Why Adults Still Watch SpongeBob, According To SpongeBob Voice Tom Kenny

To say that Spongebob Squarepants is a gigantic success would be an understatement. In a world where few cartoons make it past just a handful of seasons, new episodes of Spongebob Squarepants are still being churned out over 20 years after its premiere on Nickelodeon, and The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run marks our third time following along with the absorbent, yellow and porous protagonist in a cinematic setting. Obviously Spongebob Squarepants’ chief demographic is still kids, but Tom Kenny, who’s voiced the eponymous protagonist since the beginning, has an interesting take on why adults continue to keep tabs on the franchise.

While speaking with CinemaBlend’s own Jeff McCobb about The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run, Tom Kenny noted that the people who grew up with Spongebob Squarepants in its earliest years are now adults, so there’s a “comfort food” factor with their view on the show. But more importantly, with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, Kenny posited that these adults are looking content that’s “kind of sweet and funny and stupid and makes me laugh” to watch, as opposed to continually true crime documentaries or shows like Chernobyl. As far as Spongebob’s broad appeal goes, Kenny said the following:

You know, it really is just classic comedy. I mean, there’s not a whole lot of snark, and the comedy comes from the characters. And it’s surreal, but it’s also quite real in its own weird way. Like, the characters are always very true to themselves and the universe kind of has its own rules.

While Spongebob Squarepants has certainly gone through a number of changes over the years, the show is still delivering the same kind of stories it did starting in 1999. So Tom Kenny’s “comfort food” comparison makes sense for the folks who watched the Nickelodeon series as a child. Even if you haven’t seen a Spongebob episode in over a decade, you can just tune into a random episode n any given day and still easily follow along with the title character as he gets embroiled in shenanigans with characters like Patrick, Squidward, Sandy and Mr. Krabs.

And while I enjoy serious and serialized television as much as the next person, I agree with Tom Kenny that a steady diet of such programming isn’t necessarily wise, especially in these troubling times. So should you get tired of repeat viewings of The Office or Schitt’s Creek, you’re always welcome to turn to Spongebob Squarepants for comedy. 265 episodes across 13 seasons will certainly keep you occupied for a while.

On the other hand, if you’re only wanting to dip your toes back in the Spongebob Squarepants pool for a few hours, you can check out The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which features talents like Keanu Reeves, Awkwafina, Snoop Dogg, Danny Trejo, Tiffany Haddish and Reggie Watts. It’s also worth noting that the Spongebob franchise recently expanded with the prequel series Kamp Koral: Spongebob’s Under Years, and The Patrick Star Show will follow at a later date.

Those interested in watching The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run can find it on Paramount+. Don’t forget to look through our 2021 release schedule to learn what movies are intended to arrive in theaters later this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.