Celebrities Who Voiced Characters for SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants accomplished more than creator Stephen Hillenburg could have ever possibly imagined. Released to the masses in 1999, the show was a runaway success from the outset. The show racked up countless awards, including four Emmys and 15 Kid’s Choice Awards. But, more importantly, SpongeBob and his odd-yet-affable crew of friends entered the pantheon of cult classics and will surely remain there for a long, long time.
On November 26, 2018, Hillenburg succumbed to ALS. The reaction to his death is a clear example of how far-reaching and beloved SpongeBob SquarePants is. Not bad for a one-time marine biology teacher.
Today, we pay tribute to his accomplishments in about as fun of a way as we can muster up. You see, SpongeBob wasn’t just a magnet that drew in children, teens, and college kids. It was a cultural tentpole that attracted some of the biggest names in the business. So, let’s take a look at some of the biggest names to ever visit Bikini Bottom.
If you’re ever going to break form for a special celebrity appearance, you do it for David Bowie. Bowie appeared in the 92nd episode of SpongeBob, which aired on November 12, 2007. In the full-hour, made-for-TV musical comedy, SpongeBob and company find themselves magically transported to Atlantis, where the Lord Royal Highness of Atlantis (Bowie) gives them a grand tour.
As always, Bowie is magnificent. And, in typical Bowie fashion, his dialogue is concise, playful, and poignant. In a particularly memorable portion, Bowie teaches SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward that “Art is what happens when you learn to dream.” Powerful stuff.
Mark Hamill is no stranger to the world of animated television. He’s most famous for providing the voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. Plus, he’s voiced characters in animated series for legendary franchises like Spider-Man and Transformers. So, it seems only natural that Hamill would make his way to the pineapple under the sea.
In SpongeBob, Hamill played The Moth, the sworn enemy of the show’s Batman and Robin homage, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. If you’re hoping to dive back into the show, you can find Hamill in the season five’s “Night Light”.
Johnny Depp is no stranger to sea-inspired stories. But his appearance on SpongeBob didn’t draw on Depp’s memorable role as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Depp’s unforgettable voice popped up on the 111th episode of SpongeBob entitled, “SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One”. In that episode, Depp plays the Hawaiian inspired surfer Jack Kahuna Laguna. He’s commissioned to teach the gang how to surf to the safety of Bikini Bottom.
Rapper Biz Markie left his mark on the lives of SpongeBob fans all over the world with his appearance as Kenny the Cat in the season nine episode of the same name.
In the episode, Kenny the Cat is a pretty big deal. At least he is to SpongeBob, who roles out the red carpet, Krusty Krab style. All is not well in the world of Kenny though. His fame, a result of being the only cat in the world who can hold his breath underwater, is a lie.
Adam West and Burt Ward
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are the vintage Batman and Robin of SpongeBob’s underwater universe. The duo fight crime much in the way Adam West and Burt Ward did back in the 60s. This makes West and Ward’s unlikely cameo that much more impressive.
In the season seven episode “Back to the Past”, Patrick mistakes a time machine for a vending machine. When Patrick presses a button on the time machine, both he and our favorite sponge are transported back to 1954. In 1954, they discover much younger versions of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, which are voiced by none other than Adam West and Burt Ward.
These days, Scarlett Johansson enjoys the spoils of an established and lucrative voice acting career. However, that wasn’t always the case.
Johansson’s appearance in 2004’s The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie showcased her voice acting chops. Plus, it paved the way for higher-profile voice acting gigs like Her with Joaquin Phoenix and a prominent role in Disney’s 2016 reboot of The Jungle Book.
In the SpongeBob Movie, Johansson played the part of Princess Mindy, the mermaid daughter of King Neptune.
Guest appearances on kids’ TV shows don’t get much bigger than John Goodman. Goodman is a voice-acting tour-de-force and a pretty good get for the SpongeBob team.
Goodman appears in SpongeBob’s stop-motion styled Christmas episode, “It’s a SpongeBob Christmas”. Yes, that’s John Goodman voice in, well… the creepiest imagining of Santa Clause this side of Krampus. The animation style is distracting, sure. But it’s a quintessential SpongeBob classic all the same.
If you’re planning to show it to your children though, expect to be woken up by nightmares.
Pat Morita has appeared in everything from Baywatch to Mulan. However, most of us know him as Mr. Miyagi The Karate Kid. In a bit of a reprisal of his most famous role, Morita played the role of Master Udon in season four’s “Karate Island”.
The episode is a bucketful of nostalgia and pays homage to the kung fu classics of the 70s and 80s in a way that only SpongeBob SquarePants can. By the time the final credits roll, SpongeBob is proclaimed the King of Karate.
And Squidward? Well, he gets crowned the King of Clarinets. It’s a long story.
From SNL to the stratosphere. Andy Sandberg’s dedication to comedy has seen him battle a few ups and downs. Fortunately, time has aged his over-the-top, satirical style well.
Sandberg appeared as Colonel Carper on the season eight episode, “Hello Bikini Bottom!” Carper is a band manager, who happened to be walking by while Squidward and SpongeBob are jamming. Carper is so impressed that he sets out to sign them on the spot.
That’s right, Squidward and SpongeBob in a band. That’s about as must-watch as you’re ever going to get.
Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig joined SpongeBob, Squidward, Mr. Krab, and the rest of the gang back in 2011. The episode in question, “The Curse of the Hex,” begins when a stranger, Madame Hagfish (Wiig), wanders into the Krusty Krab and tries to order a patty. Mr. Krab is creeped out and denies her. As a result, Hagfish pays Krab back in full by cursing the Krusty Krab with a few, imperceptible words.
Well, sort of. I don’t want to ruin the hilarious twist ending, but suffice it to say that Madame Hagfish isn’t as magical as she lets on.