Happy Birthday SpongeBob!
Posted on July 14, 2009 at 10:21 am
I like this tribute to SpongeBob’s innocence and sincerity. The Washington Post has an article about SpongeBob and the tribute.
So just how does a wide-eyed sponge who refuses to be snarky or cynical or topical win over the cable-wired world? How does it happen that, in Thompson’s words, the global “territory that had once been dominated by Mickey Mouse was now being rehabitated by SpongeBob SquarePants”?
Hillenburg — whose Nickelodeon office sign has read: “Have Fun or You’re Fired” — believes the success is anchored by SpongeBob’s sincerity and purity. Some businesses tout their Commitment to Excellence; Hillenburg and his creative team insist upon a Commitment to Innocence. “He’s an innocent who’s an oddball,” the creator says.
Partly, “I think ‘SpongeBob’ is born out of my love of Laurel and Hardy shorts,” says Hillenburg, citing the kidlike relationship between SpongeBob and sidekick Patrick the starfish as the show’s comedic core. “You’ve got that kind of idiot-buddy situation — that was a huge influence. SpongeBob was inspired by that kind of character: the Innocent — a la Stan Laurel.