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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Now ‘Spongeboob’… That Might Be Worth Watching

Look, I gotta be honest. I just don’t get it. I’ve tried — I feel like I’ve given it a real, legitemate shot, and I just don’t get it. I don’t see what all the fuss about Spongebob Squarepants is all about.

Maybe I’m just old and crotchety. (Or just old and crotchy; that’s possible, too.) But I’ve watched lots of cartoons in my time — and still do, frankly — and there’s some good shit out there. Family Guy, the Simpsons, Samurai Jack, Home Movies — all of these and more know how my fancy likes to be tickled. Um, so to speak. Ahem.

So I don’t think that I’m just a generally humorless old fart, devoid of any appreciation for the animated and absurd. Hell, I used to watch Ren and Stimpy and the Angry Beavers religiously, and some of that shit made no sense at all. None. Those writers were sprinkling crack on their morning cereal, you know what I’m saying?

And I’ve given Spongebob a chance — I’ve sat through more than one episode, all the way through. I’ve seen the pants, and I’ve heard the silly song, and I’ve seen that crab or lobster or whatever the hell it is that has the restaurant, and… y’know, I really don’t remember much more than that. All I recall is watching these things and asking myself afterwards:

What in the name of Fritz fricking Freleng did I just sit through? Are they serious with this shit?

Honestly, I just don’t understand. And it’s not just a cartoon, either. If it were just a show, popular with the kiddies and that was it, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. I don’t lose sleep at night wondering whether there’s anything to this whole Teletubbies thing, for instance.

(Though I’ve watched it a couple of times, too, and that shit is whacked. But at least I can see the attraction there — that show is a pothead’s wet fricking dream. Can you imagine watching the Teletubbies stoned off your ass? That’d be like the ultimate — like seeing the face of the bong god or something. Yikes.)

But this Squarepants guy isn’t just the ‘star’ of a show — he’s the basis of a whole marketing phenomenon. Dolls, T-shirts, merchandise and swag of all kinds. Why, I was reminded of this topic today when I saw a Spongebob-shaped helium-filled balloon bobbing among its more traditional latex brethren in a birthday balloon bouquet. Now come on, people. Spongebob balloons? Have you actually seen the show? Does it really rate custom-shaped balloons?

I dunno. Maybe there’s something I’m missing. Or maybe I’m just getting old, losing touch with what’s cool with the kiddies this month. Still, I prefer to tell myself that it’s really a simple matter of geometry. The main character’s a fricking sponge. Of course there’s gonna be merchandise — how hard could it be to design a lunchbox after him? He’s shaped like a fricking lunchbox! I shouldn’t be surprised.

Hmmm… actually, all of this gives me an idea. Maybe I should come up with a cartoon centered around something even easier to build from. Something with a main character shaped like a basketball, or a snow globe, maybe. That swag would practically sell itself — and (apparently) the actual dialogue and plot and story lines of the show don’t mean a thing. I think I’m on to something here — look for the Adventures of Swirly the Snow Globe coming to a television near you — and a balloon, and a set of collectible plates, and… well, a snow globe, naturally — very, very soon. Scootch over, Spongebob — you’re about to get Swirlied! Oh, yeah.

Permalink  |  9 Comments

9 Responses to “Now ‘Spongeboob’… That Might Be Worth Watching”

  1. Jon says:

    I know what you’re talking about. But you’ve got to remember, the show’s aimed at little kids. Most of the most obvious jokes are fairly transparent.

    It’s the subtle ironic jokes that only older people would get that make it watchable to me.

    I can’t think of a good example.

    Although I haven’t discounted the possibility that I’m 5.

  2. Adrienne says:

    I get a kick out of spongebob. It’s funny to watch.

  3. alex says:

    Speaking of things to do while you’re stoned outta your mind, what about this?

    Spongebob stuff is a top seller in gay men’s shops.

    And I still watch the show.

  4. Matty says:

    I heard Home Movies is laugh out loud, but we don’t get it here in Australia yet… I’ll have to keep my eye out!

  5. Jeff A says:


    who lives in a pinapple under the sea

    Spongebob Squarepants

    absorbant and yellow and porous is he

    Spongebob Squarepants

    if nautical nonsense be something you wish

    Spongebob Squarepants

    then drop on the deck and glub like a fish

    Spongebob Squarepants

  6. Brad says:

    Spongebob is the man! Of course, I have an 8 yr. old at my house. There are some VERY funny episodes and some that don’t bring a chuckle.

    I am ashamed to say I have laughed so hard, I cried, while watching our “Mr. Squaredude”

  7. Jeff A says:

    Charlie you know that those who don’t get it are more likely to identify with Patrick. Me, I am Mr. Crabs, it’s all about the money! I still have me first dollar!

  8. Chris says:

    You are comparing this show to shows such as Home Movies, Family Guy, Simpsons, and Ren & Stimpy. Those cartoons are based towards a primarily older audience (Teenagers and Adults – hence most of them are on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network).

    You should be comparing Spongebob to shows such as Rugrats, or movies like Shrek, Toy Story, and other Disney/Pixar Movies. Those are geared towards children, but leave jokes or innuendo for us adults. I’ve seen/understood A LOT of things that children will miss in these movies/shows that make me wonder how they get away with these things. Also comparing Spongebob to well written shows is like comparing Monty Python to The Godfather.

    It’s slapstick comedy and characters like Spongebob and Patrick provide a really good sense of stupid humor. It’s a character to laugh at, not with.

  9. Faye says:

    It’s one of those shows you have to watch several episodes to start liking. You probably don’t get it because you can’t read into the innuendo, though I can’t imagine how that’s even possible. Actually a lot of the jokes are more clever than Family Guy’s as well (not that it takes much).

    Also, SpongeBob was not created as a marketing scheme, as you seem to imply at the end of your rant. It started out low budget and people liked it. The boom of corporate crap on the market following consumer trends is hardly a new concept; get over it. Don’t use it as a basis for your so-called review of the show itself.

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