, double-talk, breaking of the fourth wall, some crude humor, and other such antics to entertain the audience. The pilot episode first aired in the United States on Nickelodeon after the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on May Day (May 1), 1999. SpongeBob SquarePants officially aired on July 17 of the same year with the second episode, "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants." Most episodes take place in the town of Bikini Bottom or the surrounding lagoon floor.

Popularity

SpongeBob is the first "low budget" Nickelodeon cartoon, according to the network, to become extremely popular. Low-budget cartoons had not garnered as much esteem as higher-rated (and higher-budgeted) shows, such as Rugrats, although when SpongeBob aired in 1999, it had obtained a substantial amount of viewers in the ratings to be considered popular. SpongeBob follows some other Nickelodeon shows that have attracted "older" followers: The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, the Kablam! skits, Action League Now!, and The Angry Beavers. Other shows have followed in this trend as well: The Fairly OddParents and Invader Zim took a similar role when they aired in 2001, and the former is now second only to SpongeBob in popularity.

Broad appeal

The cartoon is designed to appeal to children as well as older viewers. This has a lot to do with the way underwater life and situations are represented, absurdly, as though they are almost equivalent to normal terrestrial lifestyles. Instead of cars, the residents of Bikini Bottom drive boats (with wheels). Once, while out in the wilderness, Patrick questions how they could have a camp fire on the lagoon bottom—the fire is immediately extinguished with a sizzle. A flurry of bubbles accompany many actions, just to remind the viewer everything is underwater. The main character, SpongeBob lives in a pineapple, while his neighbor Squidward lives in an Easter Island head and his other neighbor and best friend, Patrick lives under a rock. The suggestion is that both the head and the pineapple have fallen from a tropical island to become underwater habitats. SpongeBob's house-pet is a snail named Gary, who meows like a cat (though characters have shown signs of being able to understand him). In relation to this, underwater worms bark (and act) exactly like dogs, and are kept on chains. Jellyfish are the equivalent of bees (buzzing and stinging), but are collected or appreciated like butterflies and are used for their delicious jelly. Clams behave like birds, propelling themselves through the water with their shells and tweeting. In addition to this, instead of peanut butter, SpongeBob SquarePants uses what is called in Bikini Bottom "Sea-Nut Butter". SpongeBob's telephone is shaped like a conch and referred to as a "shell phone". Aside from the many undersea puns, some common products from the surface world have somehow found their way into Bikini Bottom, such as Canned Bread, Roast Beef, and even Pizza. SpongeBob works at the Krusty Krab, a restaurant seemingly based on McDonald's or Burger King.

SpongeBob is one cartoon in a long line of shows to put in more "adult" references, and has become so popular with the adult crowd that it has been shown on MTV and Spike TV. A certain quote by Patrick ("It's gonna rock!") has been used as a promo for rock stations. Ren and Stimpy, among others, had followed a similar path. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, released on November 19, 2004, features a cameo appearance by actor David Hasselhoff, reprising his role from the Baywatch TV series.

Part of the show's appeal has to do with the childlike nature of SpongeBob and his best friend, Patrick, both of whom are idiots and display an innocence typical of human children. However, the characters are not immune from more adult avocations, including rock musicianship in a stadium performance reminiscent of a hard rock concert.

When naming reasons why many fans believe Nickelodeon has gone downhill in recent years, SpongeBob is often listed as an exception. Its appeal to older audiences, as mentioned earlier, can be contributed to the show's crazy but witty and at times even sophisticated humor. The show also, unlike many current Nickelodeon cartoons, is not "mainstream" or "cliche". While many newer cartoons revolve around pre-adolescents with strange lives and feature massive amounts of pop-culture references (eg. Fairly Oddparents), SpongeBob chooses to go for a more teen/adult friendly formula that was used in highly sucessful older Nick cartoons such as Ren and Stimpy and Rocko's Modern Life, non-human young adults in crazy, unrealistic situations, with minimal pop culture references.

Unlike its mainstream-culture-promoting network, SpongeBob features many semi-obscure musicians who contribute to its soundtrack. Non-mainstream alternative rock bands such as Wilco, The Shins, The Flaming Lips and perhaps most notably Ween (who have contributed two original songs to the show and their 1997 classic "Ocean Man" to the movie soundtrack), as well as metal bands Pantera, Motorhead, and Twisted Sister have made appearances on the show and movies soundtracks, and classic thrash metal group Metallica even released a T-shirt featuring cartoon versions of them playing live with Spongebob & Patrick [1] (leading to as of yet unproven rumors that the band will appear on a future episode of the show). However, in a more typical Nickelodeon-style move, Avril Lavigne did the movie theme song.

Merchandising and marketing

Merchandise based on the show ranges from Kraft SuperMac & Cheese, Kellogg's cereal, and video games to boxer shorts, pajamas, and t-shirts. The show also spawned a large and popular merchandise line at Hot Topic, Claire's, RadioShack, Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys "R" Us stores. There have been kids meal tie-ins at Wendy's for SpongeBob's House Party Special in 2002 and at Burger King restaurants in 2001, 2003, and for the movie in 2004; in 2004, thieves stole nine-foot-high by nine-foot-wide SpongeBob inflatables from the Burger King restaurant franchises, demanding Krabby Patties as ransom. The ransom note was signed by someone in Minneapolis, Minnesota claiming to be Sheldon J. Plankton, a character from the show. SpongeBob was also featured on VH1's I Love the 90s: Part Deux: 1999 as part of a commentary by Michael Ian Black. More recently, a tie-in beverage for 7-Eleven convenience stores has been created, a pineapple-flavored Slurpee. Events in the past with the SpongeBob SquarePants theme include an exhibit at Underwater Adventures Aquarium in the Mall of America called SeaCrits of Bikini Bottom during the summer of 2003. In October 2004, a NASCAR Busch Series race was named The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300, presented by Lowe's and broadcast on TNT featuring Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's stock car and Kyle Busch's #5 stock car painted for the race with the SpongeBob Movie paint schemes. There were contests tied in with the movie where you could win SpongeBob-related items or a trip to the Cayman Islands. LEGO recieved license to produce SpongeBob SquarePants building sets, beginning to sell them in August 2006.

