|Born:||Stephen McDannel Hillenburg|
August 21, 1961 (age 52)
Lawton, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Portrays:||Potty the Parrot|
|List of episode credits|
Stephen McDannell Hillenburg (born August 21, 1961) is an American animator, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, and a current SpongeBob SquarePants crew member. He is also the voice of Potty the Parrot and is the one who made all the show's episodes.
Hillenburg also played the ukulele on some of the original music composed for the show, including the "Best Day Ever" special.
|1a - Help Wanted||Writer, Storyboard Director, Executive Producer|
|1b - Reef Blower||Writer, Storyboard Director, Executive Producer|
|2a - Bubblestand||Writer, Executive Producer|
|- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 2||Executive producer, Writer|
|List of episode credits|
- On May 25, 2012, Hillenburg announced that he would be writing and producing The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 2.
- After The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie came out, Hillenburg left the show, because that is when the show was originally supposed to end. However, Hillenburg didn't leave the show entirely as he still serves as an executive producer.
- In 2007, Troy Walker, a cartoonist from Fairfield, California, sued Hillenburg, claiming that Hillenburg stole his ideas from Walker's 1991 comic strip, Bob Spongee, the Unemployed Sponge. Walker argued that the concept and design of Hillenburg's SpongeBob SquarePants was lifted from his "Bob Spongee" homemade toy character. In his original concept, Walker drew a face on a kitchen sponge and attached plastic googly eyes. He placed the model in a transparent bag that included the comic strip, and sold it in Northern California as collectibles at flea markets and through the mail in 1992. Walker claimed that he produced 1,000 of the "drawn-on" dolls. In 2002, after learning about SpongeBob SquarePants, Walker concluded: "It obviously fell into the hands of one of the producers of the show. It's a clear pattern of duplication." He filed the lawsuit against Hillenburg, Paramount Studios, and Nickelodeon and their parent company, Viacom, in a United States district court in San Francisco. He had demanded $1.6 billion in damages, and alleged that the accused used his idea without his permission. He said that "they took all of it." Walker also pointed out that the show's pilot episode, "Help Wanted" (in which an unemployed SpongeBob gets his job at the Krusty Krab), was proof that the defendants stole his concept.
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