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  SpongeBob SquarePants / Spongeboy Squarepants

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> Description 
SpongeBob SquarePants is a popular animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. The pilot episode first aired in the US on Nickelodeon after Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on May 1, 1999. It officially aired on July 17 of the same year with the second episode "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants." The main characters are a naive but optimistic anthropomorphic sea sponge SpongeBob SquarePants; his stupid starfish pal Patrick Star; the pessimistic octopus Squidward Tentacles; the penny-pinching cheapskate crab Mr. Krabs; and the hyperactive daredevil land squirrel Sandy Cheeks, who wears an astronaut suit almost all of the time outside her air-filled tree dome. Most episodes take place in the town of Bikini Bottom or the surrounding lagoon floor, or at the characters houses.

SpongeBob has gained a loyal international following with children and adults alike. Merchandise based on the show, for instance, ranges from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Kellogg's cereal, and video games to boxer shorts, pajamas, and t-shirts. It has become a favorite cartoon for television viewers. 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 and Burger King restaurants, so much so when a SpongeBob SquarePants movie promotion ran at most Burger King franchises in 2004, thieves stole nine-foot-high by nine-foot-wide SpongeBob inflatables, wanting Krabby Patties as ransom, and signed by someone who claims 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.

The cartoon is designed to appeal to older viewers as much as to children. 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 on a camping trip, 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. SpongeBob lives in a pineapple, while his neighbor Squidward lives in an Easter Island head and Patrick lives under a rock. The suggestion is that both 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 like dogs. Jellyfish are the equivalent of bees (buzzing and stinging), but are collected or appreciated like butterflies and are used for their jelly.

SpongeBob is the first "low budget" Nickelodeon cartoon, according to the network, to become extremely popular. Low-budget cartoons had been living in the shadow of Rugrats, but SpongeBob aired in 1999 and almost immediately became more popular. SpongeBob follows some other Nickelodeon shows that have attracted "older" followers: The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life (whose executive producer was SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg), the Kablam! skits Action League Now!, 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).

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.

Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
> Airing History & Information 
Premiere May 1, 1999
Network Nickelodeon
Format/Time Color / 30 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
> Cast 
Camryn Walling....   Additional Voice (voice)
Frank Welker....   Giant Clams
Clancy Brown....   Mr. Eugene H. Krabs (voice)
Mary Jo Catlett....   Mrs. Poppy Puff (voice)
Sirena Irwin....   Mrs. SquarePants (voice)
Bill Fagerbakke....   Patrick Star (voice)
Lori Alan....   Pearl Krabs (voice)
Carolyn Lawrence....   Sandy Cheeks (voice)
Carlos Alazraqui....   Scooter/Teen-age Fish/Dr.Fish/Announcer
Douglas "Mr." Lawrence....   Sheldon J. Plankton/Larry the Lobster/Fred/Tom (voice)
Tom Kenny....   SpongeBob SqaurePants/Gary/Father SqaurePants/Narrator/Patchy the Pirate/Annoucer/Tom (some eps.)/Grandpa SquarePants/Many Others/Old Man Jenkins (voice)
Rodger Bumpass....   Squidward Tentacles (voice)
Dee Bradley Baker....   Squilliam Fancyson/Customers/Vendors/others
Brian Doyle-Murray....   The Flying Dutchman (voice)

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