History

Origin (1993–1999)

SpongeBob's history can be traced back to 1993 when Rocko's Modern Life first aired. One of the producers was Stephen Hillenburg, a cartoon worker/marine biologist who loved both his careers. When Rocko's Modern Life was cancelled in 1997, Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob (although some sketches trace back to 1996). He teamed up with creative director Derek Drymon, who had worked on shows such as Doug, Action League Now!, and Hey Arnold!. Drymon had worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life as well, as did many SpongeBob crew members, including writer Tim Hill and voice actors Tom Kenny and Doug Lawrence. Another crew member with previous Nickelodeon cartoon experience was former Angry Beavers story editor Merriwether Williams, who worked on that show for its first few seasons and switched to SpongeBob in July 1999.

During production of the show, Hillenburg provided a concept of short comics with the same style of the show, but the characters looked different. SpongeBob used to be named SpongeBoy, and used to wear a red hat with a green base and a white business shirt with a tie. The name "SpongeBoy" did not make it into the show since the name was already officially trademarked by Bob Burden, creator of Flaming Carrot. Hillenburg later chose the alternative name "SpongeBob." The original name was once referenced in the show by Mr. Krabs' line, "SpongeBoy, me Bob!." The Krusty Krab was originally spelled with the letter C rather than K, but Stephen Hillenburg thought K's were funnier.

Rise to popularity (1999–2000)

SpongeBob blowing the sand off Squidward with his reef-blower.

In 1999, SpongeBob aired its first episode, "Help Wanted/Reef Blower/Tea at the Treedome", after the 1999 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. At this time, Rugrats was at the height of its popularity and had already outlived dozens of other lower-budget cartoons. SpongeBob, with its generally lower-class animation and humor style more rooted in clever word-play and culture-references unlike the potty humor that made Rugrats so popular, was expected to be just another one of those shows. Although it struggled in its early days, its ratings flew up. After about a year, it surpassed Rugrats as Nick's most highly rated show. SpongeBob's signature voice (provided by Kenny) and humorous style was enjoyable to both younger and older audiences. Many people attribute the "Fall Of Rugrats/Klasky-Csupo/Rise Of Low-Budget Cartoons" to SpongeBob.

Peak years (2000–2003)

The show began its second season in 2000 with more high-quality animation and even more popular episodes. By then it was clear to the world that SpongeBob had opened the door to many other cartoons to use more "adult" senses of humor and come from smaller companies. In 2001, The Fairly OddParents aired from the then-small Frederator company. It focused on a sense of humor similar to SpongeBob’s, only more realistic, slightly crazier (and more suggestive to "adult" topics), and with more pop culture references; this show managed to become a hit as well and currently ranks behind SpongeBob as Nick's second most popular show. That same year, Invader Zim aired, created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez; it had a dark but silly sense of humor (similar to Vasquez's other comic books) that managed to attract a very loyal cult following consisting more of teens and adults than young children (though also containing a moderate amount of preteens). SpongeBob, however, was the leader of all these shows and had by this time started its now famous merchandise line.

2002 also saw a bright side, as the first part of that year saw SpongeBob at its peak. The beginning of the third season produced many classic episodes and focused on the same style and animation concepts. The year also saw another more low-budget show with popularity (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius), but things changed late in the year. Due to rumors of a movie, there was high speculation that the show would be cancelled and that 2003/2004 would feature the last season of new episodes. Fans were devastated and online petitions were widely distributed to convince Nickelodeon to produce more episodes by showing continuing fan support. SpongeBob Meets The Strangler/Pranks A Lot" was the last episode of this season, and aired in October of 2004. Following this, the movie was released in November of that year.

Hiatus/Movie Era (2003–2005)

The show continued to gain high approval ratings despite a lack of new episodes, and many fans feared they would never air. The president of Nickelodeon announced that the show would continue without Hillenburg featuring Paul Tibbitt as supervising producer and Derek Drymon taking over Hillenburg's spot as executive producer. As its movie only achieved over $85,000,000 in revenue in the United States, perhaps because of the shows popularity showing something of a decline at the time of it's release. The Rugrats Movie, on the other hand, earned over $100,000,000 in the United States. (It was around this time that the animated series which it is based on, Rugrats, was at the height of its popularity. Ironically, that movie would also be considered Rugrats' jump the shark moment by many fans.)

See Controversy for more information.

The Big Comeback (2005- )

Fear of a Krabby Patty

TV advertisements for SpongeBob's fourth season first aired publicly during the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The new episodes began airing on May 6, 2005. So far, four new episodes and nine segments of new episodes have aired, with more upcoming including a sixth Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy.

The first new episode of Season 4, "Fear Of A Krabby Patty/Shell Of A Man", was a huge hit with many fans who had long been bored with the show and many more faithful ones who have been waiting for new episodes for years.

After airing three new episodes on Fridays from May 6 to May 20, Nickelodeon did not premiere any new SpongeBob episodes until September 2005.

For the first time in SpongeBob's run, Nickelodeon began airing 11-minute segments of new episodes separately, spread over two weeks. This practice began with the airing of the episode "Selling Out" on September 23; its companion episode, "Funny Pants," premiered the following week on September 30 (Nickelodeon did air "Selling Out" and "Funny Pants" together as a rerun on October 9, 2005). Many fans are outraged, but it should be noted that the change in format is at Nickelodeon's insistence, rather than the SpongeBob creators.

