Summary of “The “SpongeBob Squarepants” cast dives deep: On their iconic roles and humanity under the sea”

Salon spoke with the cast of “SpongeBob Squarepants” to describe what makes this silly sea show so enduring.
The main characters of the hit TV show “SpongeBob Squarepants” may be a bunch of fish – technically a sea sponge, starfish, cephalopod, crustacean, phytoplankton and squirrel, to be exact – but the key to the show’s enduring success could very well be that, for all of their silly underwater antics, the population of Bikini Bottom is endearingly human.
There is a scene in “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout,” the 20th anniversary special for the show that premieres on Friday at 7 p.m. ET, which plays with the underlying humanity of SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, Plankton and Mr. Krabs in a particularly clever way.
Rodger Bumpass, who voices the curmudgeonly Squidward Tentacles, observed how fans identify with the character’s existential malaise – how, in effect, they first identify with SpongeBob as children, and then with his cranky character as adults.
“There’s a passage of time that people go through coming into young adulthood – and that really is where people tell me, when I go to conventions and stuff – that when they were young they associated and identified with SpongeBob because of his youthful playfulness and innocence, and then as they get to be adults and learn what the real world is like, and for a lot of people, that’s a traumatic passage of time,” Bumpass told Salon, who speculated that a lot of young people struggle with “This adult thing” once they reach a certain age.
With 20 years under its belt, it’s difficult to imagine where SpongeBob Squarepants will go from here.
Of course, like other classic animated TV shows such as Looney Tunes, the likelihood is that “SpongeBob Squarepants” will stick with its floating timeline and allow things to remain in their status quo forever – with SpongeBob manning the grill at the Krusty Krab, Squidward muttering to himself behind the cash register, Mr. Krabs in the back counting his money, Plankton scheming and figuratively face-planting each time, Patrick sleeping under his rock, Sandy getting into adventures and saving the day.
“Some shows focus on the childlike aspect of SpongeBob and things they can do by fooling around in the back of the classroom or whatever, or getting bullied by Flats the Flounder. Or sometimes, like you said, it’s more about ‘Midlife Crustacean’ where it’s about other, more adult concerns.”

The orginal article.