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October 10, 2015

In the Limelight: Tom Kenny

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 23rd 2006 9:07PM

Tom KennyTom Kenny... Ever seen him? Maybe not. Ever heard him? Probably. This guy isn't really a familiar face, but he's definitely a familiar voice, most notably as Spongebob Squarepants, the little sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. Some of you that were born before 1990 and lean more toward the less-animated comedies might know him as a guy from Mr. Show with Bob and David (Tom was neither Bob nor David).

Okay, I must confess, I've only seen him on Mr. Show once and that's because, well, I've only seen the show once. I know, I know... Shame on me. However, I grew up with a lot of the cartoon characters that Tom voiced so I still consider myself a fan. For example, I can remember waking up on Saturday mornings to watch Rocko's Modern Life, one of my favorite Nickelodeon shows ever (I still break into a fit of giggles whenever I hear "Naaaked")? Tom was Heffer! And he was the mayor from The Powerpuff Girls! And, more recently, Eduardo from Foster's Home of Imaginary Friends! Check out that range. From a steer (er... I meant to say "wolf"), to a monocle-wearing old man infatuated with his headless secretary, to a purple imaginary friend with a crazy Spanish accent, to bright yellow, porous, invertebrate living at the bottom of the ocean. Bravo, good sir.

I didn't even bother looking him up until a few years ago when Spongebob Squarepants was at the peak of its popularity. I saw him do an interview with Conan O'Brien and I couldn't help but immediately love him. I distinctly remember him sitting there, looking lovably dorky, saying that he was extremely defensive of Spongebob, and explaining how he would fight off small children that bothered the Spongebobs at the Universal theme parks. He seemed to have this good guy, "aww, shucks" demeanor. I mean, he usually looks like he's the human version of Spongebob... They even have the same glasses!

Well, the next time you watch a cartoon on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, see if you can catch "Tom Kenny" in the credits. You probably will.

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He's amazing - I worked on a show w/ him a couple years ago. Really nice guy.

February 23 2006 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Back when I used to see Kenny doing standup in San Francisco I always got him and Greg Proops confused. He is hillarious. I actually didnt know he was Spongebob...good for him.

February 23 2006 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tom is in a lot of Mr. Show episodes. (Yes, shame on you, indeed!) He is also married to another Mr. Show alum, Jill Talley. I wonder how his kiddie show viewers would respond to his drug induced freakout in the sketch "The Altered State of Drugachusetts." :)

February 23 2006 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For those of us old enough to remember, Tom also formerly hosted "Friday Night Videos" on NBC.

February 23 2006 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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