In news that would have been more time-appropriate about ten years ago, Paramount has announced a new Spongebob Squarepants movie, hitting theaters in 2014. The character and property have almost certainly been kicked to the side by the now college-age kids who originally watched the show, so that leaves timeless potheads as the target market for this one, in addition to toddlers who need to be indoctrinated as to what a “Spongebob” is.
You don’t need to be a fan of the show to find Spongebob’s voice oddly familiar. I say “oddly,” because the voice actor, Tom Kenny has made a pretty decent career out of quirky films and roles, so don’t think you first heard Spongebob in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or from the mouth of Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Nothing quite that mainstream. However, Kenny’s had enough culturally relevant roles that Spongebob is far from his only claim to fame. Check a few out below, and prepare to utter, “Oh! Huh. That guy.”
This is gonna be so great, guys.
As we will see, Kenny has a way of picking the cult films that fall just short of “cult” status, such as Idiocracy. Sure, it’s a scathing and prescient film, but his tiny role as the time “masheen” narrator may perk your ears if you’re paying attention, causing the observant viewer to say, “THAT MACHINE SOUNDS VAGUELY LIKE SPONGEBOB,” only hopefully not as loudly as those caps made it appear.
Again, an instance of Kenny taking part in a slight cultural phenomenon (Dilbert), the TV adaptation of which wasn’t really that phenomenal at all. While the adaptation wasn’t a success by typical benchmarks, the fact that someone was actually to produce a passable adaptation of the bizarre workplace comic strip seemed to be compelling enough that it will be remembered, if not for the right reasons. I don’t remember Ratbert after seeing the picture, but I feel that with an image and a knowledge of Kenny’s voice, I can put two and two together.