SpongeBob SquarePants is the main character of the fictional Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. He was designed by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, and is voiced by Tom Kenny.
Stephen Hillenburg intended to create a series about an over-optimistic sponge that annoys other characters. Hillenburg compared the concept to Laurel and Hardy and Pee-wee Herman. As he drew the character, he decided that a "squeaky-clean square" (like a kitchen sponge) fit the concept. Originally he intended to name the character Sponge Boy. In an interview he said that he created the name as adding "Boy" to a name of an inanimate object "and it becomes alive."
The first concept sketch portrayed the character as wearing a red hat with a green base and a white business shirt with a tie. When Hillenburg discovered an existing copyright on the name, he decided that his given name still had to contain "Sponge" so viewers would not mistake the character for a "Cheese Man." Hillenburg created "SpongeBob." He decided that "SquarePants" would fit as a family name as it referred to the character's square shape and his "funny name".
Although his drivers license says he's born in 1986, SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg jokingly explained in an interview that he is fifty in "sponge years". He explained that SpongeBob actually has no specific age, but that he is old enough to be on his own and still be going to boating school.
SpongeBob is a sea sponge, but he is drawn to resemble a kitchen sponge. Due to his soft, pliable frame, he is capable of shape shifting. He is sometimes shown to have a skeleton, but he is mainly portrayed as soft, squishy, and boneless. In the episode "Slimy Dancing," he is shown as hollow with holes, making it easy to go into SpongeBob. Being a sponge, he is also absorbent, as shown by his filling the entire treedome after Sandy force-fed water to him. When he cries, he often reabsorbs his tears.
SpongeBob is a cool-like, happy-go-lucky, naive character. SpongeBob is also a talented fry cook and uses this skill at his job at the Krusty Krab restaurant. He also attends Mrs. Puff's Boating School and has failed the boating test about 58 times, although in the first boating school reference, he failed his 39th time, and in the episode where Mrs. Puff is replaced, it shows that he has failed over 1,000,000 times. SpongeBob's best friend is a starfish named Patrick. He enjoys jelly-fishing, blowing bubbles with Patrick, and often gets into a lot of mischief. He also believes that his neighbor and co-worker Squidward is his friend, but much of his mischief involves annoying Squidward. He has also won employee of the month over 3,000 times, though according to him it is "a kajillion and six".
SpongeBob lives with his pet snail Gary in a large "pineapple-house" on 124 Conch Street in fictional Bikini Bottom, which is said to be located few fathoms beneath the real tropical isle of Bikini Atoll. SpongeBob's house has been shown to be edible in some episodes (only by nematodes though). His neighbor is Squidward, an octopus who is a co-worker at the Krusty Krab, and right beside Squidward's house is the rock where SpongeBob's best friend Patrick lives.
Dobson later asserted that his comments were taken out of context and that his original complaints were not with SpongeBob, the video, or any of the characters in the video but with the organization that sponsored the video, We Are Family Foundation. Dobson indicated that the We Are Family Foundation website posted pro-homosexual material on their website, but later removed it. After the controversy, John H. Thomas, the United Church of Christ's general minister and president, said they would welcome SpongeBob into their ministry. He said, "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we."