SpongeBob Squarepants. Who hasn’t seen this amazing cartoon series and hasn’t laughed their bum off? SpongeBob Squarepants has been a staple on Nickelodeon since its official premiere in July of 1999. The series was created by Stephen Hillenburg who was also the creative director of Rocko’s Modern Life. Yet another amazing cartoon series, but I digress. News of Stephen Hillenburg’s passing is sad for fans of the enormously popular show. He was only 57 years old and the cause of death was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Nickelodeon released a statement on the passing of Stephen Hillenburg:
“We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS. He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family. Steve imbued SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. His utterly original characters and the world of Bikini Bottom will long stand as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the limitless power of imagination.”
Hillenburg started development of The Intertidal Zone characters and concept back in 1994. This eventually became the launching pad for SpongeBob Squarepants series. As we mentioned, the show premiered in 1999 and culminated up to the SpongeBob Squarepants Movie in 2004 which he originally intended to close our the series. Nickelodeon and the fans had other ideas.
Hillenburg passed away just a year and a half after his diagnosis of ALS. He will be missed but also praised for his contribution to the pop-culture community. We’ve no doubt that SpongeBob will be immortalized and its creator with him.
Last Updated on February 3, 2021.