20 Stories

Petition: Spongebob Must Sing at Halftime

A fan petitions the NFL

(Newser) - Spongebob Squarepants' creator may be gone, but he's far from forgotten. A fan's petition has garnered nearly 300,000 signatures as of this writing asking the NFL to have "Sweet Victory" performed at the next halftime show, Fox News reports. Spongebob performed the '80s-style power ballad... More »

SpongeBob Squarepants Creator Is Dead at 57

Stephen Hillenburg had ALS

(Newser) - It's a sad day in the fictional world of Bikini Bottom. Stephen Hillenburg, the man who created SpongeBob Squarepants and his undersea pals, has died at age 57, reports Variety . Hillenburg, who revealed last year that he had ALS, didn't start out as an animator. As the Hollywood ... More »

Tony Nominations Good News for Tina Fey, Amy Schumer

'Mean Girls' adaptation grabs a dozen; Schumer up for best actress

(Newser) - Tina Fey's musical Mean Girls, which she adapted from her much-beloved and oft-quoted 2004 high school comedy movie, and the goofy undersea cartoon adaptation SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical lead the Tony Award nominations with a dozen nods each. A British revival of Angels in America, Tony Kushner's... More »

Sad Diagnosis for Creator of SpongeBob

Stephen Hillenburg has ALS

(Newser) - The man who dreamed up SpongeBob SquarePants announced a tough diagnosis on Monday: Stephen Hillenburg has ALS. The 55-year-old is in the early stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the neurodegenerative disease often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, reports Variety . "Anyone who knows me knows that I will... More »

Autistic Teen Saves Choking Classmate

He says he learned the Heimlich maneuver by watching SpongeBob

(Newser) - An Autistic teenager in New York is being hailed as a hero after saving a classmate who was choking on an apple, the Staten Island Advance reports. Brandon Williams, 13, was eating lunch Oct. 28 when he saw Jessica Pellegrino—a fellow special-needs student—struggling to breath. He tells the... More »

SpongeBob Gravestones Spark Feud at Cemetery

$13K headstones erected for slain soldier, sister

(Newser) - On Valentine's Day, a 28-year-old soldier was found dead in a hotel room; her boyfriend has been charged with murder. Now, as Kimberly Walker's family members grieve, they're also facing a headache: After headstones were installed for Walker and her (living) twin sister, a Cincinnati cemetery has... More »

Amazon Scores Big Win Over Netflix

Viacom brings content to online retailer

(Newser) - Last month, with the two companies at odds over renewal terms, Viacom's licensing deal with Netflix ended. Now, Viacom is bringing its shows, from the likes of Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central, over to Amazon in a multiyear streaming deal , the Wall Street Journal reports. (You can see them... More »

Phew! Stewart, SpongeBob Return to DirecTV

Viacom settles dispute with provider

(Newser) - DirectTV subscribers who want their MTV, SpongeBob SquarePants, or comedian Jon Stewart are getting their wish. Viacom and the satellite TV service provider said today that they have settled a dispute that had cut off access to 17 Viacom channels for DirectTV subscribers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.... More »

Top 10 Newly Discovered Species

Including a mushroom named for SpongeBob

(Newser) - Roughly 18,000 new species were discovered last year, and scientists at Arizona State University have compiled a list of their 10 favorites. A sample, from the Arizona Republic : More »

SpongeBob Ratings Sinking Fast

Which is bad news for Nickelodeon, Viacom

(Newser) - SpongeBob Squarepants is 13 years old—and it may finally have dried out. The show's ratings plummeted 29% in the first quarter among kids ages 2 to 11, compared to the year before. That's bad news for Nickelodeon as a whole: The show made up 31% of Nick'... More »

SpongeBob Bad for Kids? Sorry, Weenie Scientists

He's a great, lovable role model: Mary Elizabeth Wiliams

(Newser) - A new study suggests SpongeBob is a menace to kids' attention spans, but he won't be disappearing anytime soon from the TV screens in Mary Elizabeth Williams' house. "The study—and the response to it—say much about adult expectations of children," she writes in Salon . Kids... More »

SpongeBob Hurts Kids' Brains

Show weakens their ability to focus, research suggests

(Newser) - He lives in a pineapple under the sea, and apparently he poses a threat to your kid’s attention span. Researchers showed one group of children a nine-minute SpongeBob SquarePants segment; another group watched a clip of the same length of an educational PBS show called Caillou; a third spent... More »

New Mushroom Species Named After 'SpongeBob'

Gary had no comment

(Newser) - It wasn't discovered living under a pineapple or even under the sea, but a new mushroom species has been named after SpongeBob SquarePants. The species unearthed last year in Malaysia was dubbed Spongiforma squarepantsii because of its spongy similarities to the popular cartoon character, reports National Geographic . (Click the... More »

Homer Is Best TV, Film Character

Simpsons dad wins in survey from past 20 years

(Newser) - The world loves Homer Simpson—even more than Harry Potter. The Simpsons patriarch grabbed the top spot in Entertainment Weekly ’s survey of the best TV and film characters of the past two decades, the New York Post reports. “People can relate to Homer because we're all secretly... More »

SpongeBob at 10: Still Fun, Popular, and Inscrutable

(Newser) - SpongeBob SquarePants is 10 years old, and the “happy nonsense” of the show is “as popular as ever,” Alessandra Stanley writes in the New York Times. What’s more, the wacky, uncynical cartoon has managed to do it “without having disclosed any higher meaning to Bikini... More »

SpongeBob, Rap Don't Mix in Ad, Parents Tell Burger King

Many find mix of SpongeBob Squarepants and 'booty rap' uncomfortable

(Newser) - Burger King is under fire from parents for a new TV ad in which SpongeBob Squarepants, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and rap music video antics combine for an uncomfortable mix of adult and child entertainment, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The spot mixes cartoon clips with shots of “the King,” and... More »

Sports, Edgier Fare Dominate the White House TiVo

Sports channels are expected; edgier fare may surprise you

(Newser) - If you judge a man by the channels he turns to, then President Obama is sporty, but with a hip edge. There’s no chance he passed up a replay of Monday's NCAA men’s basketball championship on his flight home from Iraq, sources tell Politico, but Obama is equally... More »

Sobbing SpongeBob Joins Viacom Fee Dispute

Ads aimed at winning support in Time Warner feud feature a sobbing Spongebob

(Newser) - Viacom is enlisting some of its best-known kid cartoon characters in a contract renewal battle with Time Warner, the Wall Street Journal reports. Viacom wants higher fees from the cable carrier for its channels, which could disappear from Time Warner's service at midnight tonight if no new deal is reached.... More »

10 Ways to Say 'I'm Not Gay'

Stars defend heterosexuality to their public

(Newser) - Star Jones' ex, Al Reynolds, used YouTube to make it official—he is not gay, just "kind of soft." His coming-in announcement prompts Radar to list the 10 best moments in defensive heterosexuality.
  1. Oprah Winfrey on rumors about her and Gayle King: ''Oh, please.''
  2. Jake Gyllenhaal: "
... More »

SpongeBob? Not You, Too!

Another recall of 300,000 Chinese toys hits America

(Newser) - Some 300,000 more toys and other children's items made in China have been recalled due to safety concerns about lead. That includes 250,000 SpongeBob journals and address books with lead paint on the metal bindings. The journals, imported by privately held Martin Designs Inc., were sold in US... More »

20 Stories