Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! And for the last two decades, Tom Kenny has provided the voice of the animated icon. Although Kenny has numerous voiceover credits to his name, SpongeBob is by far his most famous role. At this year's C2E2, Kenny recounted his SpongeBob origin story during his spotlight panel.
Kenny shared the story of how he came to know series creator, Stephen Hillenburg, and saw Hillenburg's early artwork for SpongeBob and the rest of the characters. According to Kenny, Hillenburg wanted him to be SpongeBob from the very beginning, and he was able to convince the network not to audition any other actors. Kenny said it was a unique situation, as he's had to try out for almost every other role in his career.
For the last few seasons, Kenny has been the voice director of SpongeBob SquarePants, in addition to providing a few extra voices as well. Even after 11 seasons, the performers still come together for ensemble cast recordings, which is a rarity for animated programs.
Additionally, Kenny recalled a time in his stand up comedy career when he wasn't able to break into the voiceover industry. He didn't get his first animated break until Rocko's Modern Life, which is the show where he met Hillenburg and voiceover star Carlos Alazraqui.
There are more fun stories ahead in the panel, including his first open mic comedy night alongside his lifelong friend Bobcat Goldthwait and how he met his mentor. Check it out below!