The Star Online eCentral reports that Nickelodeon has ordered 20 more episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants, bringing the show’s total amount of episodes to 100. The episodes are projected to have finished airing sometime in 2007. Regarding the new order of SpongeBob cartoons, Cyma Zarghami, Nickelodeon’s chief executive, responded, “It just doesn’t feel like we should stop yet.” This is quite relevant, as recently the show has seen some of it's highest ratings since it's peak years in the early 2000's, and, while some more observant fans are skeptical, has returned without an excessive amount of fans believing it has "jumped the shark".

SpongeBob has been picked up for a fifth season on Nickelodeon, with potential for a sixth season; new episodes will air from 2006 to 2007.

Characters

  • Main article SpongeBob SquarePants characters

Voice actors and their characters

  • Tom Kenny: SpongeBob SquarePants, Gary the Snail, French Narrator, Patchy the Pirate, Mr. SquarePants, Uncle Sherm SquarePants, Grandpa SquarePants, Fred (Home Sweet Pineapple), Tom
  • Dee Bradley Baker: Squilliam Fancyson, Various squids, customers, vendors
  • Rodger Bumpass: Squidward Tentacles, Mama Tentacles, the Doctorfish,
  • Bill Fagerbakke: Patrick Star
  • Carolyn Lawrence: Sandy Cheeks
  • Clancy Brown: Eugene Krabs
  • Doug Lawrence (a.k.a. Mr. Lawrence): Sheldon J. Plankton, Larry Lobster, Fred, Tom
  • Lori Alan: Pearl Krabs, Patrick's mother
  • Mary Jo Catlett: Mrs. Poppy Puff, Mrs. SquarePants
  • Sirena Irwin: Mrs. SquarePants, Mama Krabs (Enemy In-Law-present)
  • Lauren Tom: Mrs. SquarePants (No Free Rides)
  • Paul Tibbitt: Mama Krabs (Sailor Mouth, Mid-Life Crustacean)
  • Stephen Hillenburg: Polly the Parrot
  • Brian Doyle-Murray: The Flying Dutchman
  • Marion Ross: Grandma SquarePants
  • Jill Talley: Karen (Plankton's computer wife)
  • Carlos Alazraqui: Additional Voices (Seasons 1-3)
  • Thomas F. Wilson: Additional Voices
  • Clea Lewis: Additional Voices (Seasons 2-)

Guest Voices and Stars in Some Episodes

  • Tiny Tim: Himself (Musical Performer) (Help Wanted)
  • Ernest Borgnine: Mermaid Man
  • Tim Conway: Barnacle Boy
  • Charles Nelson Reilly: The Dirty Bubble (Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II/Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V)
  • John Rhys-Davies: Man Ray
  • John O'Hurley: King Neptune (Neptune's Spatula)
  • Sergio Ristie: King Neptune (SpongeBob's House Party (Party Pooper Pants))
  • Kevin Michael Richardson: King Neptune (voice in SpongeBob's House Party (Party Pooper Pants))
  • Thomas F. Wilson: The Tattle-Tale Strangler, Reg, Marty, Patrick's father, others

Guest Voices and Stars in the Movie

  • Jeffrey Tambor: King Neptune
  • Scarlett Johansson: Princess Mindy
  • Alec Baldwin: Dennis the Hitman
  • David Hasselhoff: Himself

Theme song

The theme song, primarily based on the sea shanty, "Blow the Man Down", is the principal song used in the series. It is sung by Patchy the Pirate, voiced by Pat Pinney, and can be found on the soundtrack, SpongeBob SquarePants: Original Theme Highlights. A cover of the song by Avril Lavigne can be found on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (soundtrack). A choral version was recorded for the SpongeBob Christmas special where the last words, "SquarePants", were replaced by "Christmas special". The song can also be found on The Yellow Album.

Controversy

Despite the show's popularity, SpongeBob has had to endure much controversy. This is not new for Nickelodeon. Many of its cartoons, including Ren & Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, The Angry Beavers, Invader Zim, and The Fairly OddParents, have sparked controversy in one way or another. However, SpongeBob's popularity has made the controversy surrounding it more noticeable and of a larger scale.

Notably, SpongeBob's cheerful attitude and his close friendship with Patrick led some viewers to the conclusion that the sponge was the next gay icon. Around the beginning of the third season, SpongeBob and Patrick were frequently depicted holding hands. In the 2002 episode "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve", SpongeBob and Patrick adopt a baby scallop, furthering the rumours because of the implications that the two made major life decisions together, as a couple would. This episode was never aired in the Philippines India, Israel, and Italy because the people there may have thought the episode resembles homosexuality. In three episodes, SpongeBob is portrayed for brief moments in women's clothing, although it should be noted that other cartoon and slapstick characters, such as Bugs Bunny, have done the same; in this regard, SpongeBob falls squarely in the pantheon of characters who have actively gone above the limits and endured controversy as a result.

Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the show, states SpongeBob to be asexual, as he is a sponge. In support of this statement, in early episodes it's revealed that SpongeBob reproduces by budding and making baby sponges come out of his holes; this is not so different than what real sponges do. But some fans argue that SpongeBob has a human-like sexual identity, because sometimes he will panic when he's shown not wearing underwear, as if he were a human, and run back to his pineapple and hide.

There are actually many heterosexual relationships on the show (eg. Mr. Krabs/Mrs. Puff, SpongeBob's parents, Pearl/Octavious Rex, Plankton/Mama Krabs, Gary/Snellie, Plankton/Karen, Patrick/Mindy, and in many early episodes there is a slight romantic relationship between SpongeBob and Sandy, automatically disproving any rumors that Spongebob could ever be homosexual); aside from the "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" controversy there are arguably no gay relationships at all.

