SDCC 2013: Interview with SpongeBob SquarePants voice actor Tom Kenny!

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There is a handful of people on television that makes a tremendous amount of influence on us, and Tom Kenny is one of them. He is the voice actor for SpongeBob SquarePants, a character that is known worldwide. The SpongeBob cartoon has been playing since 1999 and is still around to this day. While I was interviewing with Tom, he said that it’s (SpongeBob) one of the longest cartoons still on air right now and he’s VERY thankful for that. Of course he jokingly said that it’s 2nd only to the Simpsons, since that cartoon is set to play FOREVER. Tom absolutely loves voicing SpongeBob and doesn’t mind if he does it for a very long time because of SpongeBob’s influence. He knows that different generations of viewers have watched SpongeBob since the late 90s up to today, and it’s not just in the United States. He spoke about SpongeBob’s influence in Finland, Mexico, Germany, and pretty much all over the world.

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Tom also laid down a few interesting tidbits about being a voice actor versus being a film/television actor. Basically you have all of the perks, but none of the problems. He put it like this: If you’re a film/television actor, you will get mobbed by TMZ or the paparazzi, or you will be typecast into the same roles over and over, and as an actor, that doesn’t let you grow. However as a voice actor, you can be anyone and everyone on the screen, without getting mobbed out on the streets.

I fly out of LAX and I see celebs getting chased by TMZ or something like that. You know, I don’t really have to deal with that! …a lot of times your career (as a film/television actor), could be kind of short. When you’re a voice actor that really doesn’t exist, you know what I mean?

He explained how great it is to play so many different characters, yet they are all completely different in contrast to one another. For the people that don’t know, Tom actually voiced Zilius Zox from Green Lantern: The Animated Series along with Doctor Octopus from Ultimate Spider-Man. If you compare those characters to SpongeBob, you wouldn’t have guessed he voiced them.

 

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Tom Kenny is an EXTREMELY talented voice actor and I have a lot of respect for him. The moment he sat down with us, it felt like we were speaking to a friend or a really good neighbor that you’ve known for quite some time. Not once did it sound or feel like he was full of himself, and that is why I put him up on top; not as just an actor, but a great human being as well. He’s a genuinely great person to speak to. One of the final questions I asked Tom was: If SpongeBob were to end, what other roles would you want to play?

There’s never been a show that’s gone on forever, but the Simpsons comes close! The jury’s still out on that. SpongeBob is one of those characters like Scooby Doo that will come back in different guises…If SpongeBob were to drop off the face of the earth, I’d still be okay….Between Adventure Time, Power Puff Girls, Ultimate Spider-Man, etc. Knock on wood you know?

Looks like Tom Kenny will be around for a while and I personally hope it stays that way, since he’s a great voice actor. My final question that I asked Tom was: If SpongeBob were to hit on a girl at Comic-Con, what would he say? Check out the sound-clip below to hear the hilarity of it all.

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