Please join us in raising a glass to the Nickelodeon king, SpongeBob SquarePants.
For over 20 years now, SpongeBob SquarePants has been a cartoon icon for children everywhere. Nickelodeon’s porous figurehead got his start way back in 1999, and after two decades of cross-media adventures, our yellow buddy is taking his biggest plunge yet. Last week marked the beginning of Paramount+, the new streaming service from Paramount and Viacom. Not only can you find a ton of movies and original content on there, but over 200 SpongeBob episodes are available for viewing! We haven’t had this much excitement since Netflix had the rights to SpongeBob SquarePants years ago. So with countless episodes and video games under his belt, a new movie (Sponge on the Run), and a brand new spin-off series, we here at VGU decided to get together and share our favorite SpongeBob memories through the years. We of varying ages and backgrounds have been touched by the Bikini Bottom crew in our own ways since we were young lads, and we thought it would be fun to make a roundtable in honor of their numerous achievements. Please join us in raising a glass to the Nickelodeon king, SpongeBob SquarePants.
Graydon Webb – Employee of the Month
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical
You most likely know, as a reader of this site, that I’m a huge fan of Broadway. I could go on for days and days about the nuances of musical theater and how each show has impacted the industry. But when I think about my personal experiences with Broadway musicals and the lasting impression on me, one of the biggest contributors has to be SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical. Originally conceived in Chicago as The SpongeBob Musical, this musical spoof of the iconic television series instantly sparked people’s attention.
I remember when I told people I was going to see this show in New York for my 20th birthday. I had never been to a Broadway show before, and at first glance, this sure does feel like baby’s first musical. On the surface, one could think this was a joke. But I assure you, as I’ve assured many since my initial viewing, The SpongeBob Musical is nothing short of a clever masterpiece aimed at children and adults alike. This musical is as funny and creative as it is dark and thought-provoking. Utilizing the characters and running gags we all know and love to tell a story of political turmoil, existentialism, and the importance of friendship is one of the most original concepts ever adapted for the stage.
Yes, the characters, settings, and inside jokes are all taken from a source material that’s been ingrained in the audience for generations. But the action onstage – as well as the original soundtrack, produced entirely by various artists like Panic! at the Disco, David Bowie, and Sara Bareilles – feels brand new and exciting with every viewing. Sadly, The SpongeBob Musical had to be shut down abruptly due to the Palace Theatre’s closure for renovations. But the spirit of the show lives on, with not only a tour that got to take the fun to multiple cities last year, but also a DVD release of a proshot – a la Hamilton – complete with most of the show’s original cast. SpongeBob SquarePants was a property that no one thought suitable for a Broadway stage. But as he so often does, the character surprised everyone by bringing a fresh new coat of paint to the humdrum theater world, and changing the game as we knew it.