More recently, SpongeBob was featured in the pro-tolerance "We Are Family" commercial, along with many other cartoon characters. The video has sparked controversy because some conservative Christian groups believe that the We Are Family Foundation was using it to promote the normalization of homosexuality in American schools. A spokesman for the foundation suggests that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased."[2]. Many fans have also pointed to the fact that many more characters besides SpongeBob were featured in the commercial, and SpongeBob's appearance is only a few seconds long. It has been incorrectly reported that James Dobson, a leading figure among many conservative Christians, believes SpongeBob is homosexual or promotes a homosexual lifestyle.

Stephen Hillenburg announced publicly that SpongeBob and Patrick are not gay.

Main Crew

  • Stephen Hillenburg: Creator/Executive Producer (1999-2004; Remains Active In Production Team, But No Longer Producer Of Show)
  • Paul Tibbitt: Writer/Storyboard Director/Supervising Producer (2004- )
  • Derek Drymon: Creative Director/Writer/Story Editor
  • Sherm Cohen: Storyboard Supervisor/Writer
  • Caleb Muerer: Art Director/Storyboard Artist
  • Merriwether Williams: Story Editor/Writer
  • Doug Lawrence (a.k.a. Mr. Lawrence): Writer/Story Editor
  • Chuck Klein: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • Jay Lender: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • Sam Henderson: Writer/Storyboard Director
  • Kaz: Writer/Storyboard Artist
  • Aaron Springer: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • C.H. Greenblatt: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • Steven Banks: Head Writer (2004—)
  • Tim Hill: Writer
  • Eric Wiese: Writer/Storyboard Artist
  • Mark O'Hare: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • Steven Fonti: Writer/Storyboard Director (1999)
  • Chris Mitchell: Writer/Storyboard Artist (1999)
  • Mike Bell: Writer/Storyboard Director (2005—)
  • Vincent Waller: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director/Technical Director (2005—)
  • Bradley Carow: Music
  • Sage Guyton: Music
  • Steven Belfer: Music
  • Jeremy Wakefield: Music
  • Nicholas Carr: Music
  • David Wigforss: Special Effects (CG visual effects animator)
  • Andy Rheingold: Executive in Charge of Production
  • Alan Smart: Animation Director
  • Tom Yasumi: Animation Director
  • Andrew Overtoom: Animation Director
  • Jimmy Stone: Animation Director
  • Sean Dempsey: Animation Director

Episodes, movies, and spin-offs

SpongeBob SquarePants episodes

SpongeBob SquarePants movies

  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

SpongeBob SquarePants theatrical shorts

  • There will be a SpongeBob SquarePants theatrical short playing before the computer-animated 2006 film, Barnyard.

SpongeBob SquarePants spin-offs

  • Astrology With Squidward is a spin-off short from SpongeBob SquarePants. It features the character Squidward explaining astrological stereotypes, through characters on the show. Featured characters have included:
    • Patrick: Taurus (stereotype: thick-headed)
    • SpongeBob: Sagittarius (stereotype: overly enthusiastic, optimistic, and foolish)
    • Plankton: Leo (stereotype: diabolical and plotting), among others. In one short, Plankton is depicted as a Leo.
    • Squidward: Capricorn (on the Tropical zodiac) or Libra (stereotype: likes the finer things in life, taking it easy, wants to do no work (on the Sidereal zodiac))
    • Mr. Krabs: Cancer

Trivia

  • The pirate in the painting saying "Are you ready kids?" - "I can't hear you" in the beginning theme sequence had a chroma key used for the moving lips.
  • In the episode "Help Wanted", SpongeBob can be seen with a pet scallop in a cage next to his bed. It can also be seen in the episode "Something Smells", along with many others. According to the Season 1 DVD, its name is Shelly.
  • According to the insider book SpongeBob Exposed, the creator of the show, Steve Hillenburg, said that the policy of his show is to not do jokes about or reference pop culture and current events; the show's characters are isolated from the real world. He wants his cartoon to be a timeless classic. Hillenburg has said that he intends to pass that concept over to the new people in charge of the show. Although the show occasionally does make reference to pop-culture, the examples are never specific.
  • The show is "timeless" since the episodes have no dates that are set into stone and very few topical references or instances of continuity (the Krusty Krab is destroyed quite often).
  • In the first series, it was possible to hear one fish scream "my legs!" in most or all episodes, usually at some point of inconsequential destruction, such as a boating school

incident involving Mrs. Puff, who is a blowfish expanding into an air balloon.

  • In "Bubble Buddy," Spongebob celebrates Leif Erikson Day, which is a real US observance held on October 9th; the narration indicated that Spongebob actually invented the day.
  • Nearly every episode contains one still or motion non-animated sequence.
  • The events in the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie are not canonical with the events in the TV series. In the movie there is a second Krusty Krab (Krusty Krab 2), SpongeBob gets a promotion towards the end of the movie and dons a large "MANAGER" hat during the credits as well as other details.

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Puff, who is a blowfish expanding into an air balloon. Famous Jacksons include:. incident involving Mrs. Jackson is also a common family name in English speaking countries Meaning "son of Jack". Stephen Hillenburg announced publicly that SpongeBob and Patrick are not gay. . It has been incorrectly reported that James Dobson, a leading figure among many conservative Christians, believes SpongeBob is homosexual or promotes a homosexual lifestyle. "Jackson", a song recorded by Johnny Cash and others.

