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Acknowledging ‘Spongebob’

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Acknowledging ‘Spongebob’

Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of “Spongebob Squarepants”

Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of “Spongebob Squarepants”

Wikimedia Commons

Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of “Spongebob Squarepants”

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of “Spongebob Squarepants”

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Although, on the surface, it’s simply a cartoon show with wacky characters who inhabit a community under the sea, “Spongebob Squarepants” at its peak was a clever program that appealed to both kids and adults.

The show had its fair share of sexual references, silly one-liners and real-life satire: Spongebob telling his pet snail Gary to not “drop the soap” whilst showering; Spongebob psyching up his starfish friend Patrick to get crazy for tonight’s party, and the latter retorting that he’s “already hearing voices!”; and grumpy ol’ Squidward pessimistically (and truthfully) telling Spongebob that their lives are to simply report to work for 40 years, and then they die.

As a kid, one of my favorites was when Spongebob and Patrick hurled mean-spirited insults to their homesick friend Sandy– a squirrel from Texas that somehow lives underwater. One of my favorite exchanges has to be:

Spongebob, who shaped himself in the configuration of Texas: “Hey, Patrick, what am I?”
Patrick: “Uh, stupid?”
Spongebob: “No, I’m Texas!”
Patrick: “What’s the difference?”

It’s difficult to sum up the comedy and wit of a show that first began airing in 1999. You’d have to see it for yourself. There’s no shame in admitting that I still hop on YouTube and view a few clips from time to time.

With this week’s passing of “Spongebob” creator Stephen Hillenburg as a result of ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, it’s as if part of the show and its creativity went along with him.

I’m reminded of the impact his works had on me as a kid and many others. Thanks, Hillenburg– as Spongebob touted once, here’s to hoping you’re enjoying the “great beyond.”

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Acknowledging ‘Spongebob’