According to BBC News, David Bowie is trying his hand at acting.
Rest assured, though, that you won’t be forced to stare at the aging legend, pining for the good old days – he’s jumping into television animation this time.
“SpongeBob SquarePants” has a new voice, and Bowie’s going to be giving life to Bikini Bottom’s newest character, Lord Royal Highness.
Nickelodeon is the highest peak in the paradise known as cartoon merchandising. Nobody brands kids’ TV like Nick. Even megaconglomerate Disney seems to be lagging behind, its latest offerings a pale shadow of Nickelodeon powerhouse “Dora the Explorer”. “SpongeBob” is unquestionably the king of them all, transcending demographics and developing a cult following among 5 year olds and 25 year olds. You can get SpongeBob training pants for Junior, SpongeBob boxers for Dad, and SpongeBob earrings for Mom.
Can Bowie hold his own among the giants of the business? After all, Tom Kenny, the voice of the Sponge himself, is quite the cartoon veteran, providing talent for over 80 different animated shows, including “CatDog”, “Dexter’s Lab”, “Samurai Jack”, and “Futurama”. You might remember Bill Faggerbakke, (Patrick Star), as Dauber from the old series “Coach”; he’s also voiced for The Legend of Frosty the Snowman, as well as “Gargoyles”, “Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles”, and Lady and the Tramp II. The other supporting characters are equally well known in the animation world, including Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy Cheeks), who also stars in the Nick franchise “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius”, and Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs) whom you might recognize from “American Dragon: The Adventures of Jake Long”, “Justice League”, “Jackie Chan Adventures”, as well as live action spots on “Lost” and “Carnivale”.
Those are big pants to fill, indeed. Bowie, however, seems to be vying for a resurgence of his on-screen career, apparently tiring of just being the soundtrack man. He’ll be appearing with Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman in The Prestige. Bowie has also provided acting talent for the animated feature, Arthur and the Minimoys. His latest thespian attack is reportedly caused by his 6 year old daughter, who is a SpongeBob fan.
It’s not really a question of Bowie being able to handle the material. If he can play the Goblin King and dress in leather and fried-out hair extensions, he’ll fit right on a show that has episodes titled “Reef Blowers”, “Ripped Pants”, and “Krabby Land”.
The powers that be are taking a giant step by letting the famous singer into their club, but it is a risk likely to pay off. Animation is all about the voices- unique, instantly recognizable voices, and David Bowie certainly has that.
Watch for Lord Royal Highness to make his first appearance next year.