Many fans have also pointed to the fact that many more characters besides SpongeBob were featured in the commercial, and SpongeBob's appearance is only a few seconds long. Jackson Structured Programming. A spokesman for the foundation suggests that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased."[2]. Jackson Guitars. The video has sparked controversy because some conservative Christian groups believe that the We Are Family Foundation was using it to promote the normalization of homosexuality in American schools. Jackson Pollock, American abstract painter. More recently, SpongeBob was featured in the pro-tolerance "We Are Family" commercial, along with many other cartoon characters. Jackson Browne, American singer.

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This episode was never aired in the Philippines India, Israel, and Italy because the people there may have thought the episode resembles homosexuality. Les Jackson. In the 2002 episode "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve", SpongeBob and Patrick adopt a baby scallop, furthering the rumours because of the implications that the two made major life decisions together, as a couple would. Gordon Jackson (actor). Around the beginning of the third season, SpongeBob and Patrick were frequently depicted holding hands. Dewey Jackson. Notably, SpongeBob's cheerful attitude and his close friendship with Patrick led some viewers to the conclusion that the sponge was the next gay icon. Bill Jackson.

However, SpongeBob's popularity has made the controversy surrounding it more noticeable and of a larger scale. Anthony Jackson, bass player. Many of its cartoons, including Ren & Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, The Angry Beavers, Invader Zim, and The Fairly OddParents, have sparked controversy in one way or another. Arthur Jackson. This is not new for Nickelodeon. Patrick Tracy Jackson. Despite the show's popularity, SpongeBob has had to endure much controversy. Jonathan Jackson (delegate).

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    The theme song, primarily based on the sea shanty, "Blow the Man Down", is the principal song used in the series. Frank G. SpongeBob has been picked up for a fifth season on Nickelodeon, with potential for a sixth season; new episodes will air from 2006 to 2007. Peter Jackson, director. Regarding the new order of SpongeBob cartoons, Cyma Zarghami, Nickelodeon’s chief executive, responded, “It just doesn’t feel like we should stop yet.” This is quite relevant, as recently the show has seen some of it's highest ratings since it's peak years in the early 2000's, and, while some more observant fans are skeptical, has returned without an excessive amount of fans believing it has "jumped the shark". Jackson, computer scientist. The episodes are projected to have finished airing sometime in 2007. Michael A.

    The Star Online eCentral reports that Nickelodeon has ordered 20 more episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants, bringing the show’s total amount of episodes to 100. Jackson. Many fans are outraged, but it should be noted that the change in format is at Nickelodeon's insistence, rather than the SpongeBob creators. Stonewall Jackson, General Thomas J. This practice began with the airing of the episode "Selling Out" on September 23; its companion episode, "Funny Pants," premiered the following week on September 30 (Nickelodeon did air "Selling Out" and "Funny Pants" together as a rerun on October 9, 2005). Phil Jackson, basketball coach. For the first time in SpongeBob's run, Nickelodeon began airing 11-minute segments of new episodes separately, spread over two weeks. Reggie Jackson, baseball player.

    After airing three new episodes on Fridays from May 6 to May 20, Nickelodeon did not premiere any new SpongeBob episodes until September 2005. Shoeless Joe Jackson, baseball player. The first new episode of Season 4, "Fear Of A Krabby Patty/Shell Of A Man", was a huge hit with many fans who had long been bored with the show and many more faithful ones who have been waiting for new episodes for years. Jackson, actor. So far, four new episodes and nine segments of new episodes have aired, with more upcoming including a sixth Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy. Samuel L. The new episodes began airing on May 6, 2005. Joe Jackson (musician), country star.

    TV advertisements for SpongeBob's fourth season first aired publicly during the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Alan Jackson, country star. See Controversy for more information.. Katherine Jackson. Ironically, that movie would also be considered Rugrats' jump the shark moment by many fans.). Joseph Jackson. (It was around this time that the animated series which it is based on, Rugrats, was at the height of its popularity. The Jackson 5.

    The Rugrats Movie, on the other hand, earned over $100,000,000 in the United States. Rebbie Jackson. As its movie only achieved over $85,000,000 in revenue in the United States, perhaps because of the shows popularity showing something of a decline at the time of it's release. Jackie Jackson. The president of Nickelodeon announced that the show would continue without Hillenburg featuring Paul Tibbitt as supervising producer and Derek Drymon taking over Hillenburg's spot as executive producer. Randy Jackson (musician). The show continued to gain high approval ratings despite a lack of new episodes, and many fans feared they would never air. Marlon Jackson.

    Following this, the movie was released in November of that year. Tito Jackson. SpongeBob Meets The Strangler/Pranks A Lot" was the last episode of this season, and aired in October of 2004. LaToya Jackson. Fans were devastated and online petitions were widely distributed to convince Nickelodeon to produce more episodes by showing continuing fan support. Jermaine Jackson. Due to rumors of a movie, there was high speculation that the show would be cancelled and that 2003/2004 would feature the last season of new episodes. Janet Jackson.

    The year also saw another more low-budget show with popularity (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius), but things changed late in the year. Michael Jackson. The beginning of the third season produced many classic episodes and focused on the same style and animation concepts. The members of the musical Jackson family from Gary, Indiana:

      . 2002 also saw a bright side, as the first part of that year saw SpongeBob at its peak. Jesse Jackson, civil rights leader. SpongeBob, however, was the leader of all these shows and had by this time started its now famous merchandise line. President.

