SpongeBob SquarePants

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Index → November 200410 secrets of SpongeBob SquarePants
10 secrets of SpongeBob SquarePants
Source citation: , (November 19, 2004). "10 secrets of SpongeBob SquarePants." The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 28, 2013.

LOS ANGELES — America's favorite deep-sea sponge is coming to the surface. SpongeBob SquarePants, a goofy sink utensil who wears a little brown suit and lives in a pineapple at the bottom of the ocean, has spent the past five years on the Nickelodeon TV channel. Now a new film out Friday sends him to a "real world" both simple and surreal.

Here are 10 little-known facts about the cartoon cult icon:

- THE BIRTH OF SPONGEBOB: The movie's director and "SpongeBob" creator Stephen Hillenburg was a former marine science teacher who wanted to do a sea cartoon. "I really wanted to do something ... based on an innocent who is surrounded by more cynical beings. ... A sort of awkward, nerdy, goofball, oddball," he said. Fish seemed too ordinary, so he started thinking about a sponge.

- NINE TIMES AS ABSORBENT: Most half-hour "SpongeBob" TV episodes are made of 10-minute shorts, so the new 90-minute film required a different kind of story: SpongeBob and his slow-witted starfish friend Patrick travel to the surface to rescue the crown of King Neptune.

- HELIUM VOICE: Tom Kenny (above), who supplies SpongeBob's high, nasal voice, was a stand-up comic who worked with Hillenburg on the 1993 cartoon series "Rocko's Modern World." When "SpongeBob" started in 1999, Hillenburg remembered a character Kenny did years earlier and envisioned it as the voice of his weird sea hero.

- BALD SPOT: Among the movie's celebrity voices is Jeffrey Tambor as the overly angry King Neptune, whose missing crown reveals his blinding baldness.

Tambor, the criminal father from the Emmy-winning comedy "Arrested Development," said he shares the follicle-challenged scalp of the character but not his insecurities. "I look lousy in a rug," Tambor said.

- PATRICK THE STARFISH: Bill Fagerbakke, best known as Dauber from TV's "Coach," has a naturally deep voice but has to swallow it further to play SpongeBob's dopey starfish friend Patrick.

- UNDERSEA SONGWRITER: Besides doing SpongeBob's voice, Kenny also wrote two songs for the movie's soundtrack: one with the title hero singing "The Best Day Ever" and another with Patrick singing "Under My Rock."

- WHY ADULTS LIKE SPONGEBOB: "It's about keeping your kid-nature in life and not totally becoming a curmudgeon," Hillenburg said. "As we get older it gets harder to do that."

- HASSELHOFF TO THE RESCUE: David Hasselhoff appears in live action as a lifeguard who jumps in to help SpongeBob and Patrick in a critical moment.

"We wrote the entire sequence without asking him," Hillenburg said. "Fortunately, he's a great guy. ... He didn't even see the material and said, 'I'm in.' He was great at making fun of himself."

Other celebrity voices include Scarlett Johansson and Alec Baldwin.

- WIFE SWAP: Kenny's real-life wife, comic Jill Talley, supplies the deadpan voice of Karen--the computer program "wife" of the villain Plankton.

- FUTURE EPISODES: There have only been a handful of new "SpongeBob" TV episodes since 2003, but--despite rumors--the series has not been canceled.

Four new episodes have been completed for broadcast on Nickelodeon in early 2005. The creators plan to finish about 20 total.
Majesco is bringing the Nickelodeon hits "SpongeBob... SpongeBob to go

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