The Voyage

Remembering Stephen Hillenburg

Attiyah Abdul-Alim, Staff

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Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the popular Nickelodeon show, SpongeBob, passed away at the age of 57 on Monday, November 26th. The cause of his death was Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS, which is a disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain.

Stephen Hillenburg at world premiere of The Spongebob SquarePants Movie

Hillenburg’s professional career began with him teaching marine biology at a marine institute. After discovering he had a passion for animation, he went back to school and got his degree in Experimental Animation at the California Institute of Art.

Hillenburg worked on a few cartoons, including Rocko’s Modern Life and Rugrats. While working on Rocko’s Modern life, a friend discovered an a educational comic he had created about tide pools, and encouraged him to created a show based on the comic. The comic was called the Intertidal Zone, in which main character was a sponge. This comic was where the concept of SpongeBob began.

After its first season, SpongeBob quickly became a hit show, surpassing Rugrats as Nickelodeon’s highest rated show in 1999. The show’s popularity can be attributed to many things, including its comedy.

“I like the unique humor of SpongeBob, and the lack of continuity between episodes,” says Paige Fazenbaker, a senior and avid SpongeBob fan. “It appeals to audiences of all ages. It’s not just a kids show, teenagers and young adults like it too.

“I love how silly the show is, it’s crazy and none of the episodes ever make any sense,” says Lacey West, a sophomore.

On December 1st, Nickelodeon aired a short compilation of SpongeBob clips during a SpongeBob Marathon as tribute to Hillenburg. SpongeBob had over 200 episodes aired, 2 movies, and a successful Broadway show. Stephen Hillenburg will be missed not only by his friends and family, but by Spongebob fans worldwide.

Debbie VanStory/Abaca Press via AP

About the Writer
Attiyah Abdul-Alim, Staff

Attiyah enjoys procrastinating, reading, writing, and taking naps. Nine times out of ten she has a pair of Crocs on her feet.

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Remembering Stephen Hillenburg