      That same year, Invader Zim aired, created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez; it had a dark but silly sense of humor (similar to Vasquez's other comic books) that managed to attract a very loyal cult following consisting more of teens and adults than young children (though also containing a moderate amount of preteens). Andrew Jackson, U.S. It focused on a sense of humor similar to SpongeBob’s, only more realistic, slightly crazier (and more suggestive to "adult" topics), and with more pop culture references; this show managed to become a hit as well and currently ranks behind SpongeBob as Nick's second most popular show. Mount Jackson, Virginia. In 2001, The Fairly OddParents aired from the then-small Frederator company. Lake Jackson, Texas. By then it was clear to the world that SpongeBob had opened the door to many other cartoons to use more "adult" senses of humor and come from smaller companies. Jackson Junction, Iowa.

      The show began its second season in 2000 with more high-quality animation and even more popular episodes. Jackson Center, Pennsylvania. Many people attribute the "Fall Of Rugrats/Klasky-Csupo/Rise Of Low-Budget Cartoons" to SpongeBob. Jackson Center, Ohio. SpongeBob's signature voice (provided by Kenny) and humorous style was enjoyable to both younger and older audiences. Jackson County, Wisconsin. After about a year, it surpassed Rugrats as Nick's most highly rated show. Jackson County, West Virginia.

      Although it struggled in its early days, its ratings flew up. Jackson County, Texas. SpongeBob, with its generally lower-class animation and humor style more rooted in clever word-play and culture-references unlike the potty humor that made Rugrats so popular, was expected to be just another one of those shows. Jackson County, Tennessee. At this time, Rugrats was at the height of its popularity and had already outlived dozens of other lower-budget cartoons. Jackson County, South Dakota. In 1999, SpongeBob aired its first episode, "Help Wanted/Reef Blower/Tea at the Treedome", after the 1999 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Jackson County, Oregon.

      Krabs' line, "SpongeBoy, me Bob!." The Krusty Krab was originally spelled with the letter C rather than K, but Stephen Hillenburg thought K's were funnier. Jackson County, Oklahoma. Hillenburg later chose the alternative name "SpongeBob." The original name was once referenced in the show by Mr. Jackson County, Ohio. The name "SpongeBoy" did not make it into the show since the name was already officially trademarked by Bob Burden, creator of Flaming Carrot. Jackson County, North Carolina. SpongeBob used to be named SpongeBoy, and used to wear a red hat with a green base and a white business shirt with a tie. Jackson County, Missouri.

      During production of the show, Hillenburg provided a concept of short comics with the same style of the show, but the characters looked different. Jackson County, Mississippi. Another crew member with previous Nickelodeon cartoon experience was former Angry Beavers story editor Merriwether Williams, who worked on that show for its first few seasons and switched to SpongeBob in July 1999. Jackson County, Minnesota. Drymon had worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life as well, as did many SpongeBob crew members, including writer Tim Hill and voice actors Tom Kenny and Doug Lawrence. Jackson County, Michigan. He teamed up with creative director Derek Drymon, who had worked on shows such as Doug, Action League Now!, and Hey Arnold!. Jackson Parish, Louisiana.

      When Rocko's Modern Life was cancelled in 1997, Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob (although some sketches trace back to 1996). Jackson County, Kentucky. One of the producers was Stephen Hillenburg, a cartoon worker/marine biologist who loved both his careers. Jackson County, Kansas. SpongeBob's history can be traced back to 1993 when Rocko's Modern Life first aired. Jackson County, Iowa. LEGO recieved license to produce SpongeBob SquarePants building sets, beginning to sell them in August 2006. Jackson County, Indiana.

      There were contests tied in with the movie where you could win SpongeBob-related items or a trip to the Cayman Islands. Jackson County, Illinois. In October 2004, a NASCAR Busch Series race was named The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300, presented by Lowe's and broadcast on TNT featuring Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's stock car and Kyle Busch's #5 stock car painted for the race with the SpongeBob Movie paint schemes. Jackson County, Georgia. Events in the past with the SpongeBob SquarePants theme include an exhibit at Underwater Adventures Aquarium in the Mall of America called SeaCrits of Bikini Bottom during the summer of 2003. Jackson County, Florida. More recently, a tie-in beverage for 7-Eleven convenience stores has been created, a pineapple-flavored Slurpee. Jackson County, Colorado.

      SpongeBob was also featured on VH1's I Love the 90s: Part Deux: 1999 as part of a commentary by Michael Ian Black. Jackson County, Arkansas. Plankton, a character from the show. Jackson County, Alabama. The ransom note was signed by someone in Minneapolis, Minnesota claiming to be Sheldon J. Jackson, Wisconsin. There have been kids meal tie-ins at Wendy's for SpongeBob's House Party Special in 2002 and at Burger King restaurants in 2001, 2003, and for the movie in 2004; in 2004, thieves stole nine-foot-high by nine-foot-wide SpongeBob inflatables from the Burger King restaurant franchises, demanding Krabby Patties as ransom. Jackson, Rhode Island.

      The show also spawned a large and popular merchandise line at Hot Topic, Claire's, RadioShack, Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys "R" Us stores. Jackson, New Jersey. Merchandise based on the show ranges from Kraft SuperMac & Cheese, Kellogg's cereal, and video games to boxer shorts, pajamas, and t-shirts. Jackson, Nebraska. However, in a more typical Nickelodeon-style move, Avril Lavigne did the movie theme song. Jackson Township, South Dakota (two). Non-mainstream alternative rock bands such as Wilco, The Shins, The Flaming Lips and perhaps most notably Ween (who have contributed two original songs to the show and their 1997 classic "Ocean Man" to the movie soundtrack), as well as metal bands Pantera, Motorhead, and Twisted Sister have made appearances on the show and movies soundtracks, and classic thrash metal group Metallica even released a T-shirt featuring cartoon versions of them playing live with Spongebob & Patrick [1] (leading to as of yet unproven rumors that the band will appear on a future episode of the show). Jackson Township, Pennsylvania (eighteen).

