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Stephen Hillenburg

Stephen Hillenburg


8/21/1962, Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Birth Name


out of 10
User Rating
54 votes


Stephen Hillenburg grew up with the interest in marine life. He would watch films of the famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. At the age of 15, after a snorkeling trip, he began his study in the sea (oceanography). Stephen studied at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California in 1984.…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Before working on Rocko's Modern Life, he worked on the TV show, Mother Goose and Grimm.

    • Stephen made the cover of Current Biography magazine in 2003!

    • Stephen is a surfer, and basically anything to do with the ocean like scuba diving and snorkling.

    • The inspiration for Spongebob's jellyfishing sport came from when he was a kid and he liked collecting bugs.

    • He can play the ukulele. He plays it on the SpongeBob Movie soundtrack for the song 'Best Day Ever'.

    • Nickelodeon executives where not only impressed with how funny he was, but also by how organized he was about his show. They felt he really knew what he was doing.

    • When he pitched the show to Nickelodeon executives, they all thought his presentation was amazing and knew they had a hit from the very beginning.

    • He like the shape of his sponge to be like a kitchen sponge rather then a natural sea sponge. He said it was funnier.

    • He felt that a sponge was the best sea creature that could represent the nerdy, innocent hero that he wanted for his main character.

    • There was one episode in Rocko's Modern Life that he came up with and it showed his passion for the ocean. It was the one where Rocko, Heffer, and Filbert went fishing in the ocean and ended up being the ones that were being fished for!

    • When attending the California Institute of the Arts he made his thesis film called 'Wormholes' (which was funded by the Princess Grace Foundation), and Joe Murrey, who created Rocko, saw his film. After that, Joe asked him if he would be a director on the show.

    • It was his comic book 'The Intertidal Zone' that he made at the Ocean Institude (job he got after college) that got his jump start to creating Spongebob. Also, another co-worker on Rocko's Modern Life, Martin Olsen, who saw the comic book and told him he just had to do an undersea cartoon.

    • He originally called SpongeBob "SpongeBoy" but since that name was copyrighted and he couldn't use it. He thought of the name SpongeBob.

    • Originally was the director of Rocko's Modern Life.

    • Stephen Hillenburg wrote a book on how to draw Spongebob. (How To Animate Spongebob Squarepants)

    • Stephen Hillenburg has hinted that the on Spongebob Squarepants, the Krabby Patties' secret formula may be vegetarian, since it'll be cannibal for some inhabitants to eat them.

    • Stephen Hillenburg's name was mispelled on the pilot episode of Spongebob Squarepants. It was spelled "Stephen Hilleburg", without the "n".

    • Stephen didn't want to call Spongebob just "Bob" because many may mistake him as a piece of cheese.

    • Due to many views to Spongebob, Stephen had to announce that Spongebob was not homosexual.

    • Stephen had sketches for Spongebob Squarepants that date back to 1986.

    • SpikeTV had asked Stephen to make an "Adult" version of his cartoon for its block of adult cartoons. However, he refused to do it and Nick refused to sell its rights.

    • Karen, Plankton's wife on Spongebob Squarepants is named after Stephen Hillenburg's wife.

    • Stephen's policy to his cartoon is not to make jokes or make reference to pop culture and current events to keep the cartoon timeless.

    • The lips shown in Spongebob Squarepants from the character Painty the Pirate are actually Stephen's lips, but not his voice.

    • Stephen Hillenburg had a job as a fry cook at a fast-food seafood restaurant.

    • According to the book SpongeBob Exposed. Stephen Hillenburg was the original voice of Squidward when doing an early audio test with Tom Kenny doing SpongeBob back in 1996.

    • Many thought Stephen Hillenburg was the creator of Rocko's Modern Life.

  • Quotes

  • I Knew Him When...

    I used to clean his parent's house on a regular basis in the 90's and the whole family is awesome. They are loving and friendly people, so I am very pleased to see Steve doing so well! ( Steve would visit often. That was back when he just got hired for ROCKO) Although she moved, I still always receive a Christmas card from his mother, updating me on family happenings. Very beautiful family, inside and out!moreless
  • Reason why my favorite show exists.

    I think that Mr. Stephen Hillenburg is a wonderful creator and without him, SpongeBob Squarepants, the best show on Nick, would have never existed. He is not only a wonderful creator, but also a wonderful animator and writer. Creating SpongeBob was the best idea that Mr. Hillenburg came up with and I think that it was brilliant of him to have the protagonist to be innocent and sweet. How many show creators do this? In most shows, the protagonist isn't like SpongeBob, but I am not here to review SpongeBob and although I have not seen any of his non-SpongeBob works, I think that SpongeBob shows that this man is pretty talented and creative.

    I would like to thank Mr. Hillenburg for bringing us SpongeBob, the show that many people love to this day. Overall I think that Mr. Stephen Hillenburg is a wonderful man. I love him and anyone who work on or had worked on SpongeBob.moreless