      Unlike its mainstream-culture-promoting network, SpongeBob features many semi-obscure musicians who contribute to its soundtrack. Jackson Township, Ohio (thirty-seven). Fairly Oddparents), SpongeBob chooses to go for a more teen/adult friendly formula that was used in highly sucessful older Nick cartoons such as Ren and Stimpy and Rocko's Modern Life, non-human young adults in crazy, unrealistic situations, with minimal pop culture references. Jackson Township, North Dakota. While many newer cartoons revolve around pre-adolescents with strange lives and feature massive amounts of pop-culture references (eg. Jackson Township, North Carolina (three). The show also, unlike many current Nickelodeon cartoons, is not "mainstream" or "cliche". Jackson Township, New Jersey.

      Its appeal to older audiences, as mentioned earlier, can be contributed to the show's crazy but witty and at times even sophisticated humor. Jackson Township, Nebraska. When naming reasons why many fans believe Nickelodeon has gone downhill in recent years, SpongeBob is often listed as an exception. Jackson Township, Missouri (thirty-five). However, the characters are not immune from more adult avocations, including rock musicianship in a stadium performance reminiscent of a hard rock concert. Jackson Township, Minnesota. Part of the show's appeal has to do with the childlike nature of SpongeBob and his best friend, Patrick, both of whom are idiots and display an innocence typical of human children. Jackson Township, Kansas (nine).

      The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, released on November 19, 2004, features a cameo appearance by actor David Hasselhoff, reprising his role from the Baywatch TV series. Jackson Township, Iowa (thirty-two). Ren and Stimpy, among others, had followed a similar path. Jackson Township, Indiana (forty-seven). A certain quote by Patrick ("It's gonna rock!") has been used as a promo for rock stations. Jackson Township, Illinois (two). SpongeBob is one cartoon in a long line of shows to put in more "adult" references, and has become so popular with the adult crowd that it has been shown on MTV and Spike TV. Jackson Township, Arkansas (thirteen).

      SpongeBob works at the Krusty Krab, a restaurant seemingly based on McDonald's or Burger King. Jackson, Wyoming. Aside from the many undersea puns, some common products from the surface world have somehow found their way into Bikini Bottom, such as Canned Bread, Roast Beef, and even Pizza. Jackson (town), Wisconsin, three different towns. SpongeBob's telephone is shaped like a conch and referred to as a "shell phone". Jackson, South Carolina. In addition to this, instead of peanut butter, SpongeBob SquarePants uses what is called in Bikini Bottom "Sea-Nut Butter". Jackson, North Carolina.

      Clams behave like birds, propelling themselves through the water with their shells and tweeting. Jackson, New York. Jellyfish are the equivalent of bees (buzzing and stinging), but are collected or appreciated like butterflies and are used for their delicious jelly. Jackson, New Hampshire. In relation to this, underwater worms bark (and act) exactly like dogs, and are kept on chains. Jackson, Maine. SpongeBob's house-pet is a snail named Gary, who meows like a cat (though characters have shown signs of being able to understand him). Jackson, Louisiana.

      The suggestion is that both the head and the pineapple have fallen from a tropical island to become underwater habitats. Jackson, Tennessee. The main character, SpongeBob lives in a pineapple, while his neighbor Squidward lives in an Easter Island head and his other neighbor and best friend, Patrick lives under a rock. Jackson, Ohio. A flurry of bubbles accompany many actions, just to remind the viewer everything is underwater. Jackson, Missouri. Once, while out in the wilderness, Patrick questions how they could have a camp fire on the lagoon bottom—the fire is immediately extinguished with a sizzle. Jackson, Mississippi, state capital.

      Instead of cars, the residents of Bikini Bottom drive boats (with wheels). Jackson, Minnesota. This has a lot to do with the way underwater life and situations are represented, absurdly, as though they are almost equivalent to normal terrestrial lifestyles. Jackson, Michigan. The cartoon is designed to appeal to children as well as older viewers. Jackson, Kentucky. Other shows have followed in this trend as well: The Fairly OddParents and Invader Zim took a similar role when they aired in 2001, and the former is now second only to SpongeBob in popularity. Jackson, Georgia.

      SpongeBob follows some other Nickelodeon shows that have attracted "older" followers: The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, the Kablam! skits, Action League Now!, and The Angry Beavers. Jackson, California. Low-budget cartoons had not garnered as much esteem as higher-rated (and higher-budgeted) shows, such as Rugrats, although when SpongeBob aired in 1999, it had obtained a substantial amount of viewers in the ratings to be considered popular. Jackson, Alabama. SpongeBob is the first "low budget" Nickelodeon cartoon, according to the network, to become extremely popular. .

      SpongeBob SquarePants officially aired on July 17 of the same year with the second episode, "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants." Most episodes take place in the town of Bikini Bottom or the surrounding lagoon floor. The pilot episode first aired in the United States on Nickelodeon after the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on May Day (May 1), 1999. SpongeBob SquarePants is a comedy set under the Pacific Ocean that uses puns (including the names of certain characters), non sequiturs, double-talk, breaking of the fourth wall, some crude humor, and other such antics to entertain the audience. SpongeBob SquarePants is an popular American animated television series shown on Nickelodeon, YTV, and Nicktoons Network created by marine biologist and animator, Stephen Hillenburg.

      In the movie there is a second Krusty Krab (Krusty Krab 2), SpongeBob gets a promotion towards the end of the movie and dons a large "MANAGER" hat during the credits as well as other details. The events in the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie are not canonical with the events in the TV series. Nearly every episode contains one still or motion non-animated sequence. In "Bubble Buddy," Spongebob celebrates Leif Erikson Day, which is a real US observance held on October 9th; the narration indicated that Spongebob actually invented the day.

      In the first series, it was possible to hear one fish scream "my legs!" in most or all episodes, usually at some point of inconsequential destruction, such as a boating school. The show is "timeless" since the episodes have no dates that are set into stone and very few topical references or instances of continuity (the Krusty Krab is destroyed quite often). Although the show occasionally does make reference to pop-culture, the examples are never specific. Hillenburg has said that he intends to pass that concept over to the new people in charge of the show.

      He wants his cartoon to be a timeless classic. According to the insider book SpongeBob Exposed, the creator of the show, Steve Hillenburg, said that the policy of his show is to not do jokes about or reference pop culture and current events; the show's characters are isolated from the real world. According to the Season 1 DVD, its name is Shelly. It can also be seen in the episode "Something Smells", along with many others.

      In the episode "Help Wanted", SpongeBob can be seen with a pet scallop in a cage next to his bed. The pirate in the painting saying "Are you ready kids?" - "I can't hear you" in the beginning theme sequence had a chroma key used for the moving lips. Krabs: Cancer. Mr.

      Squidward: Capricorn (on the Tropical zodiac) or Libra (stereotype: likes the finer things in life, taking it easy, wants to do no work (on the Sidereal zodiac)). In one short, Plankton is depicted as a Leo. Plankton: Leo (stereotype: diabolical and plotting), among others. SpongeBob: Sagittarius (stereotype: overly enthusiastic, optimistic, and foolish).

      Patrick: Taurus (stereotype: thick-headed). Featured characters have included:

        . It features the character Squidward explaining astrological stereotypes, through characters on the show. Astrology With Squidward is a spin-off short from SpongeBob SquarePants.

        There will be a SpongeBob SquarePants theatrical short playing before the computer-animated 2006 film, Barnyard.. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Sean Dempsey: Animation Director. Jimmy Stone: Animation Director.

        Andrew Overtoom: Animation Director. Tom Yasumi: Animation Director. Alan Smart: Animation Director. Andy Rheingold: Executive in Charge of Production.

        David Wigforss: Special Effects (CG visual effects animator). Nicholas Carr: Music. Jeremy Wakefield: Music. Steven Belfer: Music.

        Sage Guyton: Music. Bradley Carow: Music. Vincent Waller: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director/Technical Director (2005—). Mike Bell: Writer/Storyboard Director (2005—).

        Chris Mitchell: Writer/Storyboard Artist (1999). Steven Fonti: Writer/Storyboard Director (1999). Mark O'Hare: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director. Eric Wiese: Writer/Storyboard Artist.

        Tim Hill: Writer. Steven Banks: Head Writer (2004—). Greenblatt: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director. C.H.

        Aaron Springer: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director. Kaz: Writer/Storyboard Artist. Sam Henderson: Writer/Storyboard Director. Jay Lender: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director.

        Chuck Klein: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director. Lawrence): Writer/Story Editor. Mr. Doug Lawrence (a.k.a.

        Merriwether Williams: Story Editor/Writer. Caleb Muerer: Art Director/Storyboard Artist. Sherm Cohen: Storyboard Supervisor/Writer. Derek Drymon: Creative Director/Writer/Story Editor.

        Paul Tibbitt: Writer/Storyboard Director/Supervising Producer (2004- ). Stephen Hillenburg: Creator/Executive Producer (1999-2004; Remains Active In Production Team, But No Longer Producer Of Show). David Hasselhoff: Himself. Alec Baldwin: Dennis the Hitman.

        Scarlett Johansson: Princess Mindy. Jeffrey Tambor: King Neptune. Wilson: The Tattle-Tale Strangler, Reg, Marty, Patrick's father, others. Thomas F.

        Kevin Michael Richardson: King Neptune (voice in SpongeBob's House Party (Party Pooper Pants)). Sergio Ristie: King Neptune (SpongeBob's House Party (Party Pooper Pants)). John O'Hurley: King Neptune (Neptune's Spatula). John Rhys-Davies: Man Ray.

        Charles Nelson Reilly: The Dirty Bubble (Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II/Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V). Tim Conway: Barnacle Boy. Ernest Borgnine: Mermaid Man. Tiny Tim: Himself (Musical Performer) (Help Wanted).

        Clea Lewis: Additional Voices (Seasons 2-). Wilson: Additional Voices. Thomas F. Carlos Alazraqui: Additional Voices (Seasons 1-3).

        Jill Talley: Karen (Plankton's computer wife). Marion Ross: Grandma SquarePants. Brian Doyle-Murray: The Flying Dutchman. Stephen Hillenburg: Polly the Parrot.

        Paul Tibbitt: Mama Krabs (Sailor Mouth, Mid-Life Crustacean). SquarePants (No Free Rides). Lauren Tom: Mrs. SquarePants, Mama Krabs (Enemy In-Law-present).

        Sirena Irwin: Mrs. SquarePants. Poppy Puff, Mrs. Mary Jo Catlett: Mrs.

        Lori Alan: Pearl Krabs, Patrick's mother. Plankton, Larry Lobster, Fred, Tom. Lawrence): Sheldon J. Mr.

        Doug Lawrence (a.k.a. Clancy Brown: Eugene Krabs. Carolyn Lawrence: Sandy Cheeks. Bill Fagerbakke: Patrick Star.

        Rodger Bumpass: Squidward Tentacles, Mama Tentacles, the Doctorfish,. Dee Bradley Baker: Squilliam Fancyson, Various squids, customers, vendors. SquarePants, Uncle Sherm SquarePants, Grandpa SquarePants, Fred (Home Sweet Pineapple), Tom. Tom Kenny: SpongeBob SquarePants, Gary the Snail, French Narrator, Patchy the Pirate, Mr.

        Main article SpongeBob SquarePants characters.

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